9 Reasons For Failure (Regardless Of Industry Or Department)

Failures are an inevitable part of running a business, organisation, facility, or any other entity. What’s important is knowing how to learn from mistakes and set up the right channels for reporting them. 

In any type of organisation, you need to promote employee involvement in resolving and avoiding the repetition of mistakes. However, you cannot do that without understanding the common reasons causing them. Hence in this blog post, we will be talking about nine common reasons for mistakes regardless of industry or department.

9 Reasons For Failure


1. Inadequate training


Enabling employees to complete tasks properly, and with minimal mistakes, requires time and effort. When people do not understand what they are doing or how to do it optimally, there is a higher chance of making mistakes or failing to complete tasks altogether. Mitigate this risk by providing all employees with adequate training.


2. Lack of information


Working without sufficient or relevant information is just as bad as not being trained. Access to information and clear information-sharing techniques are important for capacitating your workers to complete their work. You need to make sure workers have all the information they need to complete their tasks with confidence.


3. Low confidence


If employees do not have confidence and understanding, it will have an impact on the quality of their work and their performance (ie: the number of mistakes they make). Increasing confidence goes hand in hand with training and providing sufficient information, but also includes promoting a culture of openness where everybody feels that they can ask for more information if needed.


4. Complex systems


Some surroundings and functions will have more chance of failure and mistakes than others. This means a failure could be inherent to a system based on its complexity. There is usually a limited set of improvements to reduce the complexity itself, but as general rule of thumb, all steps in a process should be well-documented in order to increase the likelihood of succeeding.


5. Ill-discipline or negligence


Other times, failures happen as a result of the employee’s negligence. This involves failure to abide by departmental or operational procedures, or disregarding rules and methods. The root causes vary and might be about organisational problems, individual relationships with supervisors or lack of motivation as a whole. Thus, offering a turnkey solution is impossible but being aware of these issues is always the beginning. To do that, having a low-threshold incident reporting platform helps a lot.


6. Not learning from past mistakes


A huge cause of repeated failures and mistakes is that organisations do not address the root causes of failure the first time around. These unaddressed problems are like snowballs starting to roll down from the top of a mountain, getting bigger and bigger as more time passes. To avoid this, push to understand underlying issues, mitigate them, document the corrective actions, and make sure relevant people are being trained based on this new information.


7. Poor reporting channels


Poor incident or issue reporting channels and policies can cause blockages in identifying and resolving issues. To learn from past mistakes, you need to enable the possibility for employees to report and notify you when mistakes happen. To do this, you need to have a proper channel, make sure people know how to find it, and make the reporting itself as effortless as it can be.


8. A lack of strategic communication


If the strategy of your department or business isn't communicated properly, employees won’t know their goals or how to best execute their everyday work. This makes it more likely that they will face problems and failures. To address this, make sure that everybody understands both the bigger scope and how their role plays into achieving it. As an additional tip, we highly recommend organisations to look into both KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).


9. Incompetent management


The role of management and a manager is key for minimising failures and mistakes. Managers are responsible for defining clear plans and goals, conducting quality checks, and organising and monitoring subordinates. Without these, the likelihood of unchecked mistakes and failures increases. To decrease the risk of managerial fails, make sure that managers have the support they need by providing them with both relevant tools and personal advice to succeed.


Final Thoughts


Failures are like a two-sided sword. Although it’s important to embrace them at times (as a learning curve), it is also necessary to avoid them where possible. Understanding why or how failures happen gives you valuable insight to help you address the causes instantly.

Are you looking for a tool to report failures, document corrective actions and share best practices across your organisation? ticks all the boxes for effortless reporting, investigation management, customisability, real dialogue and a lot more. Start your FREE trial today to see how it could help your organisation:

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Incident Reporting Incident Management Learning from Failure

Arttu Vesterinen

Chief Executive Officer