Top 8 most embarrassing workplace mistakes

We’re all guilty of one or two of these mortifying faux pas

Top 8 most embarrassing workplace mistakes

Mistakes are a fact of life. Whether it’s forgetting to turn the oven off, pushing a door when you’re supposed to pull, or even calling a friend by the wrong name – embarrassing mishaps are part and parcel of humanity.

However, mistakes are generally considered to be ten times more mortifying when you make them at work.

According to a recent report from CV-Library, one in three employees admit to making an embarrassing faux pas in the workplace- what’s more, one in three claim to have attempted to cover them up.

“It’s not ideal to have your employees make mistakes, especially if they’re embarrassing and could have otherwise been avoided,” explained Lee Biggins, founder of CV-Library. “Make sure you educate your teams on what is acceptable at work and why honesty is the best policy.

“After all, you need to build trust with your employees. While mistakes happen, you don’t want them to feel like they can’t talk to you about it; regardless of how embarrassing the situation is. Let them know that you can work together to come to a solution.”

The research also uncovered the top eight most embarrassing mistakes made by employees, which HRD has listed below.

  1. Tripping over in front of the whole office – 22.4%
  2. Sending a negative email to the wrong person – 16.7%
  3. Getting too drunk at a work party – 15.7%
  4. Leaving a smell in the bathroom – 14.6%
  5. Getting caught bad-mouthing a colleague – 11.7%
  6. Accidentally saying ‘love you, bye’ on a work call – 9.6%
  7. Congratulating someone on being pregnant when they weren’t - 8.5%
  8. Having food stuck in your teeth all day – 7.1%

“While disciplining your staff for their embarrassing mistake may seem like rubbing salt in the wounds, in some cases it is completely necessary,” continued Biggins.

“If you’re not sure what to do, check with HR on your policy. In the current market, where it’s difficult to hire, you’ll want to do your best to retain top employees; regardless of whether they make mistakes or not!”

What’s the most embarrassing mistake you’ve ever made at work? Tell us in the comments.

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD Asia.

Recent articles & video

How will Budget 2020 impact HR policies?

Budget 2020: Singapore tackles workplace discrimination

How can HR become 'connector leaders'?

Budget 2020: Singapore reviews foreign worker policy

Most Read Articles

Coronavirus: 300 DBS staff evacuated from office

Google's HR chief to step down

Coronavirus: Singapore's healthcare workers forced to cancel holiday plans