How The Best Managers Identify & Deal With A Blame Culture

July 13, 2017

All managers can attest to the fact that they have to deal with a blame culture at the office.

Employees quickly learn when they can get off the hook by transferring fault to someone else, and bosses end up feeling annoyed and frustrated by wasting time looking for “a culprit” while the work is stalled and productivity is lost.

In fact, “a rampant culture of blame have a serious disadvantage when it comes to creativity, learning, innovation, and productive risk-taking,” according to one source.

In order to stop this cycle, managers need to identify and deal with a blame culture in the following ways:

Be Aware

Managers are often busy and don’t have the time to sit down and analyse the inner workings of their departments.

However, the blame game is like a virus, and once one employee sees another get away with blaming someone else for their error, they will likely do the same thing.

Managers must step up and identify employees that try to blame others as soon as it happens, and stop them in their tracks.

Create A No-Blame Policy

One of the best ways to nix the blame culture is to make it known that it will not be tolerated.

Include this policy in your corporate handbook and hold a meeting to make sure all of the employees are on the same page.

Explain that the only time blaming is acceptable is when there is a chance to learn from the mistake.

Let your workers know that if they feel the need to bring up someone’s error up to you, they need to first think if they simply want to get the blame off themselves, get someone else in trouble, or if there is really a need to step in and teach the other person to do better.

If this is not the case, don’t tolerate blaming, and let your staff members know that you will expect them to own up to their mistakes and move forward.

Improve Your Staff’s Self Worth

One study found that blaming was completely obliterated in experiments when the subjects’ self worth was bolstered.

“By giving participants the chance to bolster their self-worth, we removed their need to self-protect through subsequent blaming,” the study explained.

In other words, people feel the need to blame others when they feel that they will get in trouble or their job would be on the line.

Managers can prevent this idea by making sure employees know that management expects them to make mistakes, and that is fine as long as they learn from them and improve.

Raise their self worth by providing proper training and mentorship, and recognition for a job well done.