How to effectively solve problems in your workplace and why it its important?
If there is something that you should definitely spend time to do in your workplace in order to maintain a high quality of efficiency and productivity is to be able to effectively solve problems. Problem solving is definitely part of the number one key to be successful as a business and should therefore never be underestimated. Everyone in a team should get involved in problem solving and most of all understand the goals and benefits behind doing so. Now what is important to understand about problems in a professional environment is that there is not such a thing as a place without problems. The same than making mistakes, having problems is something natural that will always happen but what makes a difference is your ability to take actions from it.
Understanding the importance of having the correct attitude towards problems
It is important to understand that the goal behind solving problems is not to make sure there is no more problems anymore in your workplace but to make sure that the specific problem you are solving does not ever occur. The question you can now ask me is why is it even important to mention this? Well simply because many people are not having the correct attitude towards problems and this in fact, may be the real problem. On many occasions, people will indeed naturally see problems as “negatives” or as a threat rather than an opportunity and will therefore have the bad reaction towards it. It can go from panicking to adding on more problems to it or even blame people around you for it. Not only this will not be helpful to solve the problem itself but it can definitely make the situation worse. It is therefore crucial to realize that from a problem, you have an opportunity to do better. In fact, it is even a good thing that the problem you are facing right now occurred as it could have occurred in an even worse situation.
Now something very interesting to mention when it comes to problems before even starting with the “how?” and “why?” is that in many occasions, you will be facing problems that you will not be able to solve straight away (or at all). So either you are able or not to solve a problem at all or in the future, one of the key in order to be dealing with problems around you is to not get affected by it. Do never let problems impact your mood, attitude, commitment or professionalism. As the saying goes “ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them”. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weight you down. I have seen people getting into changing totally their behaviour, not enjoying their job anymore or losing all their commitments because of the way problems were going under their skin. You must always keep in mind the simple fact that how hard you will be trying to solve problems, you will always face problems you will not be able to solve. And on any of these occasions, you must always remember that the key is to not let it affect you.
Why is problem solving important?
As mentioned in the introduction, having problems is something natural that will always happen but what makes a difference is your ability to take actions from it. Problem solving is definitely important for the success of your business for the simple reason that it will be an opportunity to make your business better. It will make your business better because a problem is nothing else than a sign giving everyone an opportunity to do better. You will indeed be able to take the according actions from a problem to improve and therefore ensure that the problem never reoccurs.
Problem solving will also help you to find bigger sources of issues that you may have ongoing into your workplace. There is indeed always something bigger behind a problem that needs to be sorted in addition to the problem itself. For instance, if you have in your restaurant customers complaining regularly about the quality of the wines that do not match their expectations, the problem may not be only the wine menu itself but also the fact that people aren’t trained enough to sell wine properly. From this conclusion, you should not only take the opportunity to diversify your wine menu but also provide proper regular trainings to your team about wines and wine selling. In other words, from one issue, you will be able to solve much more than one problem only and therefore get your business to improve on many levels.
To conclude about why problem solving is so important, I would say that it is not only giving you opportunities to take actions from it, but also to conduct the good analysis from the problem itself so you can take even more actions. There is indeed more than one opportunity from a problem and you should definitely take them all.
The core values of problem solving
In order to understand some of the core values of problem solving, it is important to understand the real definition of “perfection”. As I often say “being perfect is first of all to know that you are not”. In Hospitality for instance, a negative feedback may indeed be a positive thing as long as you have the mindset to do better from it and to analyse the problems it may reveal that you need to improve on. This is actually one of the aspect that describes the best quality: to know that you may never reach it entirely or permanently but always work hard on improving in order to be as close as you can to the highest level. As I always used to say before in my working place, what describes an establishment as “5-star” is not the fact that they never have problems and complaints, but the fact to learn and improve from it.
Only by seeing the positive out of negative situations, only by seeing problems as an opportunity of improvement and as entirely part of your job, only by seeing mistakes as an opportunity to grow will you be able to exceed in your job as an individual, as a team and as a business. Do not walk next to problems saying “I will do it later when I have time”, even small ones. Remember that 1 you may never find time and it may never the good moment to solve the problem and 2 it may impact on a constant basis your quality of service. In our working environment, we have a tendency of solving problems only when they are bigger and very rarely trying to catch and solve these problems beforehand when they are smaller. Go to the source and solve the problem when it is still at that stage rather that solving it when it is already at the stage of being a bad consequence. In fact, problem solving should also be seen as anticipating on things rather than simply solving issues.
Finally, do not let yourself be influenced by negative people. As the saying says: «Negative people have a problem to every solution». Some negative people will tend to see any problem as “negative” and as “stopping them to do their job” instead of seeing them as an opportunity (but in the meantime will never take time to try to solve them and in the worst case may even be one of the cause). It is therefore crucial to spread the correct mindset when it comes to problem solving: problem is nothing else than a sign giving everyone an opportunity to do better. Do your best also to make people understand that the problem may not be the problem but how people are dealing (or not dealing with) the problem. For instance, situations where problems are either solved too late or never being solved because of the fact they are seen as “minor” but in the end very annoying on a daily basis if not sorted. Do your best as an individual to try to change people mindset by inspiring them and leading by example so that one day they may be able to exceed in problem solving and therefore in how productive they are in their job.