“I didn’t do it, he did.”
“I told her what to do, but she didn’t.”
We all have faced such scenes where some clashes between two employees happen at work. Rather than adopting a blame game, we have 3 most effective problem solving strategies that you can adopt for your workplace, to get things done.
These problem solving strategies are logical, and will help you in improving the productivity
IDEAL Problem Solving Strategy
First on the list we have is a strategy that was introduced by Bransford and Stein in 1984. It’s called the “IDEAL” approach of problem solving. Let’s break it down.
I – Identify the problem
D – Define the cause
E – Explore possible strategies
A – Act
L – Look and Learn
Let’s learn about each letters in IDEAL problem solving strategy.
First is Identifying the problem. Rather than going with the blame game, try to find what exactly is the problem? The real problem may not be the one that you’re facing right now. For example: Sales team failed to meet targets this year. Rather than blaming entirely on the sales, try to find what caused them to fail this month. May be there was not enough support from development team to improve the product or support team wasn’t helping. There’s always a cause that leads to a problem, that’s the first step.
Second is Defining the cause. After finding out all the possible reasons, define the problem in one line. What exactly is the problem? Not the situation that you’re facing because that can be one of the results of the main cause. Define the cause, in one simple line. Defining the cause can save you from many upcoming problems. For example, if a company failed to perform to complete a task on time, and the cause is “Weak communication between teams”, there more than one problems that can be solved by solving the cause.
To solve “weak communication between teams”, you can implement various tools for communication. By solving the cause, work productivity can also be improved. The time taken for tasks will reduce, and average time to complete a project will reduce. Hence, solving a case will solve multiple problems.
Third is Exploring possible strategies. Now that you know the cause that formed the problem, again you have to brainstorm. Think about all the possible solutions and strategies that can be easily implemented at your workplace. You should definitely take suggestions from your teammates, as they have suffered the problem.
The fourth step is to Act. Choose from the list of possible solutions and start acting on it. Here’s the fun about not wasting your time and killing productivity. When you try a new solution quickly, you will see the changes very quickly as well. Now, if you think a particular solution is not solving the problem, you can quickly shift to the next solution. That way, you’ll find the needed workflow in a short span.
The last one is to Look back and Learn because there’s always some learning. There’s a great quote from Robert H. Schuller, “Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” Stopping the problem was not in your hand at some point, but you can stop the upcoming bizarre events by learning a lesson.
IDEAL is one of the finest problem solving strategies because it is a general theory. Not just for your workplace, you can implement this problem solving strategy for personal benefits too.
Engage Members with Team Building Activities
Now I understand, some team building activities are boring, and they give ughhh.. moments. But they work like ninjas. Even though, the corporate games leave behind an awkward air, they do bring coworkers closer somehow. Here’s how.
Tim: “That rope game was stupid!”
Jim: “I know right!”
Tim: “Hey, I’m Tim BTW.”
Jim: “Hey, this is Jim.”
Team building activities have a lot of faces. They can be in form of games, discussions, competitions, or celebrations. For a company that holds many employees, team building activities are a great way of problem solving.
Teams that know each other very well, are supposed to work comparatively smooth. When members know each other very well, they understand workstyles. When they understand workstyles, they propose tasks according to each other’s workstyles. That’s a solid sign of communication.
Some employees like to express, while some employees are less vocal and choose to express in their tasks. And employees will learn these things via team building activities. Here are good team building games that I liked, and that might work a charm for you as well.
Group discussion is one of the oldest parts of recruitment process. Ever imagined why? The aim of group discussion is to find the cause and land on a feasible solution. That’s what companies should be looking for in their future employees. Somehow, group discussions have become a source of figuring out communication skills and language command. But, it’s much more than that!Make teams within your organization and set up group discussions according to your time schedule. It works even on the general subjects. When members present their views, they are unconsciously opening up to the other team members. And that’s what we need.Create GD subjects where solutions can be drawn. Every member will present their view and take vote for the best possible solution. That’s how you’re developing a habit of finding solution for your team.
Problems will come, and will always come. But these are the problem solving strategies that you can adopt for your workplace to create an attitude of problem solving.