Even though fear of reprisal or failure may mean supervision does not sit well with some employees, making mistakes is perfectly normal and a really valuable learning tool. And yet, in many claims against professionals there is a clear absence of any such system.
Readers of the DWF Link newsletter are probably more than familiar with the process for supervision of new joiners and trainees (for example) but what happens a year or two later? Are the more senior colleagues in your business free to send work product out to clients without supervision or peer review? If so, do you think this makes good business sense? Do we, as humans, cease to make mistakes because we get older? Are we immune from errors purely because we are ten years into a career or post? These are rhetorical questions in reality as the answer is surely no. As an example, a recent case study looking into (10) claims against solicitors found that all had been caused by procedural errors rather than the actual legal advice .
Some companies have a peer review system in place for all, from the newest graduate to the longest serving senior director anything that impacts a client is double, if not triple, check as standard. This is, undoubtedly, best practice in risk management. Admittedly, not all mistakes will give rise to adverse outcomes. However by fostering a culture where peer review/supervision is part of day to day business and mistakes are made and remedied at the low-stakes, low-impact stages you may find clients receive a better service, staff are learning and growing more (and across all career levels) and complaints and/or claims are minimised.
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Written by Gemma Spratt