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26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)

By Biron Clark

Published: November 15, 2023

Employers like to hire people who can solve problems and work well under pressure. A job rarely goes 100% according to plan, so hiring managers will be more likely to hire you if you seem like you can handle unexpected challenges while staying calm and logical in your approach.

But how do they measure this?

They’re going to ask you interview questions about these problem solving skills, and they might also look for examples of problem solving on your resume and cover letter. So coming up, I’m going to share a list of examples of problem solving, whether you’re an experienced job seeker or recent graduate.

Then I’ll share sample interview answers to, “Give an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem?”

Problem-Solving Defined

It is the ability to identify the problem, prioritize based on gravity and urgency, analyze the root cause, gather relevant information, develop and evaluate viable solutions, decide on the most effective and logical solution, and plan and execute implementation. 

Problem-solving also involves critical thinking, communication, listening, creativity, research, data gathering, risk assessment, continuous learning, decision-making, and other soft and technical skills.

Solving problems not only prevent losses or damages but also boosts self-confidence and reputation when you successfully execute it. The spotlight shines on you when people see you handle issues with ease and savvy despite the challenges. Your ability and potential to be a future leader that can take on more significant roles and tackle bigger setbacks shine through. Problem-solving is a skill you can master by learning from others and acquiring wisdom from their and your own experiences. 

It takes a village to come up with solutions, but a good problem solver can steer the team towards the best choice and implement it to achieve the desired result.

Watch: 26 Good Examples of Problem Solving

Examples of problem solving scenarios in the workplace.

  • Correcting a mistake at work, whether it was made by you or someone else
  • Overcoming a delay at work through problem solving and communication
  • Resolving an issue with a difficult or upset customer
  • Overcoming issues related to a limited budget, and still delivering good work through the use of creative problem solving
  • Overcoming a scheduling/staffing shortage in the department to still deliver excellent work
  • Troubleshooting and resolving technical issues
  • Handling and resolving a conflict with a coworker
  • Solving any problems related to money, customer billing, accounting and bookkeeping, etc.
  • Taking initiative when another team member overlooked or missed something important
  • Taking initiative to meet with your superior to discuss a problem before it became potentially worse
  • Solving a safety issue at work or reporting the issue to those who could solve it
  • Using problem solving abilities to reduce/eliminate a company expense
  • Finding a way to make the company more profitable through new service or product offerings, new pricing ideas, promotion and sale ideas, etc.
  • Changing how a process, team, or task is organized to make it more efficient
  • Using creative thinking to come up with a solution that the company hasn’t used before
  • Performing research to collect data and information to find a new solution to a problem
  • Boosting a company or team’s performance by improving some aspect of communication among employees
  • Finding a new piece of data that can guide a company’s decisions or strategy better in a certain area

Problem Solving Examples for Recent Grads/Entry Level Job Seekers

  • Coordinating work between team members in a class project
  • Reassigning a missing team member’s work to other group members in a class project
  • Adjusting your workflow on a project to accommodate a tight deadline
  • Speaking to your professor to get help when you were struggling or unsure about a project
  • Asking classmates, peers, or professors for help in an area of struggle
  • Talking to your academic advisor to brainstorm solutions to a problem you were facing
  • Researching solutions to an academic problem online, via Google or other methods
  • Using problem solving and creative thinking to obtain an internship or other work opportunity during school after struggling at first

You can share all of the examples above when you’re asked questions about problem solving in your interview. As you can see, even if you have no professional work experience, it’s possible to think back to problems and unexpected challenges that you faced in your studies and discuss how you solved them.

Interview Answers to “Give an Example of an Occasion When You Used Logic to Solve a Problem”

Now, let’s look at some sample interview answers to, “Give me an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem,” since you’re likely to hear this interview question in all sorts of industries.

Example Answer 1:

At my current job, I recently solved a problem where a client was upset about our software pricing. They had misunderstood the sales representative who explained pricing originally, and when their package renewed for its second month, they called to complain about the invoice. I apologized for the confusion and then spoke to our billing team to see what type of solution we could come up with. We decided that the best course of action was to offer a long-term pricing package that would provide a discount. This not only solved the problem but got the customer to agree to a longer-term contract, which means we’ll keep their business for at least one year now, and they’re happy with the pricing. I feel I got the best possible outcome and the way I chose to solve the problem was effective.

Example Answer 2:

In my last job, I had to do quite a bit of problem solving related to our shift scheduling. We had four people quit within a week and the department was severely understaffed. I coordinated a ramp-up of our hiring efforts, I got approval from the department head to offer bonuses for overtime work, and then I found eight employees who were willing to do overtime this month. I think the key problem solving skills here were taking initiative, communicating clearly, and reacting quickly to solve this problem before it became an even bigger issue.

Example Answer 3:

In my current marketing role, my manager asked me to come up with a solution to our declining social media engagement. I assessed our current strategy and recent results, analyzed what some of our top competitors were doing, and then came up with an exact blueprint we could follow this year to emulate our best competitors but also stand out and develop a unique voice as a brand. I feel this is a good example of using logic to solve a problem because it was based on analysis and observation of competitors, rather than guessing or quickly reacting to the situation without reliable data. I always use logic and data to solve problems when possible. The project turned out to be a success and we increased our social media engagement by an average of 82% by the end of the year.

Answering Questions About Problem Solving with the STAR Method

When you answer interview questions about problem solving scenarios, or if you decide to demonstrate your problem solving skills in a cover letter (which is a good idea any time the job description mention problem solving as a necessary skill), I recommend using the STAR method to tell your story.

STAR stands for:

It’s a simple way of walking the listener or reader through the story in a way that will make sense to them. So before jumping in and talking about the problem that needed solving, make sure to describe the general situation. What job/company were you working at? When was this? Then, you can describe the task at hand and the problem that needed solving. After this, describe the course of action you chose and why. Ideally, show that you evaluated all the information you could given the time you had, and made a decision based on logic and fact.

Finally, describe a positive result you got.

Whether you’re answering interview questions about problem solving or writing a cover letter, you should only choose examples where you got a positive result and successfully solved the issue.

Example answer:

Situation : We had an irate client who was a social media influencer and had impossible delivery time demands we could not meet. She spoke negatively about us in her vlog and asked her followers to boycott our products. (Task : To develop an official statement to explain our company’s side, clarify the issue, and prevent it from getting out of hand). Action : I drafted a statement that balanced empathy, understanding, and utmost customer service with facts, logic, and fairness. It was direct, simple, succinct, and phrased to highlight our brand values while addressing the issue in a logical yet sensitive way.   We also tapped our influencer partners to subtly and indirectly share their positive experiences with our brand so we could counter the negative content being shared online.  Result : We got the results we worked for through proper communication and a positive and strategic campaign. The irate client agreed to have a dialogue with us. She apologized to us, and we reaffirmed our commitment to delivering quality service to all. We assured her that she can reach out to us anytime regarding her purchases and that we’d gladly accommodate her requests whenever possible. She also retracted her negative statements in her vlog and urged her followers to keep supporting our brand.

What Are Good Outcomes of Problem Solving?

Whenever you answer interview questions about problem solving or share examples of problem solving in a cover letter, you want to be sure you’re sharing a positive outcome.

Below are good outcomes of problem solving:

  • Saving the company time or money
  • Making the company money
  • Pleasing/keeping a customer
  • Obtaining new customers
  • Solving a safety issue
  • Solving a staffing/scheduling issue
  • Solving a logistical issue
  • Solving a company hiring issue
  • Solving a technical/software issue
  • Making a process more efficient and faster for the company
  • Creating a new business process to make the company more profitable
  • Improving the company’s brand/image/reputation
  • Getting the company positive reviews from customers/clients

Every employer wants to make more money, save money, and save time. If you can assess your problem solving experience and think about how you’ve helped past employers in those three areas, then that’s a great start. That’s where I recommend you begin looking for stories of times you had to solve problems.

Tips to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills

Throughout your career, you’re going to get hired for better jobs and earn more money if you can show employers that you’re a problem solver. So to improve your problem solving skills, I recommend always analyzing a problem and situation before acting. When discussing problem solving with employers, you never want to sound like you rush or make impulsive decisions. They want to see fact-based or data-based decisions when you solve problems.

Next, to get better at solving problems, analyze the outcomes of past solutions you came up with. You can recognize what works and what doesn’t. Think about how you can get better at researching and analyzing a situation, but also how you can get better at communicating, deciding the right people in the organization to talk to and “pull in” to help you if needed, etc.

Finally, practice staying calm even in stressful situations. Take a few minutes to walk outside if needed. Step away from your phone and computer to clear your head. A work problem is rarely so urgent that you cannot take five minutes to think (with the possible exception of safety problems), and you’ll get better outcomes if you solve problems by acting logically instead of rushing to react in a panic.

You can use all of the ideas above to describe your problem solving skills when asked interview questions about the topic. If you say that you do the things above, employers will be impressed when they assess your problem solving ability.

If you practice the tips above, you’ll be ready to share detailed, impressive stories and problem solving examples that will make hiring managers want to offer you the job. Every employer appreciates a problem solver, whether solving problems is a requirement listed on the job description or not. And you never know which hiring manager or interviewer will ask you about a time you solved a problem, so you should always be ready to discuss this when applying for a job.

Related interview questions & answers:

  • How do you handle stress?
  • How do you handle conflict?
  • Tell me about a time when you failed

Biron Clark

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25+ Good Examples of Problem Solving in the Workplace

Problem-solving is a necessary skill for success in any workplace situation, but it’s especially important when you’re working with other people.

However, this skill seems to be a lost art nowadays. More and more employees— even some leaders —find it difficult to efficiently solve problems and navigate challenging situations.

