Problem-solving is as common as it sounds and is a must-have for any organization. According to the American Psychological Association, problem-solving refers to the process by which individuals attempt to overcome difficulties, achieve plans that move them from a starting situation to the desired goal, or reach conclusions through the use of higher mental functions, such as reasoning and creative thinking.
Back in the day, organizations had a lesser volume of problems as compared to the present. In the present day, we witness problems like recruiting the right talent, monitoring performance, uncertainties about the future, and the list goes on.
Even though we have HRs and teams working on resolving the issues today, there are times when they miss out on the key points. In a fast-paced world, it's bound to happen that organizations today wouldn't get enough time to focus on the minor issues the employees are facing. The focus on productivity and efficiency hinders personal growth and development at times.
8 Must have skills to cope with problem-solving:
Identify the root cause
The first and foremost step to solving any problem would be to identify the root cause of the problem. How do you do that? The most basic thing to do would be to look at it from multiple perspectives. By doing this, you understand the multiple facets of the issue and its effect on the employees. Individual communication is also a great way to understand the current situation. Identifying the root cause not only helps fathom the situation well but also eradicates the problem for its origin. It aims to target various issues in a specific manner.
Defining and categorizing the problem
Once the process of identification is complete, the next step would be to define the problem. What defines the problem? Defining the problem would mean thoroughly studying it and then categorizing it into different sectors. For example- communication issues, recruitment problems, market factors, etc.
Doing this would make it easier to combat the problems and create an effective strategy around them. For example- if it's a problem related to overworking the employees, a clear-cut strategy can be made to resolve it.
Think about alternative solutions
We've all heard the phrase, "what may work for someone, might not work on somebody else". It's important to consider that there is no "one medicine for all". Each problem needs its unique solution as per the needs of the people or the organization. Dealing with a certain issue with a narrow-minded or single-solution approach may do more harm than good. What we need here is a diversified- solution-oriented approach to deal with it. A diversified approach would mean multiple solutions catering to the various needs of the employees and the organization. Aim to jot down at least 6-8 solutions for a particular problem. You can also use different surveys and group discussions to figure this out.
Evaluating the solution
Evaluating the solutions would mean analyzing alternatives to form an informed decision. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each option specified in the previous stage. Examine and contrast each option's resource requirements, including time, data, personnel, and budget, for execution. Estimating these factors would specify if a particular solution is feasible and worth investing time in.
Executing the chosen solution
The detailed analysis would help in choosing the best possible solution for a particular situation. Working with those who are most familiar with the issue will help you implement your solution. This may aid in unblocking people who are most impacted by the issue. After that, travel further away to those who are less impacted, and so on. Some problems can be solved without going through several teams. Note that executing a solution might take time and several changes in the organization. It can witness some resistance at times, therefore it's important to take it slow and give employees their time and space to adapt to it.
After figuring out what and how to do it, it's critical to assign different responsibilities to employees so that the problem can be combated effectively. How would delegation help? The delegation would make each one responsible to take up the task and bring about a collective change in the organization. A positive counterpart of this would be a sense of togetherness in the employees and a strive for good change.
Working backward is sometimes the best method to tackle an issue. If you need to reproduce specific occurrences to identify the main source of an issue, this can be useful. For instance, a car company might aim to create a vehicle that is superior to the most recent model from a rival. They might achieve this by researching the development process of their rival's car through reverse engineering. Then they might imitate the actions taken by their rival to produce a brand-new, better automobile.
Measure the results
Well, if you've worked on something it wouldn't be fair if you don't know if it yielded results. After a successful implementation, it's reasonable to see if it worked. Keep in mind to measure your results after a certain period for the best results. Measuring the results immediately wouldn't be as accurate. Consider a person who's just starting exercising to lose weight. Will you see a difference in 2 days? No. You might see a small difference after a month or so. Therefore, it's important to space out measurements with time.
Typical Concerns at Work:
You feel your career has halted:
There are times when you feel stagnated by upliftment's or promotions at the workplace. Your career seems to have stagnated in its growth, so you seriously need to work on the stagnation. You need to find out where and how you can break through the point and soar your career with greater achievements and accomplishments. The areas you should focus on are:
Chart your career so far, mark the milestones and achievements to get a timeline for yourself
Showcase your achievements in a way that your network, coworkers and supervisors can notice them
Keep learning and updating your skills while you polish your existing ones too
Initiate and participate in projects / tasks and activities that encourage you to work towards your organizational goals
Find an ideal in your organization, who can mold your career for the future
Network and participate in activities, projects, volunteering outside the organization to enhance your skills
Gain some experience in areas of your interest and showcase them too
Use LinkedIn to showcase your accomplishments, activities and get seen
The Glass Ceiling effect
This is an effect that defines stagnation in career which turns out to be suffocative to sustain. This results in many issues such as stress, irritation and mood swings, grudges, isolation and even ill habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco, consuming alcohol for stress relief.
The major side effect is Chronic Stress. This has several accompanying problems such as:
Over or Poor Eating Habits
Poor or Lack of sleep
Stereotyped or Pigeon-Holed
When your skills are compartmentalized in a single mold, it's time to break through! You have been performing the same old monotonous routine responsibilities that have stereotyped you. You have let people identify you by your regular receptivity of tasks and never thought of experimenting with newer areas of work, nor tried intersecting with other simultaneous skill sets that could probably give you a window of opportunity! This got you stuck and stereotyped over the time!
However, if you have realized it now, then this is what you should do:
Ask / initiate into new skill sets and get away with the comfortable cozy delegation
Involve yourself into newer areas of work
Volunteer or take charge of newer assignments
Learn from a peer/ supervisor if needed to shift yourself out of your comfort zone
Pick a new skill to upgrade yourself - there are plenty free resources online to upskill yourself without the world letting know about your next moves
Exhibit your polished and new skills on LinkedIn and other social media platforms
Share it with your office / department for a visibility
Problem-solving is not a one-stop destination. It is a continuous process that takes time, effort, and openness. Let's look at it as a process to learn and grow so that we can make the best possible choices for ourselves and others!
Hope you found this article helpful. If you or your organization is interested to learn more about such attributes and behavioral skills at the workplace, feel free to get in touch with us at RGB Training Services!