It is estimated that nearly 90% of all workplace accidents are due to human error. It could be as simple as a typo, a misplaced tool, or the matter of a few seconds of forgetfulness. Whatever the case, the results could be disastrous, causing the loss of resources, investments, clients, and even life and limb. And while no one company can eliminate all human error, some measures can be taken to avoid and prevent a vast amount of it. Communication is one of those human error prevention tools.
Surveys taken in a variety of industries and company types show that what employees complain about their employers the most is a lack of communication. This leads to feelings of being undervalued, not trusted, and not motivated. No one works well under those conditions. But even more unsettling is the fact that this leads to a considerable increase in human error in the workplace.
When employees are not motivated to do their best, they don’t. They may even grow to no longer care about their job or their employer. They might skip a step to get done quicker or have attention failures for some tasks of their job. Some may even knowingly violate regulations and rules to get ahead or sabotage their employer.
Adding human error prevention tools such as open communication can change that. Employees should feel comfortable communicating with their co-workers and superiors, knowing that questions will be answered honestly and that what they have to say will be considered. They need to know they matter and are a part of something bigger than just a few simple tasks for the company. Having open communication from all parties ensures this happens and that all employees are working towards the same goal of reducing human error.
A Learning Process
Communication as human error prevention doesn’t just have a psychological effect on employees. Without open lines of communication in the workplace, essential information tends to get lost in the shuffle, never making it to some parties. This means that employees are not adequately trained or given crucial facts, data, or even processes that are depended on for overall success.
As technology continues to advance and industrial processes change, ongoing training, refresher courses, and meetings become critical for any industry/company to perform well. You want your employees to have all the knowledge they need at their fingertips. If they don’t, they are not likely to learn everything required of them, leading to lapses, mistakes, and errors.
They need to know everything about their job from the very beginning actions to the end and the policies that regulate those actions. Human error prevention training is always a good idea as well. The best employees are educated ones, and it’s your job to make sure they have all the education they need for reducing human errors.
Communication, as one of the most vital human error prevention tools, is something that can improve any business or workplace. However, it is a constant process that must be evaluated often to make sure it is working on teaching, training, and improving your employees’ abilities to perform and think. When your workplace is on the same page about this, you will be able to accomplish anything with much less human error.