November 7, 2022

Problem Solving Skills in the Workplace

Problem solving has been defined as a gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Knowing how to solve problems effectively in the workplace is a skill needed at all levels and in all occupations. Being successful does not mean you will not have any problems in the workplace, but knowing how to identify them and to take the necessary steps to solve them is the key to being a great employee. When facing a problem, one of the first things to ask yourself is whether you have seen or dealt with this type of problem before. While there are no perfect solutions to problem solving, being aware of various steps makes the process easier along the way. Those with the ability to problem solve are sought after for higher positions within a company.

Below are six of the common steps used in the Problem-Solving Approach. Each of the next three articles will focus on two specific steps for Problem Solving Skills in the Workplace.

By applying these steps, many problems can be handled in an orderly and professional manner. The idea is to not look away when a conflict or problem arises—but to deal with it immediately! 

Another important idea to keep in mind is that these steps can be repeated at any point in the process if a new look at the problem is needed. The six simple steps will help you become more effective and efficient at solving problems in your job. Practicing these skills will soon become natural! What once seemed like a complex procedure will become quite simple!

ActionAs a team of two or three, brainstorm a problem or situation that might occur in the workplace where you can use these six steps. Examples of ideas include tardiness, theft, poor customer service, cell phone usage, etc. If teammates are not available, list five problems that you believe might occur in your career and which you will have to problem solve.

Note to Teacher: Consider posing the following questions to students for further discussion. Why is having a formal Problem-Solving Approach important? Why is being able to handle problems in the workplace important? What are the consequences of not handling problems properly? On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being low and 5 being high, how do you rate your current problem solving skills?

For More Problem Solving Lessons

Job Career Ready Skills provides practical, relevant lessons on problem solving that are needed in the workplace every da. The 250 lessons cover 25 important soft skills topics that support hard skills. See all of the lesson titles here.

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