Life without a problem is just an illusion. Everyone will always have to deal with various kinds of problems in their everyday life, be it major or minor such as being unable to open a jam can. In a workplace setting, problems, difficult situations, and challenges can occur more frequently because the workplace is the home of challenges.
AMA survey revealed that leaders want their workforce to be fully equipped with skills that go beyond the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic to grow businesses. These skills include critical thinking and problem-solving. Workplace presents ongoing challenges on a daily basis and there is no shortage of challenges and issues that can arise on the job. Be it large or small, employees need to deal with problems constructively and fairly. That said, having the necessary skills to identify solutions to any challenges is one of the skills that should be improved by employees.
Problem-solving skills are the right answer to the challenges mentioned above as it helps employees determine the source of a problem and find an effective solution. Commonly, problem-solving skills fall under a few key skills such as follows:
Furthermore, it is a leader’s responsibilities to help employees master those skills. But how can leaders usher employees to hone their problem-solving skills? Here are the critical steps to use.
First thing leaders should do is to help trainees acquire basic job skills that help them understand how stuff works. When they understand the foundation, it will be easier for them to find possible solutions for a more complicated issue.
For example, when employees understand that being a customer service requires creativity and fast-thinking ability, listening as well as decision-making skills, they can develop a critical mind to come with a solution when customers demand an answer.
In order to help employees be better problem solvers, leaders should help employees obtain good job knowledge by doing coursework, providing training or practice. Practices are the best method to allow the lesson to retain longer in employees’ mind and heart.
Instructions are needed to help employees find new goals. Too detailed instructions, however, do not help employees build their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. It will only make employees lazier to find solutions because they might only rely on your assistance and instruction when a new problem arises.
Therefore, instead of giving detailed instructions, leaders should give goals and expectations instead. Then, let your employees figure out the rest. This guide should be accompanied by providing resources and time when employees need it.
Just like another strategy of building a strong team, trust is always the best ingredient. Your employees can solve their own problems because you give them room to improve their capacity of creative thinking towards solutions. But of course, this exercise should be accompanied by assistance from leaders.
When granting trust, you should provide an opportunity by putting them into new situations or challenges. For example, there is a new project in your company. Instead of handling the project to upper staff, you can authorise it to your trainees. Let your employees take over the project, give them credence, and assist them during the progress.
In this method, leaders should give examples or allow employees to see an example of how others solving problems in their expertise. As an example, let employees learn from a credible senior when they handle difficult clients on the spot. Generally, observing how colleagues solve problems can help trainee staff improve their skills. Thus, employees will be better problem solvers.
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