According to professionals, here are good examples of problem-solving in the workplace:

Lisa Bahar, MA, LMFT, LPCC

Lisa Bahar

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist | Philosophy of Global Leadership and Change Ph.D. Student, Pepperdine University

How are workplace environment problems assessed and evaluated?

Workplace environments problems are assessed and evaluated by completing an environmental scan conducted by an internal or external consultant .

The consultant assesses the workspace, employee interaction, culture, and leadership approaches to identify the problem and the elements supporting the issue.

There are methods and models associated with environmental scans that change experts and problem solvers use to conduct a thorough analysis of the organization for the purposes of change.

Using the effective method of Change Models

The consultant determines effective methods defined as “Change Models,” selected based on the organization’s objectives and strategic goals.

The consultant considers results from an evaluation process that provides a greater understanding of the organization on a micro-level by reviewing social, political, economic, legal, intercultural, and technology elements of the organization SPELIT (Schmeider-Ramirez and Mallette, 2007).

Implement the appropriate Change Model

SPELIT is one of several methods to use in the evaluation process of an organization. Once the consultant completes the evaluation and the problem(s) are identified, the next step is implementing the appropriate Change Model.

For example, an eight-step change model by Kotter is an easy-to-understand approach to identifying change steps in an organization (Kotter, 1996).

The Kotter model can be combined with a training approach, for example, Kirkpatrick’s four levels of training (Kirkpatrick, J.D., and Kirkpatrick, W.K., 2016).

Learn and identify the problem

An example of a learning problem could be a clinical setting needing to transition to electronic notes for client care and experiencing resistance to the change by the organization’s employees.

The evaluation is to identify if it is a:

  • Reaction problem
  • Learning problem
  • Behavior problem
  • Result problem

A consultant may start interviewing leadership, team manager, and workers to gain knowledge and comprehension of the problem.

Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom, 1972) can be used as a tool by the consultant to evaluate and identify the learning problem and the objectives that need to be implemented to create change.

The consultant will assess with surveys, interviews, discussions and design and implement training that supports the organization’s staff goals using electronic notes versus handwritten notes to maintain compliance with regulatory standards.

References:

Bloom, B. S. (1972). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Kirkpatrick, J. D., & Kirkpatrick, W. K. (2016). Kirkpatrick’s four levels of training evaluation. Association for Talent Development. Kotter, J. P. (1996). Leading change. Harvard Business Press. Schmieder-Ramirez, J. H., D., J. S., & Mallette, L. A. (2007). The Spelit power matrix: Untangling the organizational environment with the Spelit leadership tool. Createspace Independent Pub.

Nick Seidel

Nick Seidel

Safety and Health Specialist, Nick to the Plus

As a Safety and Health Specialist in a million square foot warehouse with 200 material handling equipment on the floor, we have reduced our OSHA Recordable Injuries by over 70% in four years.

I would say keep it simple , trust your team , and know your leading indicators .

Keep it simple and trust your team — don’t overcomplicate problems and solutions

Many new “Leaders” in the workplace want to make an impression. While they are trying to make this impression, they overcomplicate problems and solutions.

They try to reinvent the wheel. Many times this will cause confusion, frustration, and double work.

An example of keeping it simple is (if you are a new Leader in a workplace):

  • Know that your team are the experts and have seen many of you come through.
  • Ask your team what we can do to make your process more accessible or better.
  • Let your team know that you trust them by giving them ownership in their process, and that will foster trust in you.
  • When your team comes to you with suggestions and/or problems, make sure you follow through with their requests.
  • Crowdsource or mastermind the problem, let the team solve the problem, and provide the resources.

Know your leading indicators and how to measure them

A VP told me one time that you can improve something if you aren’t measuring. To solve problems in the workplace , you first need to know the issues and how to measure them.

For example, in safety, I know my leading indicators are:

  • Have a Safety Team that meets regularly with a structured outline to follow.
  • Are we up to date with safety training?
  • Do we have leadership commitment? What are our follow up and follow through ratings?
  • Are employees engaged in safety? Do they feel comfortable reporting hazards or injuries?
  • Are we tracking near-miss incidents and correcting the hazards before it becomes an incident?
  • Do we have consistent and clean housekeeping?

So in closing, keep it simple, trust your team, and know your leading indicators to solve problems in the workplace.

Matthew Carter

Matthew Carter

Attorney,  Inc and Go

Give your good employees more face time with clients. Not all problems relate to clients or customers, but many of them do.

Give your workers the presence and authority to fix client problems

The first step to solving those as they come up is to give your trusted workers the presence and authority to fix client problems.

That means making your worker the company’s “face” to a particular client and giving them the latitude to make decisions. That can empower both the worker and the client to solve problems before getting involved.

Of course, you still need to be on hand for big issues, but those should lessen as time goes on.

Have fewer formal meetings

Nothing stifles creativity faster than another boring all-hands meeting. Throw in a PowerPoint Presentation and a long agenda, and your workers have completely checked out.

Sometimes meetings are necessary, but real problem-solving more often takes place in smaller, unstructured brainstorming sessions with the most personally invested in a problem.

It’s essential that you maintain personal relationships with your workers. If they are having trouble with a particular project or presentation, you can stop by their office for a few minutes to hash out a solution.

Give your ideas time to marinate

In today’s business environment, we often prize speed above all else. After you have brainstormed a solution, it’s often good to get it on paper and then let it sit for a night before coming back with a clear head .

That’s not usually a good recipe for creativity.

If your project is time-sensitive, at least take an hour before returning to it . Creative problem-solving often needs time to work, so when you give ideas time to marinate, you and your clients will probably be happier with the solutions.

Steven Walker

Steven Walker

CEO,  Spylix

Meet with your boss to evaluate the problem before it worsens

Problem-solving skills help you find the cause of a problem and an effective solution . In any case, how to reliably perceive problem-solving is very similar to its limitations, and the other related skills are significantly increased.

Problem-solving is a system that involves understanding tests and finding valuable solutions in the workplace. In everything that matters, every ally needs a worker with these qualities to consider their problem-solving skills and aid in a pleasant cycle in their everyday work.

Following are some skills for problem-solving in the workplace:

  • Fully fixed duty skill
  • Evaluation skill
  • Research skill
  • Imagination/implementation skill

Following are some examples of problem-solving in the workplace:

  • Whether it be you or someone else, it promotes bad things .
  • Overcoming management delays through problem-solving and response.
  • Troubleshooting problematic or dissatisfied customers
  • Overcome the problems associated with limited spending plans and now use creative problem solving to devise unusual action plans.
  • Overcome the need to prepare/complete your workplace to deliver great work anyway.
  • Exploring and solving apparent problems.
  • Supervision and Dispute Resolution through Assistants.
  • Solve all problems related to cash, settlement with customers, accounting, etc.
  • Be truthful when other assistants miss or miss something important.
  • Go ahead and meet with your boss to evaluate the problem before it worsens.

Christopher Liew, CFA

Christopher Liew

Creator,  Wealth Awesome

Surprisingly, approximately 85% of American employees have experienced conflicts with peers and colleagues in their workplace.

It’s why we need to teach people problem-solving techniques in the workplace efficiently and effectively.

Use the consensus decision-making technique frequently

This type of problem-solving technique allows everyone to agree that a particular problem needs to be discussed thoroughly and needs to be solved immediately .

Ideas, opinions, suggestions, solutions, or violent reactions are voiced freely. The goal of this problem-solving technique is to make a list of recommendations that are acceptable to all members of the company.

After that, they further develop the best solution from one of the recommendations that they have all agreed on previously.

It can significantly increase group cohesion and team unity since the consensus decision-making technique allows everyone to participate freely without being judged harshly .

Use the devil’s advocate decision-making technique accordingly and moderately

This type of problem-solving technique allows the business organization to form a panel that will thoroughly scrutinize a group’s ideas and suggestions within the company.

The goal is to uncover weaknesses in the ideas and suggestions presented instantly.

However, this type of decision-making technique can only be implemented efficiently and effectively if the group presenting an idea, suggestion, or solution is open to receiving feedback and constructive criticisms.

It should be used moderately as this decision-making technique could sometimes add tension among group members within the company.

Magda Klimkiewicz

Magda Klimkiewicz

Senior HR Business Partner,  Zety

Make the current process faster, more efficient, or more accurate

One of my all-time favorite ways of problem-solving in the workplace is making the current process faster, more efficient, or more accurate.

Personally, I call this “operation consolidation,” and despite the corny nickname, trust me, when completed, everyone will be appreciative (at least in the long term).

The level of inefficiency and room for improvement is never-ending .

Every dashboard, database, or process often grows in size and complexity over time as everyone is interested in adding that extra field, messing with that new factor without stopping and thinking, “Do we still need and are we using some of the original ones?”

Evolution is constant and makes sense ; however, as the new fields are populated, and processes added, it makes sense to stop and do some much-needed spring cleaning.

This is similar to Coca-Cola’s recent culling of almost half of its portfolio (which only accounted for 5% of its sales). Likewise, every organization looks to subtract before adding on new ones.

So always look to simplify , cut in half , and get rid of the excess fat , whether meetings, overblown dashboards, or processes with too many layers and stakeholders – triage ruthlessly and watch the magic happen.

Stephan Baldwin

Stephan Baldwin

Founder,  Assisted Living Center

Allow each party to voice their solutions to the problem through brain dumping

Brain dumping allows each party to voice their solutions to the problem. Most conflicts involve an offender , defender , and mediator who decides on a resolution.

But opening the floor to suggestions helps implicated employees feel heard and understood, even if you don’t settle for their idea in the end.

Some people prefer to express their preferences in private, so you may want to conduct individual discussions before regrouping to resolve the issue.

All suggestions can remain anonymous to avoid the appearance of bias

From there, all suggestions can remain anonymous to avoid the appearance of bias. Hash out each option with everyone and decide upon a compromise that works best for the majority.

