Are You Driving Mistakes Underground?


Mistakes happen to us all. The frequency and magnitude of the mistakes are pretty important to know. But are you creating an atmosphere where mistakes are scurrying for the shadows instead of being reported? Are you punishing mistakes instead of using them to create policies that will improve your organization?


The FAA thought that was happening and decided to create some new policies so air traffic controllers and technicians could openly and honestly report mistakes instead of keeping them under wraps for fear of retribution.  From CNN:

It may seem counterintuitive, but federal aviation officials said Wednesday they will make the skies safer for air travelers not by punishing FAA employees who report making mistakes, but by protecting them from punishment.


 Federal Aviation Administration officials announced that as part of a new “safety culture” at the agency, they would fully embrace nonpunitive reporting systems, in an effort to generate information that could expose bigger dangers.


 “Make no mistake about it: We don’t condone (errors),” said David Grizzle, the FAA’s Chief Operating Officer. “However, we presume the good intent of our controllers and are more interested in the free flow of information than we are in punishing for errors.”


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Mistakes are an important part of the learning process. But if your employees are so afraid they’re going to lose their jobs or be severely punished, they’ll try to cover up or not report important information.


What are you doing to make you employees feel safe enough to report mistakes?


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