How to stop recurring mistakes

Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 by Nicole Fracasso

Mistakes happen, but when the same error is repeated, it can lead to bigger consequences. In a recent article from CFO Daily News, Alyssa Evans, business, finance and accounting writer at CFO Daily News discusses four methods to preventing these mistakes.

First, Evans suggests having the person who made the error find the solution. She notes that it’s important to discuss how you’re going prevent it from recurring instead of simply pointing out the error happened again.

“When people find their own solutions to mistakes, they’re more likely to stick to them,” writes Evans.

Next Evans says to “show the fallout.” Employees might not realize the impact their mistakes have if they don’t see the consequences for themselves. If they’re not the one’s answering the angry phone call or in the conference room hearing about it, they might not fully understand why they need to limit the mistake.

“Whenever possible, let the employees at fault see and experience the repercussion of their actions firsthand, which will make them more careful next time,” writes Evans.

Third, bring on extra coaching when necessary. Evans says people don’t mess up on purpose, they want to succeed but sometimes fall short. By providing extra coaching on subjects people are struggling with, you can help prevent the mistake from continuing. This could be hands-on training or someone within the staff who shows excellence in the area.

Lastly, Evans says to simplify when you can.

“Fact is, some financial processes aren’t so easy to grasp,” writes Evans.

Evans recommends providing checklists, FAQs and an outline of the basic steps for common processes. If there’s a process that employees commonly make errors on, it may need to be reassessed in full, according to Evans.

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