Implement the 5-whys technique

Problem resolution can also take a coach’s approach by implementing the 5-whys technique. The 5-whys allows employees to discover the root of their conflict without directly involving the mediator.

Start the conversation by asking one party why they reacted to the situation offensively. Then, follow up their response by inquiring why they felt or thought that way.

By the time you get to the fifth “why,” everyone should have a clearer picture of how things unraveled.

It can transform the conflict into a collaboration development exercise

This technique can transform the conflict into a collaboration development exercise by allowing colleagues to understand each other’s points of view.

Overall, it encourages more empathy and reasoning in the problem-solving process.

Adam Crossling

Adam Crossling

Marketing Manager,  Zenzero

Make meaningful time to interact with your staff

Set a high standard for communication to solve this problem. Face-to-face communication is preferable whenever possible.

Phone conversations, emails, and texts are acceptable in an emergency, but they are insufficient to replace an utterly present dialogue.

Set suitable objectives and expectations

Make sure your staff grasps the essentials by referring to job descriptions. Convene a brainstorming session for unique initiatives and auxiliary goals, and define goals as a team .

Your staff could surprise you by establishing more challenging goals for themselves than you do.

Demonstrate your worth to a new team or yourself

Share your work description with your staff to solve the problem. Seriously, if you don’t already have one, make one .

It might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Communicate your priorities, and follow through on what you say you’ll do.

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger

Founder,  The Impact Investor

Implementing workplace synchrony

This concept that I call workplace synchrony is something that other forms of working may not offer. For example, it is something that the newly introduced remote work culture cannot sufficiently prove to be an alternative.

Workplace synchrony is the impeccable order of operations in which specific departments in the workplace run their proceedings.

For example, I want you to consider this; the production team in a textile factory ensures that the conveyor belt functions correctly, products are manufactured in an orderly manner, and the daily target is met.

However, if it were not for the quality control department, there would be no one to approve of the items’ standards.

Alternatively, as is self-explanatory, there is no job left for quality control inspection teams to do without the production line workers.

This is a testament to the synchrony and flow of how multiple teams get together to solve problems in a sequence and help workplaces flourish.

Brainstorming as a group regarding challenges that the company may face

Another affordance that in-person, and to some extent its remote work counterpart, also provides is the ability to brainstorm as a group regarding challenges that the company may face.

For example, there may be a demand by the labor union to increase wage rates, and also a potential that there may be a strike or a peaceful protest for the same reason.

Group meetings in workplaces allow all the potential stakeholders to be impacted by a possible decision, to be present at one moment, and put their needs, demands, and terms forward.

Hence, in the case that wages are considered to be increased , production costs are going to be deemed to increase .

Managers may talk about possible increases in price. In contrast, customer relations department employees might want to chip in to negotiate on the matter with the managers, not compromise the needs of consumers.

This is how all stakeholders walkout in content, knowing their needs are recognized.

Manage the problem with patience and tact

Emotions and perspectives like self-importance, overconfidence, and arrogance can arise even in our best coworkers, clients, and people we report to.

These people may be very good at their job, but everyone occasionally gets it wrong . Stress, burnout, ill health, fear, and feelings of insecurity can be the causes of underlying disputes, poor judgment, and mistakes in the workplace.

It is important not to lose respect for them and remember they are not only as good as their last job. You can build trust by weathering the storm with them.

If you come out the other side together as partners because you managed the problem with patience and tact, the relationship will be strengthened, and cooperation will hopefully improve.

Some problems become unmanageable, and a person’s stubbornness and refusal to cooperate seem insurmountable. Money matters can be some of the most explosive issues of all.

One thing that can be done is to draw the person’s attention to the critical facts that decide the way forward in terms of financial concerns, rather than anyone enforcing a decision on others.

Monika Dmochowska

Monika Dmochowska

Talent Acquisition Specialist,  Tidio

Implementing a goal-setting system

Problem : Goal-setting and expectations-management.

No doubt, sometimes it’s hard for individual employees and whole teams to set appropriate goals and make relevant expectations.

This can be solved by implementing a goal-setting system (e.g., OKRs) for every employee individually or at least team-wide.

Using a time management system

Problem : Poor time management.

It’s a very common work problem with many solutions working for everyone individually.

A good example would be using a time management system (e.g., Pomodoro), keeping track of all tasks in a project management tool like Jira, and adding all meetings and appointments to the calendar.

Related: 42 Best Productivity and Time Management Books

Identify a mentor that you can turn to for advice and help

Problem : Asking for help.

Unfortunately, it’s challenging for many people to ask for help even if the team encourages them.

An excellent solution to this would be to identify a mentor or a buddy – the person you can turn to for advice and help.

This will be a mutually valuable relationship. You will receive the help you need, and the person will gain experience in mentoring someone.

Related: How to Ask Someone to Be Your Mentor

Jeff Mains

CEO,  Champion Leadership Group LLC

Managers and coworkers will regard you as a valuable resource if you can efficiently address challenges at work. Problem-solving may draw together teams, expedite processes, create a more efficient workplace, and boost productivity.

It could also help you save expenses and raise income — two crucial areas where your boss will be pleased to see improvement.

Require a robust business-wide interaction

To guarantee that you can perform correctly every day, you require a robust business-wide interaction. It’s necessary for long-term development .

When adequate linkages are not present, processes might fall through the cracks, resulting in significant performance concerns.

Addressing communication challenges at work entails guaranteeing a two-way approach to help build a culture of accountability and transparency.

Ensure that employees are treated fairly

Extroverts with a lot of confidence are usually correlated with business success. More extroverted business owners may find it difficult to comprehend their more reserved personnel.

Some may even see the scenario as having introvert issues at work, which is a drawback in some businesses but a valuable asset.

So keep in mind that individuals with more introspective personality qualities bring various aspects to their positions, especially in creative contexts .

You must ensure that employees are treated fairly . Don’t show favoritism to anybody. Also, keep an eye out for nepotism.

Kimberly Back

Kimberly Back

Senior Job Data Content Producer,  Virtual Vocations

Prioritize open communication and employee feedback

Solving workplace problems should be a goal for every business, but the process starts with understanding which workplace stressors affect employees most.

Virtual Vocations surveyed 1,158 U.S. workers and found that the biggest workplace confidence killer, which also negatively impacts productivity and employee well-being, is a micromanager boss .

Related: How to Deal With Micromanagers

Micromanaging and other common workplace problems like poor company culture , lack of transparency , and unrealistic performance expectations can be solved by prioritizing open communication and employee feedback .

Conducting employee surveys, holding the regular team and individual meetings, demonstrating respect for employees, and showing an interest in employees beyond work are all ways to keep employees engaged and ensure their ideas are heard.

When employees have a say in how they work and how they are managed, they are much more likely to perform well and stay longer .

Ahren A. Tiller, Esq.

Ahren Tiller

Founder and Supervising Attorney,  Bankruptcy Law Center

Confront the conflict but actively listen to what the other person says

Communication is very important to any relationship or team. Many issues arise due to lack or absence of communication .

When there is conflict, my staff doesn’t like to beat around the bush. Good problem-solvers don’t act based on their emotions. They confront the conflict but actively listen to what the other person says.

Understand the situation and consider the options to make up for the errors

It doesn’t matter whether one employee or another is at fault; correcting a mistake comes naturally to good problem-solvers.

Self-reflection is an excellent way to assess your own actions—were they helpful?

Look at your own point of view, and the other person’s to understand the situation and consider the options to make up for the errors. Rectifying a mistake requires strategy and creativity .

Ouriel Lemmel

Ouriel Lemmel

CEO and Founder,  WinIt

Use your creative side to identify new or unusual alternatives

Using your creative side to identify new or unusual alternatives is an excellent way to problem-solve in the workplace.

Too often, you can get stuck in a pattern of thinking about what has been successful in the past, but when you are faced with a new problem , you may find it challenging to generate new ideas.

If you have a problem that seems to have no solution, try out some different techniques. Play “What if” games, for example:

“What if money was no object? How would that change the solution?”

You may find an answer you weren’t thinking of. Permit yourself to think of ideas that may seem outlandish or appear to break the rules; you may end up having a stroke of genius.

David Farkas

David Farkas

CEO and Founder,  The Upper Ranks

Raise the bar for effective communication

Making meaningful time to speak with your staff is a common concern. The best way to resolve this issue is to raise the bar for effective communication . Face-to-face communication is the best way to get things done.

There is no alternative to a face-to-face conversation, yet phone conversations, emails, and messages are okay in a pinch. Online aptitude, psychometric, and ability tests are a few examples of the exams that companies could administer to see how well you solve problems.

These are often administered as part of the application process, although they may be given again at an assessment center. Situational judgment assessments and logic tests like inductive reasoning or diagrammatic reasoning will probably gauge how well you solve problems.

Effective issue resolution indeed takes both time and attention . A problem that hasn’t been solved requires more time and attention. Taking the time to slow down is all that is necessary for success .

There are no straight lines in life. You’ll be in good shape on the next straightaway if you get this one correctly. You may not be in the best shape if you move too rapidly .

Employees can weather the storm by planning for the worst-case scenario in every situation. There are a variety of approaches you may take, but the most critical is learning how to overcome the obstacle.

A workplace may be prepared for both the best and worst of times, whether a common cold or an overflowing workload.

David Reid

Sales Director,  VEM Tooling

It is common to face many problems in your organization several times. But what is not common is how to deal with that problem to rise above your previous self.

When we talk about a workplace, there are several difficulties that a person needs to deal with in it. Here is one of my examples of problem-solving at the workplace that I find perfect.

