The Right Way To Apologize When You Mess Up At Work

As functioning, working adults, we expect the best of ourselves, especially at the workplace.

However, making mistakes at work is inevitable, but most of them probably won’t end up getting you fired (we hope!).

Still, when you’ve really messed up at work, it’s a good idea to ‘fess up, and it’ll probably fix your reputation too. Here’s the right way to apologize when you’ve messed up at work.

1. When you can’t fix it by yourself

Source: Devil Wears Prada

Sometimes at work, we make mistakes involving clients (yikes, but sh*t happens), like a typo on a super-important document that you may not have the authority to correct. The best way to apologize is to own up immediately and offer an immediate solution. Your boss or client may gain respect for you because you had the courage to own up.

Bring an offering, like a gift, to the client next time you meet them and apologize. After that, try to move on. Sh*t happens, even to the best people.

2. When you can/ can’t afford to fix it

So, you’ve broken an equipment #clumsypeopleproblems. Well, at least the mistake is internal so it doesn’t involve people from the outside of your company. Offer to replace the piece of equipment, but only if you can afford to. Your boss may not take you up on it, but at least they’ll know that you tried to rectify the mistake.

If you can’t afford to fix the item, apologize profusely, and don’t take their response personally. Next time you see your boss, try to make small talk without bringing up the mistake. If they’ve moved on, so can you.

3. When you can actually fix it

Say you accidentally posted a personal Instagram story on your company’s social media account, but realized it a little too late. By now, 100 people would have seen it! Eek! Depending on the content of the story, simply delete the evidence first, and apologize to your boss if they’ve seen it.

If your colleague has alerted you on the mistake, thank them, and reassure the company that it will never happen again. This stuff happens, and the viewers will probably understand.