Most bosses want employees who never or seldom make mistakes. Such employees, however, are dangerous to your company's long-term health, according to Joe Schumacher, CEO of the education franchiser Goddard Systems Inc. "Hiring employees who don't make mistakes results in a stunted, weak company," he explains.
Here's why you want to actively hire and retain employees who aren't afraid to make mistakes:
1. Mistakes mean they're actually working.
Employees who don't make mistakes often look busy but actually accomplish little or nothing. If you're actually working, mistakes are inevitable.
2. Mistakes mean they're charting new territory.
Tactics that have worked in the past never seem like mistakes, even when they get lousy results. Mistakes means employees are willing to experiment.
3. Mistakes mean they're telling you the truth.
Employees who admit they've made mistakes are not wasting time covering their tracks and deflecting blame.
4. Mistakes mean they've got courage.
Employee who are willing to admit to mistakes are far more likely to have the courage to express their honest opinions.
5. Mistakes mean they're actively engaged.
It is more valuable to have an employee who falters while trying to move forward than to have an employee who is content with not really contributing.
6. Mistakes encourage responsibility.
When mistakes are freely admitted, it gives the people who made those mistakes an immediate opportunity to correct them.
7. Mistakes reveal your team's weaknesses.
Understanding where your organization can't perform is the first step to hiring the right people to shore up those weaknesses.
8. Mistakes help you hone your plans.
It's always better to know you need a mid-course corrections than to keep traveling in a direction that eventually gets you nowhere.
9. Mistakes help train your leaders.
Great leaders know how to remain cool in a crisis. That ability is only developed through coping with the occasional crisis.
10. Mistakes reveal character.
Employees who take responsibility for their mistakes are assets. Employees who try to foist blame elsewhere are liabilities.
11. Mistakes encourage humility.
Without the occasional mistake, people can get so blinded by their own brilliance that they drive the entire company over a cliff.
12. Mistakes give everyone an opportunity to learn.
The best mistake is one that's instructive not just for the employee who made the mistake, but also for the entire team.