When Employees Feel Safe
Mistakes will happen; it is inevitable; what happens after differentiates average organizations from great ones. When errors are made, our actions shift from doing the right thing to covering our behinds in many instances. Pointing fingers rather than accepting personal responsibility, hiding errors rather than fixing them, and allowing minor problems to become big ones because they’re inadequately addressed.
Remember that mistakes are vital to our growth; we often put way too much pressure on ourselves to seek some unrealistic ideal of perfection. As the leader, let your team know that there’s no shame in making mistakes, and most importantly, you have their back when they happen. Leaders are responsible for creating an environment where people feel safe to be themselves. When employees are scared to make mistakes, they become preoccupied with protecting themselves from the forces within the company instead of helping the leadership protect the company from external forces.
When someone feels safe enough to raise their hands and say, “I made a mistake” or “I need some help,” according to Simon Sinek, that leader has created an environment where their people feel safe to be themselves.