Observe which is more important for your business

Problem : Balance between growth and quality

When I first encountered this problem at the end of 2021. I thought it would be a lot difficult to deal with. But as time passed and I gave my thoughts on this problem repeatedly.

I found a way to deal with it. First, I need to see which is more important for my business, growth or quality.

As we all know, nothing in this world is perfect, but as a new developing firm in the market, I need to ensure my business provides quality to its customers.

When I figured it all out, I found that I would grow my organization if I could provide my customers with good quality satisfaction. That’s how I learned how to balance growth and quality to solve the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How can i improve my problem-solving skills.

To improve your problem-solving skills, you need to practice and be intentional. Here are some things you can do to strengthen this skill:

Identify and analyze problems as soon as possible.  Once you identify a problem, try to understand it thoroughly, gather information from reliable sources, and consider possible solutions.

Think outside the box.  Don’t be afraid to approach problems in unconventional ways. Draw inspiration from unrelated fields or industries.

Collaborate.  Work with your colleagues to find solutions. Two heads are better than one!

Learn from your experiences.  Take time to reflect on how you solved problems in the past and learn from your successes and mistakes.

Can I be a successful problem solver without being creative?

Yes, you can be a successful problem solver without being creative. While creativity can help you develop unique solutions to problems, it is not the only skill needed for problem-solving.

Logical thinking, research, analytical skills, and collaboration can also help you solve problems successfully.

These skills require a deep understanding of the problem, identifying the cause and origin of the problem, gathering information, analyzing it, and finally developing a solution based on the information gathered.

A successful problem solver is one who can objectively analyze a problem and derive optimal and workable solutions that are reasonable and achievable. Thinking outside the box and being creative can be an advantage, but it is not an essential requirement for solving problems in the workplace.

How can I encourage my team to engage in problem-solving activities?

Encouraging your team to engage in problem-solving activities can help foster a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Some ways to encourage problem-solving in the workplace include:

– Scheduling time for team brainstorming sessions or problem-solving workshops – Encouraging team members to share their ideas and perspectives – Providing opportunities for skill-building and professional development – Recognizing and rewarding team members who contribute to problem-solving efforts – Leading by example and demonstrating a commitment to problem-solving

How can I convince my employer that I have problem-solving skills?

To convince your employer that you have problem-solving skills, you need to demonstrate them in action. Here are some tips to help you showcase your skills:

Point out instances where you have successfully solved a problem:  In your resume or interview, cite specific examples of difficult workplace problems you faced and solved. Explain the steps you took, the approach you used, and the results you achieved.

Explain your problem-solving approach:  Employers are looking for a systematic approach to problem-solving that will help them achieve their goals. Describe the steps you take when confronted with a problem and how you use data and other resources to determine the root cause of the problem.

Quantify your successes:  Be as specific as possible about the results you achieved in solving a problem. Did you increase the company’s revenue or save them money? Provide data that shows the impact of your solution.

Market yourself as a lifelong learner:  Employers know that not every problem has a defined solution. Therefore, it is valuable to have a candidate who is willing to learn and adapt to changes in the company.

Highlight this by talking about additional training or certifications you are pursuing to further enhance your problem-solving skills.

How can I tell if my problem-solving efforts are successful?

The success of a problem-solving effort can be measured in different ways, depending on the problem you’re trying to solve. However, there are some signs that your problem-solving is on the right track:

Clarity:  You have a clear understanding of the problem and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Solution:  You have found a solution that is effective and has already been implemented.

Feedback:  You have received feedback from colleagues, supervisors, or customers that the problem has been solved.

Continuous improvement:  You continuously reflect on and improve your problem-solving tactics and approaches.

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  • Turn your team into skilled problem sol ...

Turn your team into skilled problem solvers with these problem-solving strategies

Sarah Laoyan contributor headshot

Picture this, you're handling your daily tasks at work and your boss calls you in and says, "We have a problem." 

Unfortunately, we don't live in a world in which problems are instantly resolved with the snap of our fingers. Knowing how to effectively solve problems is an important professional skill to hone. If you have a problem that needs to be solved, what is the right process to use to ensure you get the most effective solution?

In this article we'll break down the problem-solving process and how you can find the most effective solutions for complex problems.

What is problem solving? 

Problem solving is the process of finding a resolution for a specific issue or conflict. There are many possible solutions for solving a problem, which is why it's important to go through a problem-solving process to find the best solution. You could use a flathead screwdriver to unscrew a Phillips head screw, but there is a better tool for the situation. Utilizing common problem-solving techniques helps you find the best solution to fit the needs of the specific situation, much like using the right tools.

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4 steps to better problem solving

While it might be tempting to dive into a problem head first, take the time to move step by step. Here’s how you can effectively break down the problem-solving process with your team:

1. Identify the problem that needs to be solved

One of the easiest ways to identify a problem is to ask questions. A good place to start is to ask journalistic questions, like:

Who : Who is involved with this problem? Who caused the problem? Who is most affected by this issue?

What: What is happening? What is the extent of the issue? What does this problem prevent from moving forward?

Where: Where did this problem take place? Does this problem affect anything else in the immediate area? 

When: When did this problem happen? When does this problem take effect? Is this an urgent issue that needs to be solved within a certain timeframe?

Why: Why is it happening? Why does it impact workflows?

How: How did this problem occur? How is it affecting workflows and team members from being productive?

Asking journalistic questions can help you define a strong problem statement so you can highlight the current situation objectively, and create a plan around that situation.

Here’s an example of how a design team uses journalistic questions to identify their problem:

Overarching problem: Design requests are being missed

Who: Design team, digital marketing team, web development team

What: Design requests are forgotten, lost, or being created ad hoc.

Where: Email requests, design request spreadsheet

When: Missed requests on January 20th, January 31st, February 4th, February 6th

How : Email request was lost in inbox and the intake spreadsheet was not updated correctly. The digital marketing team had to delay launching ads for a few days while design requests were bottlenecked. Designers had to work extra hours to ensure all requests were completed.

In this example, there are many different aspects of this problem that can be solved. Using journalistic questions can help you identify different issues and who you should involve in the process.

2. Brainstorm multiple solutions

If at all possible, bring in a facilitator who doesn't have a major stake in the solution. Bringing an individual who has little-to-no stake in the matter can help keep your team on track and encourage good problem-solving skills.

Here are a few brainstorming techniques to encourage creative thinking:

Brainstorm alone before hand: Before you come together as a group, provide some context to your team on what exactly the issue is that you're brainstorming. This will give time for you and your teammates to have some ideas ready by the time you meet.

Say yes to everything (at first): When you first start brainstorming, don't say no to any ideas just yet—try to get as many ideas down as possible. Having as many ideas as possible ensures that you’ll get a variety of solutions. Save the trimming for the next step of the strategy. 

Talk to team members one-on-one: Some people may be less comfortable sharing their ideas in a group setting. Discuss the issue with team members individually and encourage them to share their opinions without restrictions—you might find some more detailed insights than originally anticipated.

Break out of your routine: If you're used to brainstorming in a conference room or over Zoom calls, do something a little different! Take your brainstorming meeting to a coffee shop or have your Zoom call while you're taking a walk. Getting out of your routine can force your brain out of its usual rut and increase critical thinking.

3. Define the solution

After you brainstorm with team members to get their unique perspectives on a scenario, it's time to look at the different strategies and decide which option is the best solution for the problem at hand. When defining the solution, consider these main two questions: What is the desired outcome of this solution and who stands to benefit from this solution? 

Set a deadline for when this decision needs to be made and update stakeholders accordingly. Sometimes there's too many people who need to make a decision. Use your best judgement based on the limitations provided to do great things fast.

4. Implement the solution

To implement your solution, start by working with the individuals who are as closest to the problem. This can help those most affected by the problem get unblocked. Then move farther out to those who are less affected, and so on and so forth. Some solutions are simple enough that you don’t need to work through multiple teams.

After you prioritize implementation with the right teams, assign out the ongoing work that needs to be completed by the rest of the team. This can prevent people from becoming overburdened during the implementation plan . Once your solution is in place, schedule check-ins to see how the solution is working and course-correct if necessary.

Implement common problem-solving strategies

There are a few ways to go about identifying problems (and solutions). Here are some strategies you can try, as well as common ways to apply them:

Trial and error

Trial and error problem solving doesn't usually require a whole team of people to solve. To use trial and error problem solving, identify the cause of the problem, and then rapidly test possible solutions to see if anything changes. 

This problem-solving method is often used in tech support teams through troubleshooting.

The 5 whys problem-solving method helps get to the root cause of an issue. You start by asking once, “Why did this issue happen?” After answering the first why, ask again, “Why did that happen?” You'll do this five times until you can attribute the problem to a root cause. 

This technique can help you dig in and find the human error that caused something to go wrong. More importantly, it also helps you and your team develop an actionable plan so that you can prevent the issue from happening again.

Here’s an example:

Problem: The email marketing campaign was accidentally sent to the wrong audience.

“Why did this happen?” Because the audience name was not updated in our email platform.

“Why were the audience names not changed?” Because the audience segment was not renamed after editing. 

“Why was the audience segment not renamed?” Because everybody has an individual way of creating an audience segment.

“Why does everybody have an individual way of creating an audience segment?” Because there is no standardized process for creating audience segments. 

“Why is there no standardized process for creating audience segments?” Because the team hasn't decided on a way to standardize the process as the team introduced new members. 

In this example, we can see a few areas that could be optimized to prevent this mistake from happening again. When working through these questions, make sure that everyone who was involved in the situation is present so that you can co-create next steps to avoid the same problem. 

A SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis can help you highlight the strengths and weaknesses of a specific solution. SWOT stands for:

Strength: Why is this specific solution a good fit for this problem? 

Weaknesses: What are the weak points of this solution? Is there anything that you can do to strengthen those weaknesses?

