Many Mistakes–Loss of Credibility

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about I have recently made a series of major mistakes. How can I regain my credibility?

I have worked in this institution for over 10 years. I have recently made a series of major mistakes, primarily ones that require exercising good judgment. I had been given the responsibility to delegate some of my workload out to other co-workers to assist me. They are partially trained. I did not train them; however, I was asked to delegate the work out to them regardless, and they will be fully trained later.

As a result of this I found that some of the employees have made mistakes, and I have made mistakes because of the stress I have been under. I have already told my manager that they needed training well before, but it was only considered recently. My supervisor has requested that I submit my work to him before processing. How can I regain my credibility?

Signed, Want Credibility

Dear Want Credibility:

Good for you. You are aware that your good standing suffers because you have made some major mistakes and now you want to regain credibility. And your supervisor has requested that she/he monitor your work, apparently to make sure that what goes out is now free from error. Also your supervisor has seen the need to lower your workload. These two actions should help prevent major blunders, relieve the stress you have recently experienced and gradually build back the confidence and credibility that were yours.

Of course submitting your work to your supervisor will be stressful at first, but that should lessen if you can see the monitoring as a partnership committed to improving quality. Yet there will remain the other problem of mistakes made by partially trained co-workers who will now be doing some of the work you were told to put in their hands. Since your supervisor undoubtedly is aware of potential mistakes made by them, likely a special team effort will be needed to prevent them.

Can you think of all of this as an opportunity rather than punishment? Changes in process and quality improvement programs usually are prompted by detected defects. Six sigma, that is an effort to come as close as possible to zero errors per hundred thousand, requires team training and special protocols. That might include daily briefings and frequent internal checking with one another about what is in process. That might require self-checks and/or as is the case in banking on a money matter, more than one individual to sign off before something is considered ready to deliver.

A team approach is something you might suggest to your supervisor. This might include periodic skull sessions to applaud what has been going well and a collaborative brainstorming about how to correct/prevent what was is defective or not of high quality. More is available about teamwork in our Archives. From now on will you think of working together with hands, head, and heart as taking and making big WEGOS? Feel free to keep us posted.

You have been there ten years. Don’t be obsessed with earning back your credibility; however, is this not an appropriate time for your New Year’s resolution to be to seen as a champion for quality improvement and working together?

FOLLOW UP Thank you for answering my question, I do appreciate your suggestions and I will consider proposing those ideas if they have not already been considered. I now view my supervisors approach in a positive light in the sense of coaching and ensuring minimal mistakes will occur.Thank you for providing such a helpful service.

William Gorden