UK staff top the cover-up league table for work mistakes

UK employees lead the way in covering up mistakes made at work, according to global research from psychometric assessment firm SHL Group.

British workers claim that 72 per cent of the slip-ups they make on the job never come to light. Human errors are left uncorrected as employees keep quiet about their blunders, and managers fail to spot and correct wrongdoings.

The USA comes a close second, with 68 per cent of all staff mistakes never coming to the attention of the boss.

Elsewhere, the problem of undiscovered errors exists to a lesser extent. It seems that in Sweden, employees and bosses are more likely to confront mistakes – workers state that 53 per cent of their errors never come to light.

According to the latest findings from SHL’s Getting the Edge in the New People Economy report, conducted by the Future Foundation, managers believe that employee gaffes are already costing them dear – UK business is losing £9.8bn a year through human error.

Kevin Kerrigan, managing director at SHL UK, said: “The research indicates a wide difference in attitudes towards mistakes from country to country. The ‘stiff upper lip’ syndrome may mean that many British employees don’t like to admit that they need extra help, and try to gloss over errors rather than working with management to tackle issues straight on.”

Common workplace clangers:

  • Sending sensitive/damaging e-mails to the wrong contacts

  • Forgetting deadlines

  • Giving the wrong information

  • Adding/subtracting a zero on orders

  • Losing company property.

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