Opportunities: What other benefits could arise from implementing this solution?

Threats: Is there anything about this decision that can detrimentally impact your team?

As you identify specific solutions, you can highlight the different strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of each solution. 

This particular problem-solving strategy is good to use when you're narrowing down the answers and need to compare and contrast the differences between different solutions. 

Even more successful problem solving

After you’ve worked through a tough problem, don't forget to celebrate how far you've come. Not only is this important for your team of problem solvers to see their work in action, but this can also help you become a more efficient, effective , and flexible team. The more problems you tackle together, the more you’ll achieve. 

Looking for a tool to help solve problems on your team? Track project implementation with a work management tool like Asana .

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How to Solve Problems

  • Laura Amico

how do you solve problems at work examples

To bring the best ideas forward, teams must build psychological safety.

Teams today aren’t just asked to execute tasks: They’re called upon to solve problems. You’d think that many brains working together would mean better solutions, but the reality is that too often problem-solving teams fall victim to inefficiency, conflict, and cautious conclusions. The two charts below will help your team think about how to collaborate better and come up with the best solutions for the thorniest challenges.

  • Laura Amico is a former senior editor at Harvard Business Review.

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What is an example of problem-solving?

What are the 5 steps to problem-solving, 10 effective problem-solving strategies, what skills do efficient problem solvers have, how to improve your problem-solving skills.

Problems come in all shapes and sizes — from workplace conflict to budget cuts.

Creative problem-solving is one of the most in-demand skills in all roles and industries. It can boost an organization’s human capital and give it a competitive edge. 

Problem-solving strategies are ways of approaching problems that can help you look beyond the obvious answers and find the best solution to your problem . 

Let’s take a look at a five-step problem-solving process and how to combine it with proven problem-solving strategies. This will give you the tools and skills to solve even your most complex problems.

Good problem-solving is an essential part of the decision-making process . To see what a problem-solving process might look like in real life, let’s take a common problem for SaaS brands — decreasing customer churn rates.

To solve this problem, the company must first identify it. In this case, the problem is that the churn rate is too high. 

Next, they need to identify the root causes of the problem. This could be anything from their customer service experience to their email marketing campaigns. If there are several problems, they will need a separate problem-solving process for each one. 

Let’s say the problem is with email marketing — they’re not nurturing existing customers. Now that they’ve identified the problem, they can start using problem-solving strategies to look for solutions. 

This might look like coming up with special offers, discounts, or bonuses for existing customers. They need to find ways to remind them to use their products and services while providing added value. This will encourage customers to keep paying their monthly subscriptions.

They might also want to add incentives, such as access to a premium service at no extra cost after 12 months of membership. They could publish blog posts that help their customers solve common problems and share them as an email newsletter.

The company should set targets and a time frame in which to achieve them. This will allow leaders to measure progress and identify which actions yield the best results.

team-meeting-problem-solving-strategies

Perhaps you’ve got a problem you need to tackle. Or maybe you want to be prepared the next time one arises. Either way, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the five steps of problem-solving. 

Use this step-by-step problem-solving method with the strategies in the following section to find possible solutions to your problem.

1. Identify the problem

The first step is to know which problem you need to solve. Then, you need to find the root cause of the problem. 

The best course of action is to gather as much data as possible, speak to the people involved, and separate facts from opinions. 

Once this is done, formulate a statement that describes the problem. Use rational persuasion to make sure your team agrees .

2. Break the problem down 

Identifying the problem allows you to see which steps need to be taken to solve it. 

First, break the problem down into achievable blocks. Then, use strategic planning to set a time frame in which to solve the problem and establish a timeline for the completion of each stage.

3. Generate potential solutions

At this stage, the aim isn’t to evaluate possible solutions but to generate as many ideas as possible. 

Encourage your team to use creative thinking and be patient — the best solution may not be the first or most obvious one.

Use one or more of the different strategies in the following section to help come up with solutions — the more creative, the better.

4. Evaluate the possible solutions

Once you’ve generated potential solutions, narrow them down to a shortlist. Then, evaluate the options on your shortlist. 

There are usually many factors to consider. So when evaluating a solution, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will my team be on board with the proposition?
  • Does the solution align with organizational goals ?
  • Is the solution likely to achieve the desired outcomes?
  • Is the solution realistic and possible with current resources and constraints?
  • Will the solution solve the problem without causing additional unintended problems?

woman-helping-her-colleague-problem-solving-strategies

5. Implement and monitor the solutions

Once you’ve identified your solution and got buy-in from your team, it’s time to implement it. 

But the work doesn’t stop there. You need to monitor your solution to see whether it actually solves your problem. 

Request regular feedback from the team members involved and have a monitoring and evaluation plan in place to measure progress.

If the solution doesn’t achieve your desired results, start this step-by-step process again.

There are many different ways to approach problem-solving. Each is suitable for different types of problems. 

The most appropriate problem-solving techniques will depend on your specific problem. You may need to experiment with several strategies before you find a workable solution.

Here are 10 effective problem-solving strategies for you to try:

  • Use a solution that worked before
  • Brainstorming
  • Work backward
  • Use the Kipling method
  • Draw the problem
  • Use trial and error
  • Sleep on it
  • Get advice from your peers
  • Use the Pareto principle
  • Add successful solutions to your toolkit

Let’s break each of these down.

1. Use a solution that worked before

It might seem obvious, but if you’ve faced similar problems in the past, look back to what worked then. See if any of the solutions could apply to your current situation and, if so, replicate them.

2. Brainstorming

The more people you enlist to help solve the problem, the more potential solutions you can come up with.

Use different brainstorming techniques to workshop potential solutions with your team. They’ll likely bring something you haven’t thought of to the table.

3. Work backward

Working backward is a way to reverse engineer your problem. Imagine your problem has been solved, and make that the starting point.

Then, retrace your steps back to where you are now. This can help you see which course of action may be most effective.

4. Use the Kipling method

This is a method that poses six questions based on Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “ I Keep Six Honest Serving Men .” 

  • What is the problem?
  • Why is the problem important?
  • When did the problem arise, and when does it need to be solved?
  • How did the problem happen?
  • Where is the problem occurring?
  • Who does the problem affect?

Answering these questions can help you identify possible solutions.

5. Draw the problem

Sometimes it can be difficult to visualize all the components and moving parts of a problem and its solution. Drawing a diagram can help.

This technique is particularly helpful for solving process-related problems. For example, a product development team might want to decrease the time they take to fix bugs and create new iterations. Drawing the processes involved can help you see where improvements can be made.

woman-drawing-mind-map-problem-solving-strategies

6. Use trial-and-error

A trial-and-error approach can be useful when you have several possible solutions and want to test them to see which one works best.

7. Sleep on it

Finding the best solution to a problem is a process. Remember to take breaks and get enough rest . Sometimes, a walk around the block can bring inspiration, but you should sleep on it if possible.

A good night’s sleep helps us find creative solutions to problems. This is because when you sleep, your brain sorts through the day’s events and stores them as memories. This enables you to process your ideas at a subconscious level. 

If possible, give yourself a few days to develop and analyze possible solutions. You may find you have greater clarity after sleeping on it. Your mind will also be fresh, so you’ll be able to make better decisions.

8. Get advice from your peers

Getting input from a group of people can help you find solutions you may not have thought of on your own. 

For solo entrepreneurs or freelancers, this might look like hiring a coach or mentor or joining a mastermind group. 

For leaders , it might be consulting other members of the leadership team or working with a business coach .

It’s important to recognize you might not have all the skills, experience, or knowledge necessary to find a solution alone. 

9. Use the Pareto principle

The Pareto principle — also known as the 80/20 rule — can help you identify possible root causes and potential solutions for your problems.

Although it’s not a mathematical law, it’s a principle found throughout many aspects of business and life. For example, 20% of the sales reps in a company might close 80% of the sales. 

You may be able to narrow down the causes of your problem by applying the Pareto principle. This can also help you identify the most appropriate solutions.

10. Add successful solutions to your toolkit

Every situation is different, and the same solutions might not always work. But by keeping a record of successful problem-solving strategies, you can build up a solutions toolkit. 

These solutions may be applicable to future problems. Even if not, they may save you some of the time and work needed to come up with a new solution.

three-colleagues-looking-at-computer-problem-solving-strategies

Improving problem-solving skills is essential for professional development — both yours and your team’s. Here are some of the key skills of effective problem solvers:

  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Communication skills , including active listening
  • Decision-making
  • Planning and prioritization
  • Emotional intelligence , including empathy and emotional regulation
  • Time management
  • Data analysis
  • Research skills
  • Project management

And they see problems as opportunities. Everyone is born with problem-solving skills. But accessing these abilities depends on how we view problems. Effective problem-solvers see problems as opportunities to learn and improve.

Ready to work on your problem-solving abilities? Get started with these seven tips.

1. Build your problem-solving skills

One of the best ways to improve your problem-solving skills is to learn from experts. Consider enrolling in organizational training , shadowing a mentor , or working with a coach .

2. Practice

Practice using your new problem-solving skills by applying them to smaller problems you might encounter in your daily life. 

Alternatively, imagine problematic scenarios that might arise at work and use problem-solving strategies to find hypothetical solutions.

3. Don’t try to find a solution right away

Often, the first solution you think of to solve a problem isn’t the most appropriate or effective.

Instead of thinking on the spot, give yourself time and use one or more of the problem-solving strategies above to activate your creative thinking. 

two-colleagues-talking-at-corporate-event-problem-solving-strategies

4. Ask for feedback

Receiving feedback is always important for learning and growth. Your perception of your problem-solving skills may be different from that of your colleagues. They can provide insights that help you improve. 

5. Learn new approaches and methodologies

There are entire books written about problem-solving methodologies if you want to take a deep dive into the subject. 

