As human beings, it is a part of our nature to make mistakes even when we try to take extra care in preventing them. Errors unknowingly creep into most of our works. Even if the members of your team are diligent to the point of being perfectionists, this doesn’t mean that they will not slip up now and then.
Everybody makes mistakes. So as the business leader, you need to be doing everything in your power to set your team up for success, making sure that they’re producing consistently excellent results.
“Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.” – Nikki Giovanni
Will you believe me that with ONE simple tool, you can support your team towards those ends? Before I tell you about this amazing but often overlooked business tool, let me first discuss the four different reasons that people get things wrong at work.
1. SOME ARE NAIVE
Some members of your team don’t know how to do the job, but they never really try to work it out either. There’s not a straight pathway forward for them and they simply don’t know how to do the job. For them, this is enough of a reason to not even try. They sit back and don’t do anything about it. To simply put it, they are naive. While it would be great to see them getting up and having a go, if they have never really been instructed, or if they don’t have the knowledge, it’s very unlikely that they will have got the task right in the first place.
2. OTHERS ARE GO GETTERS
There might be some members of your team who don’t know how to do the job but they have given it a red hot go to try and figure it out themselves. This second group is a little bit more motivated. They will go right ahead despite their lack of instruction or support, but at the end of the day, they don’t know how to do the job either. They’ve never been shown or it’s never been confirmed that they knew how in the first place. These are the ones who will try and do the best that they can. Unfortunately, they try to do the work but they simply don’t know how and they just won’t get it right.
3. MANY MAKE MISTAKES
A lot of employees people do know how to do the job but they simply make errors They are shown what to do yet they make a simple human mistake. For a momentary lapse, they forget how the task should be done and they don’t get the job done properly. Unfortunately, the outcome is not what was expected or desired.
4. A FEW WILL SABOTAGE
A painful scenario to see is when people do know how to do the job but they deliberately do it wrong. This is a toxic situation for your workplace and one that reflects a deeper problem around your workplace culture. These people know what to do, and then they do it wrong on purpose, actively sabotaging the output of the business.
Now all four groups of people have come from a very different places. And yet all four of these scenarios will result in work not getting done properly because mistakes and errors are made. This is costly for your business. All four of these groups simply needed one simple tool to keep them on track.
That tool is (drumroll…) a checklist. Comprehensive checklists will solve all of the problems you face with workplace errors. If you have a checklist, you will immediately provide instruction for people who don’t know how to do the job. There the steps are laid out. At each point of completing this step, the person can tick it off and confirm that they knew what to do.
A checklist will also help those people who make accidental errors. With a checklist, they will be reminded which items need to be ticked off so that there’s no room for forgetting.
And then finally, for that last person deliberately getting things wrong, this checklist will provide a great accountability tool. A checklist will require the user to tick off those items and in doing that, the person who is prone to sabotaging the business will then be held accountable for doing each part of that job properly.
A checklist is more than a simple efficiency tool, it will help bring everyone onto the same page and guarantee that regardless of the differences between people, the performance of all of your team will maintain high standards every single time.