The only true mistake a manager can make with their team is instilling the fear that mistakes are not okay.
When in fact, mistakes are more than okay. Mistakes are necessary for the success of a team and business.
Of course, you don’t want team members to operate in a careless, lackadaisical environment, where they make critical mistakes daily.
But creating an understanding that a slight error now and then is okay can be highly beneficial. Here’s why.
1. Making mistakes create a more honest, open work environment.
When employees do not fear the repercussions of a mistake, they are more likely to be open and admit when they make a mistake.
Imagine if your team member was so afraid of admitting to a mistake, they tried to cover up or “fix” it, only to have it escalate into a much larger, more costly ordeal.
If your team member had felt secure enough from the get-go, you could have resolved the mistake much quicker and with far less drama.
Empower your employees to admit to a mistake, as well as a proposed plan of action for solving it.
2. Making mistakes create more opportunities for learning.
As a leader, it’s important to notice recurring themes or trends among your team members. Is there one area where employees often make mistakes or consistently struggle?
Invest in your team by planning regular training or team development sessions.
Growing your team in this way will not only benefit your business but also inspire greater employee loyalty and enthusiasm.
Offering regular opportunities for learning and growth is a great way to demonstrate to your team how much you value them.
3. Making mistakes creates greater innovation and creativity.
When a mistake occurs, it forces team members to be more creative and innovative in finding a solution — especially if it a recurring issue.
When employees fear failure, they’re more apt to stick to the status quo and thus stifle the possibility of better ideas and solutions.
Allow your team to fail now and then, and watch how it inspires them to think outside the box.
4. Making mistakes reduces stress AND mistakes.
When there is a culture of fear, stress and tension is high, employees cannot relax and operate as their best selves. This is because they are constantly in fear of making a mistake and subsequent repercussions.
An employee at ease in their role and responsibilities can think more clearly and inevitably make fewer mistakes, as a result.
5. Making mistakes creates more employee satisfaction and happiness.
Encouraging more collaboration and instilling trust in your employees will build stronger, more positive relationships in your team.
When employee satisfaction is high, they will naturally make better decisions with the company’s best interests in mind.
Remember, if perfection is your goal, you’ll be waiting a long time. Creating a culture of risk-taking, experimentation and innovation may lead to errors, but it will also create a stronger team and you, a stronger leader.
What was the biggest error made by your team and how did you react to it?