Businesses Must Put an End to Gaffes

Businesses must put an end to gaffes! We’ve learned from a very young age that because we’re human, no one is perfect. In fact, gaffes or mistakes are all part of life. Businesses are not immune to this dilemma. When mishaps do occur, the following chain of events usually occurs.

  •  Everything Stays Status Quo, therefore, the same mistake can and, most likely, occur again.
    •    Finger Pointing and, therefore, this same mishap can and most likely, will happen again.
    •    Lesson Learned, therefore, the probability that a similar gaffe will be avoided.

Taking a proactive approach when it comes to dealing with missteps is a must for every business owner/manager. By thoroughly assessing mistakes helps determine what needs to change. Then businesses can put into place corrective actions to help prevent future mishaps. Thinking one step ahead rather than being last in line should be the game plan for every business leader.

Here are some strategies an owner/manager can use to abolish or diminish these errors:

Cutback Mistakes – If a business really wants to cutdown its mistakes, the leadership team for the business needs to dig deep as to how the business operates. The owner/manager must objectively look at how things run at the business. It may require company leadership to update, or change everything altogether, those aspects of the business which lead to gaffes. Remember, reducing or eliminating mistakes is the goal!

Replace or Change – This situation may require replacing or changing one way of doing something at the business with a more a more dependable process or procedure. For example, using certain types of equipment or technology may help reduce the possibility of human error. Look for automation to assist, rather than replace workers.

Anticipation – Prevention and anticipation go hand-in-hand as it pertains to remaining one step ahead of any problem or catastrophe. After an owner/manager has thoroughly reviewed the business operations, it may be determined that there’s a communication breakdown between management and staff. A simple weekly email update or newsletter memo may be the missing link to prevent communication issues. Preventing tomorrow’s possible problems is a good use of today’s time.

Less Complication– Having the operations of a business uncomplicated is a great tactic to prevent problems in the first place. One example might be creating business-wide document folder names. Implementing this policy would prevent confusion because it would eliminate naming these folders by employees with their own preferred labels. This change would reduce confusion and create consistency. When something in the business can be simplified, that should be the goal of every business owner/manager.

Recognition – Remaining attentive and recognizing a possible problem needs to be a top priority for an owner/manager. An outside consultant may serve as a separate pair of eyes in detecting any potential problems. For example, a consultant may suggest various “checks and balances” procedures to help prevent customer payment problems. An expert small business consultant perspective could pick up items that have previously been overlooked.

Alleviation– In this particular strategy, the owner/manager may implement a response to a gaffe. This new policy or procedure may lessen or reduce a negative impact on the business. For example, ignoring new technology’s capabilities is a common small business mistake. Reducing the impact from this decision may include employing the services of an outside tech service business to temporarily assist the business. At the same time, the owner/manager could explore a long-term solution. One possibility may include hiring a full-time technician to help with the transition from an outside expert to an in-house employee.

Again, businesses must put an end to gaffes. However, it requires a commitment from everyone in the business. Preventing mistakes should be the priority from the entry level employee to the owner/manager. It may not be written into everyone’s job description, but observation as well as an open line of communication needs to be a requirement for ALL employees in the business. Today’s preventive measures can help evade tomorrow’s problems!

Denis Sweeney