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Here's What Happens When You Make a Mistake at Work

by BGC Employee

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​There’s no such thing as perfection, especially at work. Mistakes at work happen all the time and even though it can be tempting to avoid responsibilities. The best thing to do is to be publicly accountable in order to fix the issue.

As a HR outsourcing agency, we are aware of the myriad of benefits and consequences that comes with owning up to workplace mistakes. However, the core belief here at BGC Group is that the benefits of staying accountable outweigh the consequences.


But owning up and taking accountability can be a difficult task for some. In this article, we’ll be discussing the many benefits of taking accountability and the many ways to move on from making mistakes at work. 

Benefits of Taking Accountability 

​While it is tempting to push accountability away and ignore the mistakes we’ve made. There are better benefits when employees choose to own up to their mistakes and take responsibility. One of the main benefits of taking accountability is the amount of trust you’ll be able to build trust with both your supervisors and teammates. 

The other benefits of taking accountability include: 

  • Healthier intrapersonal relationships: Taking responsibility for your mistakes for your actions leads to better bonds and healthier relationships with the people around you. It leads to lesser arguments and better social interactions with your colleagues, teammates and supervisors.

  • Improved performance: Accountability makes you a better worker. When you take responsibility for the mistakes you make. You start to be extra careful of making the same mistakes over and over again in the future. Think of accountability as a personal trainer, that forces you to set milestones and goals when it comes to your work performance.

  • It keeps you engaged with work: When you do a job daily. After a while, you might start to slip up. Mistakes keep you on track to stay engaged with the work that you do. It gives you a reason to concentrate and stay alert with your job, no matter how repetitive, in order to deliver the best work performance.

  • Personalised work training: Owning up to your mistakes allows both you and your supervisor to recognise your weaknesses or your skills gap. Not only will you learn to avoid your mistakes in the future, but you might also pick up some new skills!

  • Encourages open discussions: Everyone struggles with some aspects of their job. Sometimes, the mistakes that you make reflect the mistakes your other teammates might have made. Having a good supervisor, leader, or teammate who chooses to advise you appropriately due to the mistakes you’ve made can be helpful. It reminds other struggling teammates to come clean with theirs. All for a good cause!

Taking responsibility for your mistakes might seem daunting. The stress of it all can seem horrifying to fresh graduates and new employees starting out. However, making the occasional mistake and choosing to come clean, will only result in stronger bonds. 


Accountability Empowers You

According to an article by Everwise, taking accountability for your mistakes at work transforms someone from being a powerless victim into an empowered individual. On paper this might not sound as impressive, however, there are some winning characteristics of being an empowered employee. These characteristics include: 

  • Honesty and openness: An employee who can accept reality is an open and honest individual. In addition, an employee who accepts reality finds it easier to view any situation without rose-coloured glasses.

  • Leadership traits: Acknowledging your mistake is a trait of a great leader. Taking ownership of what you’ve done wrong and choosing to accept it can lead to great results. If you’re someone looking to rise up the ranks within your organization. We’ve got several articles on leadership skills on the BGC Group blog.

  • Creative thinking: Learning and understanding the different reasons behind your mistakes can lead you to several out of the box thinking. Identifying your weaknesses allows you to strengthen them by practicing more. As well as come up with new methods and innovative solutions to avoid making the same mistakes continuously. 

On the other hand, an employee who continuously sees themselves as powerless victims can lead to some detrimental characteristics. These characteristics include the lack of awareness, constantly complaining, and the wait for impossible hope. For a more in-depth look at the terrible consequences of not taking accountability at the workplace. Check out this article by Everwise

How to Take Accountability in the Singaporean Workplace​

If you’re new to the workplace or the working life in general. Owning up to your mistakes at work can be tough. But these tips below might help taking accountability an easier task to do: 

  • Calm yourself down: Once you’ve realised the mistake that you’ve made. The first thing that you should do is to calm yourself down. Fear often leads to temper and you wouldn’t want to turn the situation sour with an emotional outburst. Excuse yourself to the bathroom or sit down and take a few deep breaths.

  • Figure out possible solutions: Now that you’re calm. Think of the many different solutions that you can offer to resolve the mistake. Is your mistake something that can be retracted easily? Then act quickly to figure out how you can nip it in the bud before any real consequences can take place. 

  • Talk to someone: If the mistake cannot be resolved immediately. Then sit down with a supervisor and confide in them. Tell them in short and succinct detail what happened. Do not take this as an opportunity to confide with your other teammates about the mistake yet. 

Looking for more insights on this topic? These articles listed below might be helpful:  


Has this article been helpful to you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! 


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