About 90% of workplace accidents are caused by human errors. Several factors may increase the rate of human errors in the workplace. One of the major causes is cognitive overload, which causes your employees to make errors they wouldn’t otherwise make under the normal cognitive conditions. Cognitive load errors occur when the brain has reached the maximum learning zone and cannot accurately process any new information.
When the cognitive load is too heavy to process, your employees will be more error-prone. This can lead to untold losses in your company, especially if the employees operate complex machinery, software or are tasked with making critical operational decisions.
To reduce cognitive load errors in your workplace, consider the following ideas.
1. Invest in Human Error Prevention Training
When you search how to prevent human error in the workplace, one of the top suggestions you’ll find is investing in human error reduction training. These programs are effective because they help you identify and fix the cause of human errors in your workplace, rather than fixing the mistakes done. Error prevention training is a key step towards accident prevention in your workplace, particularly if you’re in the manufacturing industry.
Companies that offer human error solutions services approach cognitive load errors from a data and science-driven perspective. Typically, this takes place in six steps that focus on finding and fixing the causes of human errors in your workplace. These steps are; initial diagnostic assessment, training events and educational programs, human reliability assessments, implementing system changes, collective behavior modification, and monitoring. By investing in an error reduction program, you’ll reduce the rate of human errors by 60% within twelve months. Additionally, error prevention training will keep your operations in compliance with manufacturing practices.
2. Have Flexible and Accommodative WorkSpaces for Your Employees
Employees need a quiet workspace that enhances their focus on the task-at-hand. Depending on the nature of work, a more collaborative workspace may be more suitable for your employees. Some of the factors that contribute to cognitive load errors are internal interruptions in the workplace. For instance, in the warehouse, the constant beeping of equipment and machines or workers talking loudly over the factory noise to coordinate a task will interrupt those workers who are not involved.
When your employees work in an appropriate workspace with minimal interruptions, they can better handle other internal distractions like constantly hovering over social media and email inboxes. Having a conducive work environment will minimize employee distraction. Consequently, this will prevent and reduce cognitive load errors in your workplace. In the long end, this will enhance the overall productivity of your employees.
3. Develop an Effective Communication and Managerial Plan
The many communication channels available today present a unique challenge to the modern workplace- communication overflow. You should have a well-coordinated communication platform for your employees and managers to communicate professionally, promptly, and efficiently. Without a single-channel communication platform, your workers will have to switch from one platform to another to coordinate tasks. This multitasking will reduce the overall efficiency of your team, and cognitive load errors will be more prevalent.
You should also collaborate with your managers to establish which tasks are urgent and which ones are important. Having a common understanding will help you prioritize tasks and avoid false urgency, which is becoming a common menace in the modern workplace. Additionally, it will stop managers from causing employees unnecessary agitation and interrupting their cognitive workflow.
4. Give Your Employees Proper Recovery Time
Enough recovery time helps your employees replenish their mental energy and avoid cognitive overload. To refresh their minds, employees need to switch tasks by doing something different outside the familiar realms of their job description. Given your employees enough off-time will help reduce the cognitive load errors significantly.
Reducing human errors in your workplace increases your overall efficiency and saves your business both time and money. Implementing the above-discussed strategies in your company will help you reduce and prevent cognitive load errors substantially.