Warning… I swear a little bit in the following post (sorry Mum)
I’m just going to come right out and say it… Brand Hero fucked up lots in 2020. Perhaps our fun and fresh socials sometimes do not tell the full story, but last year wasn’t always rainbows and unicorns.
We’ve grown a lot in the last two years, especially in 2020. With such a sharp rise in customer orders come some challenges. Things get missed, balls are dropped, tensions rise.
When mistakes in the workplace do inevitably occur, it’s obviously best to catch them early, before they reach the customer. This gives you a chance to fix it and keeps the big show on the road. Non-the-less, mistakes usually cost time, money and aren’t good for team morale.
Let’s get mad
Perhaps it was Covid or something else, but I was extra snappy when said mistakes started to creep in at BH. Years ago, wiser people had taught me “blame the system, not the person”. Yet here I was, reducing more than one staff member to tears over a re-print or missed sales opportunity. What had happened to me?
After some deep reflection and soul searching, I decided a change in attitude was required – I owned up and apologised. I had lost sight of what made our team so good – mistakes are okay and it’s okay to make them. They are lessons – and nine times out of ten they aren’t about people, they are about systems. What is broken in the system of how we do things and what can we do to fix it so it doesn’t happen again? It is so much more beneficial for the company to have a team member admit to the mistake rather than hide it from the angry boss. By shifting to this mindset we can now embrace the mistakes, fact-find to improve and make our business stronger.
When the cat is out of the bag
Mistakes happen to us all. In an ideal world, catching an error and fixing it before the customer finds it is obviously the best scenario. Alas, we are human and this doesn’t always happen! So what is damage control time, also needs to be PR time. Mistakes (and how you handle them) are the best opportunity to show how great your business is.
Did we get every job right last year? Hell no… we aren’t robots. But life is about give and take and whilst you cannot make everyone happy, most customers understand this and genuine efforts to make amends go a long way. In fact, how we handle our mistakes makes a much deeper impression than the mistake itself.
Before we said goodbye to 2020 and closed for the Christmas break, Team BH got together and took a cold hard look at ourselves. We wrote down every single error we made in the previous three months and how we could have avoided it. We didn’t blame anyone – each error we focused on, we related back to a system and how it could be improved. It was the most beneficial few hours we spent in a long time.
We came out of it with lessons and an action plan for a 2021 free of these mistakes. No doubt, we will make some of them again, no doubt new ones will crop up. But that is life and we are human, it’s how we bounce back from them that really counts.