Sorry seems to be the hardest word….

How many times have you apologised when you have been in the wrong? Are you aware of the impact not owning up to your mistakes can have on the trust of your team?

A recent survey by the Forum Corporation found that despite a manager’s behaviour shaping 70% of the workplace environment, only 15% of employees said they always or often get an apology from their manager when they have made a mistake.  However, there seems to be a strong disconnect between how managers and how employees view mistakes in their workplace with comparatively 87% of managers saying they always or often apologise if they have made a mistake. However, what is the impact of this?

The knock-on impact of this disconnect results in a damage of trust and loyalty.  Employees with low trust are only moderately engaged in their workplace, compared to those with high trust levels who are highly engaged.  A company with high levels of trust is more likely to benefit from productivity and profitability increases and a reduction in staff turnover levels.

So what can you do to make sure you don’t end up making this mistake and trust levels stay high in your organisation?

  • Act with integrity and adopt an open approach to mistakes
  • Create an emotionally safe environment where employees feel comfortable speaking to you
  • Deliver on your promises and act as you wish other employees to act
  • Have trust in your employees to assign them with tasks and responsibilities
  • Make rewards and recognitions public to empower individuals
  • Use open and coherent communication to ensure everyone is aware of the company’s progress and direction
  • Invest in your team’s learning and development through regular coaching, may this be formal or informal, mentoring and feedback

Mistakes lead to lessons learnt and challenges overcome; they result in some of the best opportunities and are the stepping stone to success!  We need to learn to be honest enough to admit to them, willing to learn from them and have courage to make the necessary changes.  Embracing your mistakes will result in increased employee trust, which will create a happier workplace and consequently a strong competitive advantage for your business!

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” Albert Einstein

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