Should you encourage employees to try and fail?

In today’s competitive marketplace, failure is often feared. After all, no one likes to lose at something – especially in the dog-eat-dog world of business, regardless of the industry. However, does the fear of failure mean that your employees are unwilling to think outside the box?

A fear of failure can bring upon any number of negative consequences. For example, Kim Kovacs, founder and CEO of the software company OptionEase, claims that failure is her favorite word at her company and that sometimes an employee’s fear of failure can actually be detrimental to the organization.

“People are so concerned about being successful all the time that sometimes they take shortcuts to be successful. I had a salesperson who would basically do anything with the client to get the deal. It was killing our company…she always had to sell something that didn’t exist. She couldn’t sell what we had. [I told her] you’ve got to fail. You are going to lose deals. You’re going to fail and you’re going to learn how to overcome those failures with the next deal and sell what we have, not what we’re going to have in six months… It’s OK to fail. If you can recognize the failure before it becomes epic, that’s a really good thing. You’re going to learn way more every time you fail at something than when you are succeeding,” Kovacs told Inc. magazine.

Employees need to be able to accept their failures and know that going back to the figurative drawing board is not a bad thing – sometimes it can even result in an even better solution.

“If (Roger Bannister) had run a four-minute mile the first time out of the gate, would he have run for nine years? Probably not. He might not have recognized that it was the wind behind his back, that it was the training he was on, the shoes he was in, he may not have had an opportunity to test all those failure points,” Kovacs told the news source.

Interestingly enough, new reports from Google and advice from Kovacs all support a new trend of hiring people who were once either fired from a job or who failed to get a perfect grade. It seems that the ability to take a punch and keep on rolling and the courage it requires to throw out an idea, make an employee a stronger candidate for future success. Recruiting software helps allow a staffing professional find these qualities in a potential job candidate and determine whether the person is the right fit for a company.

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