Do Not Make It Safe to Fail

74. Do Not Make It Safe to Fail

Make it hell on earth for any employee who fails in even the slightest manner. Put them on a corrective plan and never let them forget about the failure. Make sure your entire team knows about the failure.


We had an employee volunteer to run a savings project. I had a boss who discovered a slight mathematical mistake on the savings from a new implemented project. It was less than $100. The boss went wild in a meeting and castigated the employee even threatening to take the error out of his paycheck. Later the boss then wondered why no one ever again volunteered for any of his projects. He had to assign them all involuntarily. There were long stretches of silence and no movement in meetings when he announced a project to be completed. Employees literary tried to hide and duck during these periods.

Illustration: Boss at head of conference table saying, “I need a volunteer for a project.” Employees around table ducking, trying to hide, grimacing etc.

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