No manager wants to have to deal with employees who keep making mistakes, especially in an industry like metals where the stakes are high. While some mistakes are inevitable, repeated ones are a different matter.
If an employee keeps making mistakes and you don’t have a reason to keep them, the obvious solution would be to fire them. But what if the employee has a lot of potential, and you think they can succeed?
In that situation, you will want to encourage the employee to overcome their mistakes by giving them the skills they need to succeed.
Ask the Employee If They Have a Solution
An employee in the metals industry who keeps making mistakes is likely aware of those errors. And they may be as frustrated as you. They may have already thought of a solution, or they may have a hunch as to what the problem is.
Maybe they simply didn’t feel comfortable bringing it up to you. Or maybe they hoped that if they ignored the issue, you wouldn’t notice.
But the key here is that employees may have their own solutions. Politely ask them if they know what’s wrong or how to fix it. You could ask whether e they would do better with the task explained in a different way.
Spend Time to Coach Employees Who Keep Making Mistakes
Even if the employee in question has a solution in mind, it won’t be an immediate fix. You will need to dedicate time to coaching them.
Evaluate whether you should be the one providing the additional coaching or if someone else is better for the role. Schedule enough time to help the employee build confidence.
And Follow Up
Once the employee in question receives additional training, don’t assume everything is fine. Follow up by asking the employee how they feel about the task. And look at any data you have on the task to confirm what they say.
Create a Culture Where Questions Are Welcome
The most successful companies in the metals industry develop a culture where questions are welcomed and encouraged. Some managers scorn or mock employees who ask questions, but this is the opposite of productive.
Make sure your employees feel comfortable approaching you with questions. This will encourage them to do so the first or second time they make a mistake. You won’t have to wait to address the issue until it becomes a pattern that you happen to notice.
Respond With Care
One thing you can do to foster a culture that encourages questions is to respond with care. For example, when talking with employees who keep making mistakes, reassure them. Tell them that they’re a valued member of the team and that you are working to resolve the issue.
No company in the metals industry has to deal with employees making repeated mistakes. Decide whether the employee is worth keeping and get to the root of the issue. Listen to the employee’s suggestions, and provide additional training if necessary.
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