Most of your job postings likely cite problem-solving skills as a requirement for new candidates. But just how often and how well does your team problem solve in their daily activities? The ability to identify a problem and develop a creative solution is essential for productivity. Investing in actionable problem-solving training could be the best thing you do to boost productivity this year.
Why Problem Solving Matters
Every company faces problems, and failing to solve those problems leads to inefficiency, redundancies and lack of productivity and these factors can impact your employees’ job satisfaction and morale. You can spot a need for problem-solving skills if your team experiences issues such as:
- Recurring issues: An unsolved problem will keep rearing its head. Identifying the changes that need to be made in systems and processes, and then eliminating those issues will prevent problems from coming back.
- Departmental and business unit conflicts: If the same departments seem to be at odds on a regular basis, there are underlying problems that need to be addressed and resolved. When departments are unable to work together to rise above these issues, problems move downstream and spread to other departments, as well.
- Redundancies and waste: If a project, task, or process must be reworked when a new team member or department gets its hands on it, you have issues in your systems and processes. Redundancies waste time and wasted time leads to wasted money and lower productivity.
- Individuals are attempting to solve problems on their own: One employee may find a solution to an issue they face, but that doesn’t eliminate problems facing the entire team.
Training your employees to tackle problem-solving together, to find the root causes of issues and create solutions that positively impact their team, other teams and the company as whole will reduce bottlenecks, eliminate rework and waste, and boost productivity overall.
Problem-Solving Training Isn’t Always Enough
A great training program won’t necessarily solve all your problems, however. Employees must be empowered to use their skills. This means that leaders need to resist the urge to micromanage and make every effort to solicit input from employees at all levels. Only by cultivating a culture that encourages individual and group problem-solving can you realize the true business benefits of the training you invest in.
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