We recommend starting with “ Fixed — How to Perfect the Fine Art of Problem Solving ” by Amy E. Herman. 

6. Experiment

Tried-and-tested problem-solving techniques can be useful. However, they don’t teach you how to innovate and develop your own problem-solving approaches. 

Sometimes, an unconventional approach can lead to the development of a brilliant new idea or strategy. So don’t be afraid to suggest your most “out there” ideas.

7. Analyze the success of your competitors

Do you have competitors who have already solved the problem you’re facing? Look at what they did, and work backward to solve your own problem. 

For example, Netflix started in the 1990s as a DVD mail-rental company. Its main competitor at the time was Blockbuster. 

But when streaming became the norm in the early 2000s, both companies faced a crisis. Netflix innovated, unveiling its streaming service in 2007. 

If Blockbuster had followed Netflix’s example, it might have survived. Instead, it declared bankruptcy in 2010.

Use problem-solving strategies to uplevel your business

When facing a problem, it’s worth taking the time to find the right solution. 

Otherwise, we risk either running away from our problems or headlong into solutions. When we do this, we might miss out on other, better options.

Use the problem-solving strategies outlined above to find innovative solutions to your business’ most perplexing problems.

If you’re ready to take problem-solving to the next level, request a demo with BetterUp . Our expert coaches specialize in helping teams develop and implement strategies that work.

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Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

8 creative solutions to your most challenging problems

What are metacognitive skills examples in everyday life, 31 examples of problem solving performance review phrases, 5 problem-solving questions to prepare you for your next interview, leadership activities that encourage employee engagement, what is lateral thinking 7 techniques to encourage creative ideas, can dreams help you solve problems 6 ways to try, learn what process mapping is and how to create one (+ examples), effective problem statements have these 5 components, similar articles, the pareto principle: how the 80/20 rule can help you do more with less, thinking outside the box: 8 ways to become a creative problem solver, contingency planning: 4 steps to prepare for the unexpected, 5 candidate sourcing tactics that’ll put your company a step ahead, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..

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Problem-Solving Skills: 5 Ways to Evaluate Them When Hiring

Juste Semetaite

Knowing how to hire employees with strong problem-solving skills can make all the difference in becoming the next Netflix – or Blockbuster.

Because every role, from the penthouse corner office to the high street, involves a degree of problem-solving. Whether managing a team, developing a web page, or resolving a customer complaint, what matters is how people deal with the problems they face .

To ensure your company is prepared to tackle even the most challenging situations, we’ll first look at what problem solving skills are, using some real-life applications, before walking you through 5 of the best ways to test for them.

TL;DR – Key Takeaways

  • Problem-solving skills encompass all the skills that employees use in the workplace to analyze problems and come up with solutions .
  • Examples of typical problem-solving skills include good communication skills , active listening skills, decision-making skills, analytical skills, creativity, and collaboration.
  • Different problem-solving skills are required from a manager compared to an individual contributor, so hiring managers should look for different competencies according to the seniority of the role.
  • There are several ways to assess a candidate’s problem-solving skills when hiring, such as asking behavioral interview questions, running assessment tests or job simulations , conducting reference checks, and asking cultural fit questions.
  • Toggl Hire has an impressive library of customizable skills tests and homework assignments that hiring managers can plug into their hiring pipeline to help identify the best problem-solvers right from the start.

What are problem-solving skills?

“Problem solving skills” refers to someone’s ability to identify problems , analyze possible solutions , and think through the steps required to solve those problems. For example, an HR specialist faced with the problem of filling a new position might first analyze whether it would be best filled internally or externally before posting a job description .

Problem solving skills are critical for every possible industry, role, and level of seniority, because at the bottom of each job is solving some type of problem.

how do you solve problems at work examples

Examples of typical problems in the workplace include:

  • Finding out the reason behind increased customer complaints
  • Improving the efficiency of outbound cold calls for your sales team
  • Overhauling a landing page so that it drives more people to subscribe to a software

As you can see, every possible role that exists requires people to solve problems effectively.

What skills make up the problem-solving competency?

“Problem solving skills” is an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of different skills . Here are some examples of typical problem solving abilities that an employee may need for any given role:

  • Communication skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Research skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Collaboration
  • Active listening skills

Not all of them are necessary for every role, but these examples of hard and soft skills are a great starting point if you’re putting together a job description for your next role.

skills that make up problem solving competence

Problem-solving skills examples at different levels

In addition to the variety of skills that fall under the term “problem-solving”, there are also different competency levels of problem-solving.

Just like the difference between hiring an intern , a manager , and a director, choosing the right level of problem-solving competency will depend on the role you’re hiring for.

To explain this further, let’s dig into the 3 basic levels of problem-solving skills.

Entry-level problem-solving skills

A candidate with entry-level problem-solving skills is capable of identifying what the problem is and considering the potential solution. However, they struggle to move beyond this point. These types of skills are suitable if you’re looking to hire for a junior position.

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Intermediate-level problem-solving skills

At an intermediate level, the candidate not only identifies problems and finds potential solutions for them, but also uses different types of problem-solving skills and strategies to tackle them from different angles.

However, for more complex problems, they might struggle to implement the solution and will look for assistance from other team members.

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Expert-level problem-solving skills

At an expert level, a candidate is capable of solving problems from beginning to end . They are skilled in different problem-solving strategies, including how to gather and analyze relevant information. They are able to see creative solutions where others do not and can anticipate potential obstacles before they happen.

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Why are problem-solving skills so important at work?

The modern workplace is full of problems that need solving. Solution-focused employees are a valuable asset to any company in any possible role. They help your company save money , keep customers happy , and inspire colleagues by coming up with new ways to solve old problems .

Employers like to see good problem-solving skills because it also helps to show them you have a range of other competencies such as logic, creativity, resilience, imagination, lateral thinking, and determination.

Here are some of the benefits amazing problem solvers bring to an organization and those around them: 

Problem-Solvers Work Well Under Pressure

When a problem arises, it needs to be fixed quickly. Employees with amazing problem-solving skills roll with the punches and tight deadlines to deliver when it matters. 

To do this, expert problem-solvers react quickly to short-term situations while thinking proactively about future problems. That ability to act fast and effectively exuberates confidence, creating a sense of calm across the wider team.

They Create Amazing New Ideas

Problem-solving and creative thinking go hand-in-hand. The best problem-solvers don’t just put bandaids over an issue, they fix them in a dynamic, value-adding way. 

Exciting, out-of-the-box thinking isn’t just good in the moment but creates an exciting, innovative culture across the organization. That helps organizations stay ahead of the curve and attracts other expert problem-solvers to join the organization, improving the workforce’s capability over time. 

Problems Create Risk, and Problem-Solvers Fix Problems

From an organizational perspective, problems create risk. Even if a business process is slightly off-kilter, it can become a much greater issue. 

Problem-solvers help organizations reduce risk in the moment while mitigating future risks before they even occur. That helps everyone sleep sounder at night and also removes financial liability from the C-suite. 

Problem-Solvers Beat The Competition

Ultimately, excellent problem-solvers help organizations stay ahead of their competition. Whether through creative ideas, faster outputs, or reduced risk, organizations with awesome problem solvers deliver better products and services to their clients. 

As we all know, it’s the people that make an organization great, and problem-solvers are some of the best people out there! 

Next, let’s take a closer look at how problem-solving skills may differ between individual contributors and managers.

Example of using problem-solving skills in the workplace: manager vs individual contributor

While their approaches may differ, both the manager and the individual contributor go through the same stages of the problem-solving process.

Managers look at the broader perspective of solving a problem and the different ways of coordinating their team and the organization. Their focus is the long-term success of their team and the company.

The individual contributor, on the other hand, is more concerned with individual tasks and technical problems, as well as instant solutions to a problem at hand.

Both sides of the coin are important if you want to succeed at problem solving in the long run and thrive as a team and as a company.

Step 1 – Problem definition

Quick example – A Sales Exec goes to their manager with a problem – they’re struggling to hit their sales target. The Sales Manager sits down with them to understand the situation, where they are with their sales, and the gap to the target.

Step 2 – Problem analysis

Quick example – The Sales Manager goes away and gathers some information about the Sales Exec. They look at their CRM notes, speak with other team members, and shadow the Sales Exec on the job.

Step 3 – Generating the possible solutions

Quick example – The Sales Manager comes up with some solutions to help their  Sales Exec. Options on the table include additional training, a structured work plan, and re-prioritizing their workload.

Step 4 – Implementing the best solution(s)

Quick example – The Sales Manager lays out the next steps with the Sales Exec, explaining the proposed solutions. The Sales Exec will do some re-training on the sales process and will re-prioritize their workload to focus on particular, high-value customers.

5 Ways to Evaluate Problem-Solving Skills When Hiring

There are many practical ways to evaluate how people solve problems during the hiring process. Depending on your needs, you can use one, more, or all of these in combination.

#1 – Behavioral interview questions

These are questions you ask candidates to find out how they solved problems in the past and behaved in a certain situation. Here are some examples:

  • How do you handle setbacks at work?
  • A customer came back to you with a complaint and the fault is on your company’s end. How do you resolve the issue?
  • Your employees have a conflict and you need to resolve it without taking sides. How do you go about this?
  • You have a certain timeframe to complete a complex task. How do you prioritize the work to ensure you meet the deadline and not burn out?

30 Behavioral Interview Questions to Ask Candidates (With Answers)

You can use the STAR method to assess how they solve problems in specific situations:

S – Situation: how well did they explain the situation they faced?

T – Task: what was the task they had to complete in that situation?

A – Action: did they clearly show the action they took to resolve the problem?

R – Result: how did they explain the result, and measure success?

