Australia markets closed

How to apologise to your boss when you’ve screwed up at work

Made a mistake at work? Here's how to tell your boss. Source: Getty

Making a mistake at work can be stressful, and telling your boss can be terrifying. But, if you manage to do it right, owning up to mistakes can turn into relationship-building situations.

Indeed’s head of career insights, Jay Munro, told Yahoo Finance that mistakes and failing are learning curves, and it’s important that we get to experience them.

“In the workplace, everyone understands that we’re all human and we all make mistakes,” Munro said.

But while each of us will make a mistake at some point, there are some ways to handle it.

Stay calm

“If you make a mistake at work, which everyone will at some point, it's really important to not be overwhelmed immediately,” Munro said.

“A lot of people would have that emotion-lock where they think they’ve done something catastrophic, or worry their job’s on the line, but it’s actually most beneficial to just take a minute and start to look at what actually happened.”

The most beneficial thing to do, according to Munro, is to dissect the situation, understand what happened and why it happened, what it means, and what can be done next.

Admit fault

After you’ve figured out what went wrong, the next step is to admit fault, rather than wait for someone to pull you up on it.

“Be aware of things like trying to hide it or cover it up,” he said.

“It’s incredibly dangerous, it's a poor reflection of your character, it can affect trust, respect, and that can snowball out of control.”

Accept the blame

“That can kind of misrepresent your intentions are affect team dynamics and perceptions of your character and integrity.”

Munro said once you’ve done the hard yards of figuring out what went wrong, you need to just “front up and be brave,” and tell your manager what happened.

Figure out solutions

“The most sage advice I personally ever got from a mentor, when I first started working, was to always come to [him] with solutions, not problems.

“That’s the key: whenever something happens in the workplace, don't go to your manager with the problem and stop short.

“Show initiative and responsibility. Come to them with the problem, but also with some ideas around solutions.”

Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.

Yahoo Finance's All Markets Summit event is on September 26th this year. Source: Supplied