Even being the inevitable part of life, failure is considered as a sin for which punishment is a must. However, not many people realize that punishment causes worst impact than the failure on the employees.
In this article at the American Management Association (AMA), Sebastian Bryers explains that to better understand the impact of failure, it is essential that the managers learn and understand what actually motivates their team members.
Free to Fail
The author further explains that it is tough to be open to failure. But the results are not always negative. Extending the opportunity to take on a project and be in control of its outcome, without the fear of punishment, can be a motivating factor.
This workplace rule lets the employees derive purpose not only from finishing the task at hand but let them take on responsibility and perform under pressure. Here are a few steps to encourage ‘free to fail’ mindset at the workplace:
- Time for Experiment: To help employees satisfy their desire for autonomy, extend a controlled environment where they can experiment. Big firms like Google and Facebook have operated a ‘20 percent time’ scheme that allows their employees to set aside time for additional projects without fearing reprisal if they fail. In fact, renowned Gmail is the result of this controlled space for experimentation. The methodology can impart an understanding that failure is not the end.
- Cross-Functional Projects: Instead of keeping projects siloed within one department, break the mold through low-risk assignments in different departments. For instance, seek a compelling marketing idea from your engineering team. It will create an opportunity for employees to truly experience the highs and lows of success and failure within a controlled environment.
- Fair Deal with Failure: As a project manager, the way you deal with failure in front of your employees will shape and influence them to react in difficult situations. You must lead by example in all contexts, including when you fail to achieve your goal or complete a project. As you can acknowledge disappointment, your focus should turn toward learning from your mistakes and moving ahead. Similarly, the employees will learn that failure breeds productive and creative responses, not needless negativity and punishment.
The author believes that failure is a fertile soil that can grow valuable experiences and long-term beneficial outcomes. All you need to do is, play it fair and be open to accepting the challenge of failure without fear. Click on the following link to read the original article: http://playbook.amanet.org/training-articles-stop-punishing-failure-workplace/