“Oh, S%&!” How to Handle a Screw up at Work


Construction Staffing

Even the best of us can make a mistake while on the job. Whether it’s a missed email or an inaccurate purchase order, the stakes can be higher than you’d expect. If you’re kicking yourself and struggling to rectify a professional error, we’re here to help you handle the screw up in the best way possible.

1)    Take Immediate Action

One of the quickest ways to make a mistake worse is to sweep it under the rug. You may see it as a minor slip-up, but you may not anticipate what consequences will rise like a ripple effect. Admit to your error as soon as you identify it to prevent further fallout. Correct the problem, or report it to your supervisor. You also want to send an appropriate response, a major safety mistake warrants a larger response than an email. Conversely, small errors don’t require a company-wide alert. Use your judgment when relaying each concern.

2) Take Responsibility

Don’t make excuses. Take ownership of what went down, even if it’s not your direct mistake. If you’re a supervisor, you’re directly responsible for the actions of your workers. Any tasks you delegate are still your obligations. A mature and honest discussion needs to take place where you report the error, explain the situation thoroughly, and make a plan to fix the mistake. Effective communication is especially important in this moment.

3) Focus on Prevention

Whether it was your mistake or someone else’s, the blame game isn’t the right move to make. The only way to deal with mistakes effectively is to prevent them as much as possible, and be prepared when they occur. If you’re noticing a pattern with the same error happening again and again, talk to your team about how it can be resolved. A proactive approach will decrease your need to intervene.


If you’re looking for more ways to support and expand your construction crew, consult the professionals at CCS Construction Staffing. As a top construction firm in the Southeast U.S., we provide quick turnaround on any task. Whether you want some quick tips or need to fill positions on your team, CCS Construction Staffing is here to help your company succeed.

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