Consider the following scenario: An employee comes to your office to report a serious issue that could result in a long-time customer taking a major account from your firm. Do you say you will take care of it? Or do you ask the employee what their plan is for solving the issue?
Feedback is Important
In his research of over 27,000 executives and employees, author and leadership trainer Mark Murphy found that only 23 percent of respondents said when they share their work problems with their leader, they always respond constructively. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 17 percent say their leader never responds constructively. Murphy’s best constructive response came down to this: “What’s your plan for solving this issue?”
If you work with employees to bring their solutions to life, they learn to develop and implement strong critical-thinking skills. Employees then feel more comfortable approaching you before an issue becomes critical. Best of all, when you say those seven words, you will find that you won’t be drawn into every problem that comes along.
Trust is Earned
Managers who berate staff or who are quick to anger soon become managers whom almost everyone will avoid. This is not an effective way to help your employees provide better service and increase productivity – which could reflect poorly down the line on the manager’s reputation.
Fear Creates Tension
The work atmosphere is made up of many components, but fear is not constructive. Research shows that relaxed minds really are more creative. Another benefit of building strong problem solvers is that building an employee’s confidence tends to build a positive work environment and ultimately strengthens an employee’s commitment to the organization. As if that weren’t enough, solving a problem successfully boosts a worker’s morale and gives individuals pride in what they do.
Author and business mentor Charbel Tadros best summed up the value of challenging employees to offer problem-solving plans when he said, “A highly paid, highly motivated employee who is not allowed to work with his full potential is like a Ferrari which is not allowed out of the garage.”
Want to Find Professionals Who Solve Problems?
If you need advice or have questions, contact the team at Flex Execs Management Solutions today. We help organizations of all sizes find interim professionals in HR, marketing and operations.