All successful businesses should constantly be searching for ways to reduce workplace error. When error is reduced the company will run more smoothly, profits will be increased, and workers will be much happier. Upper management in particular should pay attention to these 5 ways to decrease workplace error:
1. Hold employees accountable for their time and encourage responsible, independent work habits.
Holding workers accountable for their time is the first step to increasing productivity in the workplace and reducing errors. Too often, workers will find their attention drifting off throughout the day. It’s easy for them to become sidetracked with the chaos of everyday life and forget their work responsibilities. When workers keep track of their time, they’re able to set aside part of their schedule each day for checking their work and making sure they haven’t made errors.
Managers may find it useful to implement a timekeeping protocol for their entire organization. All workers beneath management must be held to the same standard. Low-tier managers should be accountable for their time, as well as the lowest ranked workers. This kind of equality fosters good feelings among employees, and guarantees that the company will have increased productivity. The efficiency and morale of all workers is increased, and in turn, workers are far less likely to make errors.
2. Reward employees for uncovering errors and make them feel appreciated.
It’s no secret in management that happy workers have increased productivity and are more efficient. Checking for errors is part of the job description in most positions, but it still doesn’t hurt to reward workers to boost morale. If an employee saves the company from making a $10,000 error by catching a mistake before a draft goes out to a client, his sharp eye should be commended. Workers will feel much better about spending their time to uncover errors when they’re properly rewarded and when their efforts are recognized.
3. Encourage workers to give each other a hand with checking for errors.
Everyone knows it’s much easier to spot an error in a coworker’s document than their own. The person who wrote the report will often have a much harder time finding an error than someone who does the proofreading. Workers should be aware of the benefits of proofreading and helping each other out. No one should be afraid to ask their coworker for a hand with proofreading.
Too often, workers are worried about distracting their team members or getting them upset by asking for too much help. However, a successful organization will have all workers know that time spent checking for errors is time well spent. And all workers should be encouraged to help each other out with this important task.
4. Consider establishing a new position entirely dedicated to checking for errors, or expanding an old job description.
Employee efficiency is top priority in all good companies, so it may seem daunting to think about hiring a new person for no reason other than checking for errors in the work of other workers. Managers may wonder if there will be enough work for the new employee, or if they’ll end up with too much time on their hands. But for an organization that employs enough people to justify hiring an entire new person to check for errors, this can be a valuable business decision. The “designated proofreader” can take a huge burden off the shoulders of all the other workers and free up their precious time for other tasks.
For companies too small to hire a new person for this task, it can still be beneficial to delegate proofreading to an employee who is already on the team. This task can be delegated to an employee who has expressed concerns about not having enough work, or who is eager to take on new tasks for the benefit of the company.
5. Above all else, members of upper management should keep an eye out for errors themselves.
The best way to lead is by example, and all good upper managers should be keeping one eye out for errors at all times. Upper management should be the final line of defense to keep a business from making errors. It would be beneficial to the company for all members of management to be trained in spotting errors as the last line of defense. They should also be ready and able to check the work of all other workers and to ensure that the business is going in the right direction.
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