One of the greatest mistakes in any business is seeking blame when a problem occurs. A true timewaster, labeling someone as the enemy with blame does nothing to solve the problem. It wrecks morale and can seriously damage relationships, as well as building up resentment among co-workers. Blame is pointless until the problem is solved. Until solved, everyone should be working toward fixing the solution, and not toward blaming a co-worker.
As an employee, I have seen countless examples of several people arguing over who did what and who is going to fix it. Early on, these experiences made me extremely uncomfortable, and at times very anxious. Now? HA! It’s hilarious. I mean, where else can you watch grown, responsible, hardworking adults bicker like children on the playground fighting over a swing?
It also makes the blamers look weak, especially if those laying blame are of management or even worse, ownership. Think about it- if you are a part of a fortune 500 company and suddenly your CEO comes down from their office and starts screaming because they noticed a problem? Worse yet, they didn’t even come up with a solution, nor did they try to assemble the troops to try and solve the issue. It shows weak leadership, poor problem solving skills, and cruelty. Would you be motivated to help this person? I hope not.
That being said, if there truly is blame to place, place it later. In a private meeting, and discipline the person appropriately, IN PRIVATE. Berating and screaming at an individual that made a mistake does nothing. It does not make the aggressor look good, powerful, or intelligent. It does not make the employee being attacked more willing to work, or to even continue to work.
Try this. The next time crap hits the fan at your place of business and you’re in the position to blame someone? Don’t. Instead, come up with a solution, and then rally your fellow employees and superiors around you to help solve it. Then, leave the discipline and resulting discussion for later, and for god’s sake, IN PRIVATE.
Be kind, get stuff done. Period.