Made a Mistake at Work? Don’t Stress!
Hcareers / MARCH 24 2021

We all make mistakes at work. We juggle a lot of tasks, talk to a lot of people and pressure ourselves to do a good job, so that can lead to us forgetting to do something or making errors. 

Immediately we feel like we’re going to be in trouble, we feel embarrassed or like our credibility flew out the window. Take a second to breathe and tell yourself that this is a learning opportunity, and it will be okay. 

1. You can feel bad, but don’t dwell

It’s completely normal to feel disappointed in yourself, embarrassed, or worried that you’re going to be in trouble. 

It’s even a good sign that you feel those kinds of feelings because it shows that you care about your job and your performance, but don’t dwell on those emotions for long. You want to start putting together solutions and a game plan as quickly as possible.

2. Assess what happened

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What was the mistake?
  • What actions led to the mistake?
  • What were the consequences of the mistake? (both personally and for the organization)
  • What should you have done instead? 
  • How can this be prevented next time?

3. Apologize and own up to the mistake

If you are able to quickly fix the mistake, make sure to do so. Can you offer extra points to an upset guest? Can you book a new amenity for the guest? Are you able to quickly fix a document? 

If you need to apologize, do it swiftly and briefly. Don’t overdo it by apologizing continuously or making it dramatic. Just send a quick note or talk to the guest/manager/team member and say something like: “I apologize for the mistake and I am working on correcting it ASAP.”

Try not to use any excuses or justifications and make sure not to say anything degrading to yourself. 

4. Create a game plan to avoid future errors

Is the mistake something that could happen again? If so, come up with a solution to avoid it in the future. Are you always late for your shift? Ask your manager if it’s possible to change your hours. Do you always forget to mark what rooms you’ve cleaned? How can you train yourself to never skip that step again? Or maybe you mishandled a guest interaction, and you need training on how better to resolve problems or communicate. 

Jot some ideas down and meet with your manager to let them know your ideas and work on a solution together. 

5. Earn back trust

Moving forward just keep doing a great job and delivering great work efficiently. Make sure to prove that you took the mistake as a learning opportunity and that you are always working to be a better employee. Remember that actions speak louder than words. 

5. Keep going!

Just follow the famous phrase, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On!’