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Business Security: How To Eliminate Negligence And Human Error

Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another – George Washington.

Indeed, the biggest threat most companies have is not one of external competition nor that of a declining economy, but rather an internal threat that erodes profits from within. This threat manifests itself in two ways: human error and negligence.


                                                                                                        Image by twodolla

Human Error

Acceptance of the fact that everyone makes mistakes, it should not be a great surprise that one of the key problems companies have stem from human error. Many times, management may describe a company mishap as ‘human error’ or ‘operator error which tends to shift responsibility from the company to the individual.

Human error can also be avoided by having a strict online communication policy. Emails, for example, are still very much a part of the way employees communicate with others.  Training employees to carefully review their messages and the appropriateness of their message will help avoid human error when communicating with clients and each other within the organization.


Admitting negligence tends to be more serious than admitting human error. In contrast to human error, negligence does not encompass a lack of competency per se, but instead discloses a lack of due diligence.

Employees who show poor judgment, a lack of discipline, or simply the intention of doing harm often converge into being characterized as a blanket confession of employee negligence.

Company officers may use the term negligence to maintain that employees have the capacity for doing their jobs, but that on a particular occasion, find certain employees who chose to use poor judgment or have been found to be “bad seeds”. Whether a company acknowledges human error or negligence, rest assured that no such acceptance would be complete without how to prevent such things from happening in the future.

Avoiding A Neglect Of Discipline

The key to avoiding human error and negligence within a company is to first differentiate the two in terms of capacity. Human error emerges from a lack of proper skill sets, knowledge and understanding about the job description, and perhaps even misunderstandings in how one’s job relates to other functions or departments within an organization.

On the other hand, negligence develops from employees having the capacity to do the job but who either lack the proper dispositions or attitudes about the company, or may suffer from personal issues that undermine the level of professionalism that the company expects. Understanding the distinction between human error and negligence is the first step in finding a solution.

In the case of human error, a company must first evaluate orientation programs for new hires to make sure that adequate training aligns with the mission and vision statements of the company. A mentoring program can help in this regard. As new hires gain the necessary skills and understandings pertinent to their respective jobs, they also are able to maintain a relationship with experts inside the company so that support is available when needed.

Negligence When Hiring

Avoiding negligence can be a bit more complicated.  Although mentoring programs used to avoid human error can be helpful, careful consideration should also be taken at the time a candidate is hired into the organization. Checking past employment experiences while under stress might expose how candidates handle difficult situations in terms of professional judgment when making job-related decisions.

Additionally, the interview process is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate how they would possibly handle situations directly related to the job candidates are applying for.

Companies face internal forces that can negative effect the company’s bottom line in two ways: human error and negligence. To avoid these issues, companies need to maintain ongoing support systems for new hires through proper orientation and mentoring programs.

These new programs help new employees gain the necessary skill sets and understandings needed to do their jobs well while allowing more expert employees to exercise their capacity to help others for the betterment of the organization.

Likewise, careful hiring tactics need to also be in place so that the right kinds of individuals are being hired in terms of disposition, judgment, and the ability to make sound job-related decisions under stressful situations. Such hiring tactics may help in preventing the neglect of discipline that gives others the superiority over another.

How else might companies deal with neglect and human error in the workplace? Share your ideas and comments below.

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License: Creative Commons

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Benjamin Stewart is an enthusiastic blogger who specializes in business and technology. He takes a keen interest in business security and recommends Essentra Security.

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