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Text comes from the book: “The power of hidden signals: choice of words - body language - emotions. Recognizing and overcoming non-verbal resistance ”(2014), published by Linde Verlag, reprinted with the kind permission of the publisher.

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schranzGabriele Schranz is a partner in Schranz and Cerwinka OEG; Vienna - Zurich. After studying business administration in Vienna, she worked in management at the Berlitz language school in Vienna. Since 1993 she has been an independent trainer and consultant for communication, professional appearance, process optimization and personal development. She mainly oversees projects in the service, doctor and assistant areas as well as communication in hospitals. She also works as a university lecturer and has already written numerous specialist books on the subject of office management and professional communication. All texts by Gabriele Schranz.

Error culture in companies: remedy damage limitation [+ checklist]

In addition to recording errors, there must also be an awareness of possible errors Error and the corresponding mitigation can be created. You can find out how to do this here.

black sheep

immediate measures

The following important questions should be asked immediately by every employee:

  • Who needs to be informed?
  • What time window do we have?
  • Which strategies are there for mitigation?

Everyone has to think along

Every affected employee is asked to think about the immediate measures. In terms of minimizing damage, it is essential to design and evaluate at least two strategies.

This creates contingency plans, which must always be supplemented, edited and updated.

Emergency plans only take effect if the right time to intervene is not missed. This is an important one Objective a functioning error culture.

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root cause analysis

In order to draw positive knowledge for the future from an error, it is necessary to clarify which circumstances caused the error.

But it is not about the respective person! It is helpful to examine the connections and the background.

Possible causes of errors by employees are

  • lack of specialist knowledge
  • lack of skills
  • overtaxing
  • underload
  • emotional exceptional situations
  • too little or wrong information
  • individual knowledge deficits
  • Pressure of time
  • pressure to perform
  • unclear target agreements
  • too complex a process documentation
  • organizational flaws
  • unclear competence distributions
  • leadership deficits
  • technical deficiencies
  • wrong decisions
  • a lack of inner attitude

Several causes interlock

Often, several causes fall together or interlock. It is therefore not always easy to analyze the situation accurately.

The analysis is about persistently asking questions and not being satisfied with “initial answers”.

Difference to scapegoat culture

When the employee notices how important the responsible parties take to researching the cause, he learns to contribute with concrete and meaningful answers to uncover the true background.
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This is where the great contrast to the “scapegoat culture” lies: This usually only protects the underlying deficient system in dealing with errors. The real reason does not always come to light immediately. Stay persistent in your search for clues! The so-called 5-time request method is helpful here:

5 "Why" questions

Ask again about the first answer, and then again, five times in total. But it is best not to ask “why”, but rather “for what reason” or “why”.

Why questions are negatively intercepted by the communicative side, because they put us emotionally back into our childhood and school time:

Checklist for causes research

“Why didn't you do your homework?” “Why is your room not tidy?” Even then, we didn't know the answer, this kind of root cause research in the “familial error culture” was not very effective.

  • When did the error occur?
  • When was he discovered?
  • What exactly was the error?
  • Which circumstances triggered the error?
  • Where exactly did the error begin?
  • How did it come about?
  • What is the impact?
  • Is it a single error or is there a chain of
    Mistakes?
  • Has the same error happened to other employees?
  • Is there a risk that the employee will be able to make these mistakes again?
  • Do errors always follow the same pattern?
  • Was revision and / or overload in the game?
  • Was it a communication, transmission or presentation error?
  • Goods system factors responsible for the error (mit-)?
  • Were environmental factors involved?
  • What has already been done to mitigate the consequences?
  • Can a control center be interposed if necessary?
  • What has been done to avoid the error?
  • What else can be done about the same bug in the future
    to avoid?

Quality and risk management

The link to quality and risk management, which has often been implemented for a long time, is the focus. The legal situation of error culture is also explained. As a result, the current situation is to be studied together.

  • The questions to the participants in this phase of the workshop are:
  • What is a mistake? How do we define errors?
  • Where is the line between the terms “grossly negligent” and “willful” to be drawn?
  • What are the consequences of messing up mistakes?
  • What does constructive error handling mean?
  • Where are we now? Where do we want to go?

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One answer to "error culture in companies: remedial damage limitation [+ checklist]"

  1. Competencepartner says:

    Error culture in companies - Part 15: Damage limitation using a checklist: In addition to recording… #profession #education

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