A Guide To Eliminating Human Error In Your Business

No matter how many hours have been put into ironing out the kinks in your business, human error will likely always be a threat. 52% of data and security breaches are down to human error, and has been the root cause of many, many tragedies. The scary thing? It can strike at any time!

Although you may not be able to eliminate human error 100%, there are ways you can prevent it and limit its devastating effects. If you’re interested to learn more about human error and the ways it can be prevented, then read on…

The Definition Of Human Error

Human error is a mistake that an employee of your business has performed. The mistake is unintentional, otherwise it should be considered a deliberate violation of policy. It doesn’t account for things like negligence and intentional mistakes. There’s a margin of error that comes with using machinery, and human error is the human equivalent.

Because of this, it can be extremely tough to predict and prevent. People perform at different capacities, and it isn’t usually consistent.

There are a couple of types of human error. There’s the kind that is carried out when actions are taken for granted; for example, an employee knows how to complete a task but zones out and makes a mistake, as their actions are taken for granted. Then, there are errors that occur from not understanding a task properly or not being given clear instructions. There are some devastating examples of what human error can do in both instances if you take a look.

It’s important to remember that blaming employees can lead to less trust, and they are less likely to bring up issues that can lead to failures. This in turn can mean management are less aware of system weaknesses that can potentially result in more mistakes later on. Having a systemic view for human error is much better as you will assume that some degree of human error is normal and you can then put a system in place that will help you to detect, prevent, and correct the errors.

Checklists To Prevent Human Error

Checklists can be an extremely helpful way of preventing human error. Using checklists helps your team to break down tasks into bitesize chunks, making seemingly impossible things seem easier. Task lists can also help to prevent a lapse in memory, and more detailed instructions will help you to limit any slip ups.

Of course, your team could still ignore the checklist or misread your instructions. However, this is still a better alternative than simply expecting your team to rely on memory to complete tasks.

Limit Access to Sensitive Systems

By limiting access to sensitive systems to only those who need access, you’ll be able to keep things more secure and ensure only well trained employees have access. You’ll greatly reduce the likelihood of human error by doing this.

Developing A Strong Disaster Recovery Plan

With a strong disaster recovery plan, you’ll take steps to identify and mitigate potential risks. This can ensure all of your employees are on the same page when it comes to preventing mistakes, as well as quickly addressing them. Ensure all employees read and understand your disaster recovery plan.

Train Your Staff Consistently

Many organizations don’t properly prioritize training, and this is a huge mistake. Staff education can go such a long way to improving the quality of data and preventing mistakes. By explaining the importance of accuracy and how it impacts your business/customers, you’ll ensure everybody is on the same page and that mistakes are reduced.

Use Automated Verification Processes

Using software and solutions in various channels to help you automate verification processes can help to prevent inaccurate information getting onto your directories.

Clean Your Data Over Time

Repeated list hygiene is crucial when you take into account things like changes in information, such as frequent changes of address. By taking care of regular cleaning you will be able to review this information and ensure the data is managed well and up to standard.

Evaluate Individual Performance

By evaluating individual performance, you’ll be able to ensure there are no conditions that lead to overload for employees, which can create attention failures and lapses in memory. You’ll want to look at things like fitness for duty or fatigue management, complexity and task design, and more.

Automate What You CanIf there’s something you do every day, or consistently in your business, chances are you can automate it. There are many apps, software, and systems available. Using things like invoice matching process can ensure accurate invoices as well as getting more done in a shorter space of time.


Conclusion: Can You Eliminate Human Error?

It is possible to minimize and prevent some forms of human error, even though it’s unlikely you’ll be able to eliminate it 100%. Having accurate administration processes in place can ensure there are clear instructions and accurate procedures that are crucial for preventing human error. Things like appropriate processes and work environment can also make a big difference. Relevant training, supervision, open and easy communication, individual performance evaluation – it all cumulatively affects your business and how mistakes are minimized.

Humans are not robots are we cannot be expected to operate in a vacuum. Behaviour can be influenced by many things, including external and internal variables. Of course individuals are responsible for their actions, and multiple mistakes should not just be excused, but having a blame mindset rarely helps. Organizations are responsible for eliminating the possibilities of external factor influencing human behavior.

With all this in mind, make next year a year you’re going to dedicate to recovery. Avoid human error and the cost of this error. By taking control of these issues you’ll reveal opportunities that you never considered before. Companies can lose a substantial amount of money because of avoidable mistakes – prevention is absolutely key. By using the advice here, your team will become more productive and confident in their work. They’ll come with the intention to do a good job, and leave feeling a victim of weak systems and processes if nothing is done sooner rather than later.

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