Training Employees in Problem Solving


New employees may be asked to work several projects or tasks where strong problem solving skills are needed. Even though the employee may have solved problems in a job position before, the problems and solutions will differ for each company in question. You should therefore train your employees in solving problems for your particular business, and teach them how the solutions can affect other aspects of the business.

Identify the Problems

Train your employees in identifying the specific problems. They may realize that something is wrong, but may not know where the problem is stemming from or how it came to be. Teach your employees to identify the problem and determine why the problem has occurred. Since this process differs for each business in question, use practical examples that apply to your business. For example, if the problem is a technological one that happens frequently, show the employee why it happens and where it stems from.

List of Potential Solutions

Train your employees to identify potential solutions after the problem has been identified. Simply identifying solutions does not necessarily mean that the solution will be the one implemented, so allow your employees to think freely and creatively. Provide feedback for each solution, especially if the employee is heading in the wrong direction with possible solutions.

Solutions and Risks

For each solution provided by the employee, ask her to provide a list of possible risks. This is an important step in problem solving, as many workers often go with the first solution that comes to mind without thinking about the potential risks involved with the solution. For each solution, provide at least three risks both to the problem, surrounding situation, employees and the business as a whole. Teach the employee to be aware of risks and to think methodologically.

Implementation Methods

Once the proper solution has been chosen, the employee must develop a plan to implement the solution and solve the problem. Depending on the size of the problem, the plan may be implemented quickly, while others could take weeks or months to implement. Inform the employee that she can always ask the employer or other workers for guidance when making a trouble-shooting plan.

Preventative Measures

The plan has been implemented and the problem has been solved. Part of the trouble-shooting training is to find methods to prevent the problems from reoccurring in the business. This helps the employee identify possible factors that can cause troubles in the workplace and help prevent future issues from arising.

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