With the right set of questions and the application of the STAR method, you can see if your candidates have good problem solving skills or not. However, this method is not 100% reliable as your candidates could be less than honest in their responses, which brings us to the other methods.

#2 – Job simulation exercises

Instead of asking candidates to think of past experiences, you can put them in a real-life situation to judge how they think and react in real time. And see for yourself how analytical, creative, and competent they are. The best way to do this is with a simulation exercise .

Note that these job simulation tasks only resemble what the candidate will be doing in their job but shouldn’t include real data or customers to protect your business.

One such example is our Homework assessments . Designed as an assessment tool for hiring managers, Homework assessments offer 500 pre-built tasks you can give to potential candidates before inviting them for an interview or extending an offer.

Get a jumpstart on your selection process with easy-to-use homework assignment templates.

Candidates can do these tasks on their own and in their free time. In our library, you can choose from a variety of tasks where candidates can show off their analytical skills and proficiency in solving problems.

Once they’re done, you can review the tasks and create shared notes for your entire team to review. Just like that, you’re one step closer to making a more confident hiring decision, and your candidates can practice solving problems without causing risks for your ongoing work.

7 Benefits of Using Job Simulations in Your Hiring Process

#3 – Assessment tools

Putting candidates in different situations is a solid way to find out more about their problem solving skills. However, another fantastic way to see how they solve problems is by using skills assessment tools .

Tools like Toggl Hire allow you to create pre-employment tests often used in the first step of the hiring process. That way, you can tell early on how good someone is at solving problems and whether they have the key skills to meet the requirements for the job .

You can pick from different types of questions that already exist in Toggl Hire - or add your own, custom ones.

In our problem-solving skills test, we test for four crucial skills:

  • Problem solving
  • Innovative thinking
  • Logical reasoning
  • Decision making

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Problem solving assessment template

The assessment takes only 15 minutes , making it a great alternative to submitting a resume and cover letter. Applicants love Toggl Hire because they get feedback rapidly, and know within minutes of completing the test if they are a good fit for the role. [ Grab the template here ]

problem solving skills test template

#4 – References and past performance

Reference checking is a simple but effective way to evaluate the skills of potential candidates. To understand if someone has the right problem-solving skills for the job, simply ring up their past employers and ask!

The more specific your questions, the better. Ask about objectives and goals that they completed that stand out during their time with the company. Moreover, you need to make sure that they have a pattern in their performance. In other words, were they consistent in finding new ways to solve problems and tackle complex issues?

A word of caution.

References are not always reliable. Past employers may refuse to comment on an employee’s performance, or they could be forbidden from doing so by their contracts. Sometimes, you may be unable to get ahold of the point of contact. Other times, their feedback can be overly positive.

This is why it’s important to consider other possible solutions for assessing problem solving skills in combination with reference checks.

#5 – Cultural fit

When you have all of this information in one place, it’s time to find the last piece of the puzzle. In other words, to see if the way a candidate solves problems aligns with your values and company culture.

evidence of problem solving skills in candidates

For example, you may have a customer who has a problem with their account and wants a full subscription refund. One approach to problem-solving, in this case, would be to give the full refund because the customer is right – no matter what.

On the other hand, someone else might try and talk to the customer and get them to stay. You can come up with different problem solving skills examples to inquire about during the interview stage.

The candidate should be able not just to solve problems, but also do it in a way that matches your company culture .

28 Job Interview Red Flags to Watch Out For in Candidates

Wrapping up

Employees with great problem-solving skills will always be in demand, no matter the profession or seniority level. However, testing for those skills can present a challenge for recruiters.

With the right tools, problem solving interview questions , and reference checks, you can determine if a candidate is a good problem solver or not.

If you need a bit more guidance on how to test for problem solving skills, try a ready-made Toggl Hire skills test to quickly screen candidates and determine who will continue to the job interview.

Juste Semetaite

Juste loves investigating through writing. A copywriter by trade, she spent the last ten years in startups, telling stories and building marketing teams. She works at Toggl Hire and writes about how businesses can recruit really great people.

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How to Be a More Creative Problem-Solver at Work: 8 Tips

Business professionals using creative problem-solving at work

  • 01 Mar 2022

The importance of creativity in the workplace—particularly when problem-solving—is undeniable. Business leaders can’t approach new problems with old solutions and expect the same result.

This is where innovation-based processes need to guide problem-solving. Here’s an overview of what creative problem-solving is, along with tips on how to use it in conjunction with design thinking.

Access your free e-book today.

What Is Creative Problem-Solving?

Encountering problems with no clear cause can be frustrating. This occurs when there’s disagreement around a defined problem or research yields unclear results. In such situations, creative problem-solving helps develop solutions, despite a lack of clarity.

While creative problem-solving is less structured than other forms of innovation, it encourages exploring open-ended ideas and shifting perspectives—thereby fostering innovation and easier adaptation in the workplace. It also works best when paired with other innovation-based processes, such as design thinking .

Creative Problem-Solving and Design Thinking

Design thinking is a solutions-based mentality that encourages innovation and problem-solving. It’s guided by an iterative process that Harvard Business School Dean Srikant Datar outlines in four stages in the online course Design Thinking and Innovation :

The four stages of design thinking: clarify, ideate, develop, and implement

  • Clarify: This stage involves researching a problem through empathic observation and insights.
  • Ideate: This stage focuses on generating ideas and asking open-ended questions based on observations made during the clarification stage.
  • Develop: The development stage involves exploring possible solutions based on the ideas you generate. Experimentation and prototyping are both encouraged.
  • Implement: The final stage is a culmination of the previous three. It involves finalizing a solution’s development and communicating its value to stakeholders.

Although user research is an essential first step in the design thinking process, there are times when it can’t identify a problem’s root cause. Creative problem-solving addresses this challenge by promoting the development of new perspectives.

Leveraging tools like design thinking and creativity at work can further your problem-solving abilities. Here are eight tips for doing so.

Design Thinking and Innovation | Uncover creative solutions to your business problems | Learn More

8 Creative Problem-Solving Tips

1. empathize with your audience.

A fundamental practice of design thinking’s clarify stage is empathy. Understanding your target audience can help you find creative and relevant solutions for their pain points through observing them and asking questions.

Practice empathy by paying attention to others’ needs and avoiding personal comparisons. The more you understand your audience, the more effective your solutions will be.

2. Reframe Problems as Questions

If a problem is difficult to define, reframe it as a question rather than a statement. For example, instead of saying, "The problem is," try framing around a question like, "How might we?" Think creatively by shifting your focus from the problem to potential solutions.

Consider this hypothetical case study: You’re the owner of a local coffee shop trying to fill your tip jar. Approaching the situation with a problem-focused mindset frames this as: "We need to find a way to get customers to tip more." If you reframe this as a question, however, you can explore: "How might we make it easier for customers to tip?" When you shift your focus from the shop to the customer, you empathize with your audience. You can take this train of thought one step further and consider questions such as: "How might we provide a tipping method for customers who don't carry cash?"

Whether you work at a coffee shop, a startup, or a Fortune 500 company, reframing can help surface creative solutions to problems that are difficult to define.

3. Defer Judgment of Ideas

If you encounter an idea that seems outlandish or unreasonable, a natural response would be to reject it. This instant judgment impedes creativity. Even if ideas seem implausible, they can play a huge part in ideation. It's important to permit the exploration of original ideas.

While judgment can be perceived as negative, it’s crucial to avoid accepting ideas too quickly. If you love an idea, don’t immediately pursue it. Give equal consideration to each proposal and build on different concepts instead of acting on them immediately.

4. Overcome Cognitive Fixedness

Cognitive fixedness is a state of mind that prevents you from recognizing a situation’s alternative solutions or interpretations instead of considering every situation through the lens of past experiences.

Although it's efficient in the short-term, cognitive fixedness interferes with creative thinking because it prevents you from approaching situations unbiased. It's important to be aware of this tendency so you can avoid it.

5. Balance Divergent and Convergent Thinking

One of the key principles of creative problem-solving is the balance of divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking is the process of brainstorming multiple ideas without limitation; open-ended creativity is encouraged. It’s an effective tool for generating ideas, but not every idea can be explored. Divergent thinking eventually needs to be grounded in reality.

Convergent thinking, on the other hand, is the process of narrowing ideas down into a few options. While converging ideas too quickly stifles creativity, it’s an important step that bridges the gap between ideation and development. It's important to strike a healthy balance between both to allow for the ideation and exploration of creative ideas.

6. Use Creative Tools

Using creative tools is another way to foster innovation. Without a clear cause for a problem, such tools can help you avoid cognitive fixedness and abrupt decision-making. Here are several examples:

Problem Stories

Creating a problem story requires identifying undesired phenomena (UDP) and taking note of events that precede and result from them. The goal is to reframe the situations to visualize their cause and effect.

To start, identify a UDP. Then, discover what events led to it. Observe and ask questions of your consumer base to determine the UDP’s cause.

Next, identify why the UDP is a problem. What effect does the UDP have that necessitates changing the status quo? It's helpful to visualize each event in boxes adjacent to one another when answering such questions.

The problem story can be extended in either direction, as long as there are additional cause-and-effect relationships. Once complete, focus on breaking the chains connecting two subsequent events by disrupting the cause-and-effect relationship between them.

Alternate Worlds

The alternate worlds tool encourages you to consider how people from different backgrounds would approach similar situations. For instance, how would someone in hospitality versus manufacturing approach the same problem? This tool isn't intended to instantly solve problems but, rather, to encourage idea generation and creativity.

7. Use Positive Language

It's vital to maintain a positive mindset when problem-solving and avoid negative words that interfere with creativity. Positive language prevents quick judgments and overcomes cognitive fixedness. Instead of "no, but," use words like "yes, and."

