Perhaps you forgot a major deadline? Maybe you feel that your workmates are the ones at fault? Whatever the reason for your excuses, it's time to stop making them. Defensive explanations in the workplace serve no one.
Own it. Be present. Hold yourself accountable.
By switching attitudes you'll foster more trustworthy relationships and be altogether more energised and motivated at work. Let's unpack some classic excuses and show you how to handle the situation with responsibility and a solutions-based mindset.
"I didn't realise it was due today."
What it says to your boss: you lack time management skills.
When you're set a task or goal, the first thing you need to be certain of is when it is due. That way you can prioritise your workflow strategically and make sure you'll never miss a deadline again.
According to fresh research, an incredible 82% of people don't use any time management system, so be part of the percentage that make planning a priority. Make lists based on urgency, break tasks down into manageable daily or weekly chunks, and take advantage of your phone or computer's Calendar app to set your deadlines in stone.
"I thought so-and-so was handling it."
What it says to your boss: you're shirking responsibility.
If you work in a team, like in a labourer job for instance, it's all too easy to play the blame game. If you're being pulled up on something but claim you didn't know about it, it just makes you look like you're trying to wriggle out failure to do a task.
Face up, the blame lies with you for not knowing what your role responsibilities were. When briefed on a project or task, confirm with your superior what is expected of you and where your duties lie.
"Sorry, I forgot"
What it means to your boss: you lack organisational skills.
Forgetting things happens to everyone from time to time, but there's no excuse for severe or chronic forgetfulness. It just reflects badly on you. Research shows that within one hour, people forget an average of 50% information that's been presented to them, so it's vital to keep your brain-boosted and in peak performance.
Eat well and sleep well to turbocharge your memory so you're always on the ball. Get organised by taking notes in meetings and setting yourself reminder alerts. Consider implementing smart software and productivity tools that can streamline your tasks and never put off tomorrow what you can do today.
"I don't have enough tools."
What it means to your boss: you should have spoken-up sooner.
As the saying goes, a good worker should never blame his tools - and this includes a lack of. If you're working on a contract job on a construction site, a lack of tools is a legitimate concern. But waiting until it's too late is not a smart move, especially with safety issues to consider.
Before inadequate resources become significant problems, communicate what equipment or software you feel is missing as soon as possible to your team leader. Speak to your co-workers and get their opinion as well so you present a unified approach to eliminating a lack of resources.
"I didn't know how to do it."
What it means to your boss: you are ill-prepared and lack initiative.
Whether you did, or didn't, this is something no superior likes to hear. It's a weak excuse that makes you look like you didn't listen or didn't prepare sufficiently.
Being proactive, eager to learn and able to take initiative are desirable qualities and crucial skill sets to have. It's simple: don't know something? Find out. Ask your colleagues or team leader. Are the answers something you can research independently? Get Googling and show your boss how you can shine.
You may even be rewarded for your proactive mindset. A recent report revealed that 84% of highly engaged employees were recognised when they went above and beyond at work, compared to only 25% of disengaged employees.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.