Innocent Managers Take the Blame - Survey
14 October 2013 at 8:25 am
A third of senior managers said they have accepted the blame in the office for something that wasn’t their fault, a recent survey showed.
The OfficeTeam survey was conducted by an independent research firm and was based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the US.
It showed that 34 per cent of senior managers who took the fall reported they did so because they felt indirectly responsible for the problem, while 28 per cent revealed they just didn’t want to get others in trouble. Some 25 per cent said it was a minor infraction that wasn’t worth arguing over and 12 per cent said an explanation would have been more trouble than it was worth.
“It’s best to accept responsibility when you’ve made a mistake at work,” OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking said.
“However, sometimes professionals feel compelled to take the blame for something they didn’t do. Depending on the infraction, being the scapegoat only hurts your own reputation.”
OfficeTeam’s five tips for navigating the blame game at work:
1. Admit when you’re wrong. It’s better to acknowledge a mistake you’ve made than to try to deny it, cover things up or shift the blame. Others may find it easier to forgive and forget if you come clean from the get-go.
2. Move on. When something goes wrong, don’t get wrapped up in pointing fingers. Focus on what should be done to resolve the issue and avoid similar problems in the future.
3. Don’t always be the fall guy (or girl). It’s understandable for employees to cover for a colleague from time to time, but try not to make a habit of it. The individual who made the error may continue to make mistakes, and you will be the one whose job could be at risk.
4. Keep everyone honest. Make sure expectations are clearly outlined for every project. Document each person’s responsibilities and contributions so there’s accountability.
5. Give credit where it’s due. Acknowledge colleagues for their accomplishments and call attention to group successes. Make sure you’re also getting the recognition you deserve by providing status reports to your manager.
OfficeTeam is an US-based staffing service that specialises in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals.