CMP #11: How Mistake of the Month Can Improve Your Team's Performance
Culture micro-practices are small, sometimes unconventional ideas to improve company culture, inspire new behaviours and ways of working, and promote psychological safety, collaboration, employee experience, and engagement.
"We encourage our employees to make mistakes because that's how they learn" - if I got a pound every time I heard a variation of this phrase!
My usual reply is, "Great! How exactly do you do that?"... (crickets).
Making mistakes is the easy bit—deep conclusions and learning from them are not.
Tolerance for failure requires having extremely competent and self-aware people. Performance standards need to be clearly articulated, and the difference between productive and unproductive failure well-defined throughout the organization. Having rituals and practices to support reflection and learning from things going sideways will encourage that behaviour, helping it become a habit.
Coincidentally, I have a micro-practice which might help with that (isn't that a surprise 😉)—Mistake of the Month, which promotes the idea that mistakes can be opportunities for learning and growth. It helps create a culture where employees feel safe to share their mistakes and learn from them.
Culture micro-practice: How Mistake of the Month Can Improve Your Team's Performance
Create a dedicated email or online form where employees can submit their mistakes.
At the end of each month, have a team or a person to review all the submissions and select one mistake to be featured as the "Mistake of the Month."
During the next company-wide meeting, have the employee who made the mistake present it to the team.
During the presentation, have the employee explain what they learned from the mistake, how they plan to prevent it from happening again in the future, and any other takeaways that could be beneficial for the team.
Encourage the team to ask questions and provide feedback.
After the presentation, have the team discuss how they can learn from the mistake and implement changes to prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future.
Reward the employee who had the courage to share the mistake by recognising their contributions in the company-wide meeting or with a small token of appreciation.