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Create a safe environment for employees to admit when they’ve made an error.

There’s a story of an engineer back in the beginning days of IBM who made a mistake that cost the company a million dollars. The engineer came into Thomas Watson’s office knowing Watson was going to fire him. Instead, Mr. Watson asked him, “Why would I fire you? I just spent one million dollars educating you.” He never made that blunder again.

A Plant Manager made a mistake that almost cost the company their biggest buyer. After jumping through a lot of hoops, the manager saved the account, but it was a close call. Now she begins her staff meetings with “Who messed up worse than I did this week, and what did you learn from it?” By being vulnerable with her own slip-up, she creates a safe environment for her staff to let her know the real story – instead of hiding the truth out of fear of reprisal.

Learn from your mistakes – and move on.

Action Ideas:

  1. Mistakes happen. If you need to, watch the movie “Frozen” several times and learn to “let it go!”
  2. See number one.

To get this and 97 other ideas on Manufacturing Engagement, please check out Lisa Ryan’s book, “Manufacturing Engagement: 98 Proven Strategies to Attract and Retain Your Industry’s Top Talent