Handling Employees’ Mistakes

The Ritz-Carlton Perspective

The best leaders teach employees to take ownership for their mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone can learn from them.

DOs and DON’Ts of Handling Employees’ Mistakes

  • DO let employees know that making mistakes is part of the job. Give them a safe place to fail and learn.
  • DON’T tell employees that you’re disappointed or angry when they make a mistake. Employees may try to hide mistakes if they think their bosses will have a negative reaction.
  • DO include the employee in the solution. Ask leading questions such as, “How would you change the process in the future?” or, “Are there other resources you could have used?”
  • DON’T make it personal. Try to focus on the mistake and possible solutions rather than underscoring the employee’s shortcomings.
  • DO show your support by offering additional training for the employee if needed.
  • DON’T hold a grudge or continually remind the employee of past mistakes. Give employees the opportunity to have a fresh start.