Damage Control: Handling Unfortunate Employee Mistakes by @NTS1964

by Nadine Swayne

Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsaint/4122029015/
Photo credit: Rennett Stowe via Flickr

The widespread use of social media can make it impossible for companies to hide the mistakes of their employees from the public. Even small-time business owners could watch their entrepreneurial world come crashing down around them if the errors and oversights of their employees come to the attention of the masses. Because employees could make or break the success of their employers, it is vital that business owners know how to react and what steps to take in the immediate aftermath of an employee’s unfortunate mistake. These ideas can keep an entrepreneur in business and protect his or her professional reputation.

Reverse The Mistake

In some cases, the best remedy for a mistake would be to reverse its course of action. If an employee makes an error or overlooks an important element of customer service, the owner of the company can save the day by reversing the error if possible. Giving a refund, creating positive social posts and services, exchanging a product, or honoring a warranty, for example, can be all it takes to make the customer happy and reap the praise and rewards of the public.

In a case of your employee damaging company property or vehicles used for business, sometimes, there can be forgiveness. As the employer, it is totally up to your discretion and company policy on the disciplinary actions taken against the employee. However, if these occurrences are a constant, like speeding tickets in the company car or total disregard for inventory or stealing, they cannot be excused and a separation would be strongly advised. As noted by the Tix Team,” Whatever the case may be, a traffic offense can impact your driving records, which, in turn, can have a negative effect on your ability to become or remain employed.” The reversal of these extensive problems can be difficult.

Apologize If Necessary

Even if the worker had no idea of their offense, the owner of the business should still offer up an apology immediately. If the offense is truly significant and the entrepreneur can understand why the mistake could be construed as tacky or hurtful, it might be better to apologize quickly and resolve to keep such mistakes to a minimum in the future.

Stand By Your Employee

Sometimes the mistake of the worker stems because this person tried to please a difficult customer, only to have that effort backfire. When the customer’s actions could be called into question, yet the owner’s professional integrity prevents them from acting in such a manner, it could work out better for the owner to show solidarity with the employee rather than backing down to a tantrum-throwing client. The public respects a business owner with conviction and a backbone under the right circumstances.

Get Professional Help

When an unfortunate situation seems to be snowballing faster than a business owner can handle, the best course of action would be to hire a firm to take over before the error becomes a PR disaster. People often will not hesitate to sue a company owner if they feel that they have been victimized or traumatized. When they levy accusations against a business, the owner often has little recourse to defend themselves and their establishment, other than by hiring a lawyer.

Move On Quickly

Sometimes the best way to get past a mistake is simply to focus on the future and move on with life. Some people may think that the owner is trying to dodge the accusations and public scrutiny; however, time heals all wounds in most cases. Moving on and focusing on life after the error can truly be the solution to remaining profitable and relevant.

Business owners could suffer because of their employees’ mistakes. Rather than watch their companies fall, professionals can take these proactive and protective steps to keep their businesses afloat while the errors are addressed.

Photo credit- http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsaint/4122029015/


NadineFreelance writer,  Nadine Swayne shares these tips to resolving employee flubs. In business, consumer outreach and employee performance is vital, learning to regain composure after a “fall” separates a great company from the rest.

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