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How to Address Repeated Mistakes in Your Workplace

Published April 8, 2016 (last updated on June 30, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer


Employees can be frustrating if they repeatedly make mistakes. Sometimes mistakes can allow an employee to learn and grow within their role, but sometimes the mistakes may slow down workplace productivity or negatively impact other workers.

So as an employer, how do you reasonably manage repeated mistakes?

1. Allow the employee to suggest a solution to their mistakes

Often, it is not the fact a mistake occurred, but that it was inefficiently handled, causing stress and unease in the workplace. However, allowing your employee to suggest how they will amend the mistakes lets them proactively work out a solution and means they are less likely to repeat the mistake.

2. Provide further training if required

Mistakes may occur due to the employee not fully understanding the requirements of their job, or how to adequately fulfil them. Provide training on the areas which the employee is struggling with, and even re-evaluate the training processes to ensure future employees do not experience the same issue in the future. Ensure the employee receives praise and encouragement when they are learning, as this reinforces the behaviour.

Be as specific as possible when informing your employee of their mistakes and ensure your feedback is clear and precise. An employee who feels discouraged may leave the company if they do not understand how to improve.

3. Encourage questions

An employee who is too afraid to ask for help or clarification, is bound to make mistakes. A workplace that encourages their employees to ask questions, is a workplace where an employee feels comfortable asking for help or assistance.

4. Will vs skill

If an employee is not simply making mistakes, but is actively breaking company policy such as routinely being late to work, further action may need to be taken that can include a formal warning. When an employee is repeatedly breaking company rules, it may be a matter of will vs skill.

The will vs skill matrix is a great way of determining whether your employee lacks the skills to excel at their job, or simply lacks the will to do so. An employee who lacks the skills can be trained and developed. An employee who lacks the will, will not excel in their role as they lack the desire to do so.

If you have an employee who is repeatedly making mistakes in your workplace, Peninsula can help. Call our team on 1300 651 415 to discuss how best to manage your employees, so that your workplace does not suffer.

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