Positive language makes others feel heard and valued rather than shut down. This practice doesn’t necessitate agreeing with every idea but instead approaching each from a positive perspective.

Using “yes, and” as a tool for further idea exploration is also effective. If someone presents an idea, build upon it using “yes, and.” What additional features could improve it? How could it benefit consumers beyond its intended purpose?

While it may not seem essential, this small adjustment can make a big difference in encouraging creativity.

8. Practice Design Thinking

Practicing design thinking can make you a more creative problem-solver. While commonly associated with the workplace, adopting a design thinking mentality can also improve your everyday life. Here are several ways you can practice design thinking:

  • Learn from others: There are many examples of design thinking in business . Review case studies to learn from others’ successes, research problems companies haven't addressed, and consider alternative solutions using the design thinking process.
  • Approach everyday problems with a design thinking mentality: One of the best ways to practice design thinking is to apply it to your daily life. Approach everyday problems using design thinking’s four-stage framework to uncover what solutions it yields.
  • Study design thinking: While learning design thinking independently is a great place to start, taking an online course can offer more insight and practical experience. The right course can teach you important skills , increase your marketability, and provide valuable networking opportunities.

Which HBS Online Entrepreneurship and Innovation Course is Right for You? | Download Your Free Flowchart

Ready to Become a Creative Problem-Solver?

Though creativity comes naturally to some, it's an acquired skill for many. Regardless of which category you're in, improving your ability to innovate is a valuable endeavor. Whether you want to bolster your creativity or expand your professional skill set, taking an innovation-based course can enhance your problem-solving.

If you're ready to become a more creative problem-solver, explore Design Thinking and Innovation , one of our online entrepreneurship and innovation courses . If you aren't sure which course is the right fit, download our free course flowchart to determine which best aligns with your goals.

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how do you solve problems at work examples

7 Examples of Problem-Solving Scenarios in the Workplace (With Solutions)

What is problem-solving anyway, problem-solving scenario #1: tight deadlines and heavy workload.

  • Problem-solving Scenario #2: Handling a Product Launch

Problem-solving Scenario #3: Internal Conflicts in the Team

Problem-solving scenario #4: team not meeting targets, problem-solving scenario #5: team facing high turnover, problem-solving scenario #6: team member facing discrimination, problem-solving scenario #7: new manager unable to motivate a team, building an effective problem-solving framework, wrapping up, frequently asked questions for managers.

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Problem-Solving Scenarios for Managers

  • Talk to the team members: John begins by asking what’s holding them back. Based on their responses, he realizes that he needs to delegate better. Immediately, John schedules meetings to  clarify each member’s expectations , priorities, and roles and ensure everyone is on the same page. He also makes a note to work on his delegation skills.
  • Plan things: John creates a project timeline or task list that outlines the deadlines and deliverables for each team member and shares this with the team to ensure that everyone is aware of what is expected of them.
  • Support the team: The team sits together to establish regular check-ins or progress updates to ensure members can ask questions or raise concerns.

Problem-solving Scenario # 2 : Handling a Product Launch

  • Review and redraw plans:  Emily revisited the project plan and identified areas where the team could reduce the scope or prioritize features to meet the budget constraints.
  • Go for alternatives:  The team then explored alternative resources or suppliers to find cost-effective options. Are there any underutilized resources, equipment, or personnel from other projects or departments that can be temporarily assigned to this project? Moreover, they revisited their suppliers and negotiated further.
  • Outsourcing parts of the project:  Emily considered outsourcing some project functions to external contractors or freelancers. Eventually, they outsourced the marketing to another team and continued working on the core features.
  • Upgrade the available capacity:  Emily and her team invested in upskilling the present workforce with additional skills. It allowed some team members to explore exciting areas and supplemented the team.
  • Get both sides onboard: Taylor begins the conflict resolution process by talking to both team members. She recognizes the issue and first goes into individual discussions with both. Later, she sets up a meeting for both to share their perspectives.
  • Mediation:  In the next step, the manager encourages the two team members to talk to each other and resolve the conflict independently. Taylor describes how the optimal contribution can look different for different team members. Additionally, she encourages them to be more open and collaborative so that they understand what the other one does.
  • Preventing mistakes again:  The team holds a meeting to discuss the issue and allow other team members to express their thoughts and feelings. By not hiding the problem that happened in front of everyone, Taylor acknowledges the issues and shows that she cares about the things happening inside the team. Further, by discussing and sharing, they can build a healthy relationship to prevent similar issues in the future. 
  • Use formal tools: Lastly, they establish clear guidelines and expectations for behavior and communication within the team to prevent future conflicts. Training and coaching are also added to help team members improve their communication and conflict-resolution skills.
  • Discussions with the Sales Representatives: Donna starts by having one-on-one conversations with each team member to understand their perspectives on why the targets are not being met. After gathering insights from personal discussions, Donna calls for a team meeting. During the session, she allows team members to share their experiences, challenges, and suggestions openly. 
  • Analysis of Sales Process: Donna conducts a detailed sales process analysis, from lead generation to closing deals. She identifies bottlenecks and areas where the team might be facing difficulties. This analysis helps her pinpoint specific stages that need improvement. 
  • Setting Realistic Targets: Donna understands that overly ambitious targets might be demotivating. She collaborates with her team to develop more achievable yet challenging sales targets based on their current performance and market conditions. She organizes training sessions and workshops to help team members develop the necessary skills and knowledge to excel. 
  • Recognition and Incentives: Donna introduces a recognition program and incentives for meeting and exceeding targets to motivate the team. This helps boost morale and encourages healthy competition within the team. She closely monitors the team’s progress toward the revised targets. 
  • Conduct Exit Interviews:  As the stream of resignation continues, Neil adopts a realistic approach and starts by attempting to understand the issues his former team members face. He conducts exit interviews with the people leaving and tries to determine what’s wrong. 
  • Understand the current team:  In the next step, Neil tries to learn the perspectives of staying people. Through surveys and conversations, he lists the good parts of working in his team and emphasizes them. He also finds the challenges and works on reducing them. 
  • Change and adapt to employee needs:  These conversations help Neil enable a better work environment to help him contain turnover and attract top talent. Moving forward, he ensures that pay is competitive and work is aligned with the employee’s goals. He also involves stakeholders to create development and growth opportunities for his team.
  • Be approachable and open: Erica first ensures she can gather all the details from the team members. She provides them with a safe space and comfort to express their concern and ensures that action will be taken. She supports the targeted team members, such as access to counselling or other resources.
  • Adopt and follow an official policy: Developing and enforcing anti-discrimination policies that clearly state the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is the first step to creating a safe workplace. Erica refers to the policy and takes immediate action accordingly, including a thorough investigation.
  • Reiterating commitment and goals: Providing diversity and inclusion training to all team members to help them understand the impact of discrimination and how to prevent it is essential to create a safe workplace. Erica ensures that the team members are aware of the provisions, the DEI goals set by the organization, and 
  • Connect with the team: Andrew starts by conducting one-on-one meetings with team members to understand their personal and professional goals, challenges, and strengths. Observing team dynamics and identifying any issues or obstacles hindering motivation and productivity also helps.
  • Involving team members in the process: Seeking feedback from team members on what motivates them and what they want to see from their manager to feel more inspired.
  • Enabling and empowering: Offering opportunities for growth and development, such as training, mentoring, or leadership roles, helped Andrew contribute to his team’s development. 
  • Take help from Merlin: Andrew reached out to Merlin, the AI chatbot of Risely, to get tips whenever he got stuck. Merlin sought details about his issues and shared some tips to help out Andrew. Here is what it looked like: 

andrew motivating a new team

  • Develop a problem-solving process: To get problem-solving right for multiple scenarios repeatedly, the key is to remember and set a problem-solving approach that works across the board. A wide-ranged problem-solving process that begins with identification and concludes at the resolution helps managers navigate various challenges the profession throws us. 
  • Learn to identify problems: The key to solving problems is placing them at the right moment. If you let some problems pester for long, they can become more significant issues for the teams. Hence, building the understanding to identify issues is essential for managers.
  • Think from multiple perspectives: As a problem-solver, you must care for various parties and stakeholders. Thus, thinking from numerous perspectives and considering ideas from a broad spectrum of people is a core skill. 
  • Consistently work on skills: Like other managerial skills, problem-solving skills need constant practice and review. Over time, your skills can become more robust with the help of assessments and toolkits. Tools like Risely can help you with resources and constant guidance to overcome managerial challenges. Check out Risely today to start reaching your true potential.

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how do you solve problems at work examples

How to improve your problem-solving at work: skills, models and examples

How to improve problem solving skills

Highly valued by employers, problem-solving is needed in just about any line of work. We’ll show you how to step up your ability to take on workplace challenges below…

Whether you’re a seasoned manager or in a junior role, you’re bound to encounter challenges that need tackling head on during your week. And when it comes to overcoming them, fine-tuned, well-honed problem-solving skills are the way to do it.

If your problem-solving has been off in the past, then it can be difficult to take a step back before you act. Luckily, problem-solving is a skill to be learned like any other.

To help you get to grips with this valued skill, we’ll define problem-solving in detail, show you why it matters, and offer some pointers for improving your problem-solving skills.

What are problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving skills let us take on issues without resorting to hasty decisions and snap judgements. They’re what allow us to better understand the challenges before us so we can come up with solutions for dealing with them.

Depending on what the problem is, such skills may call on things like active listening , teamwork, creative thinking or mathematical analysis. Whatever you use to reach a solution, problem-solving is a valuable soft skill that most employers will look for in potential employees.

Why are problem-solving skills important?

Problem-solvers are equipped to take on what comes their way. When they have the right tools at their disposal, they’re in a better position to observe the issue, judge it accordingly, and act in the most effective way. And through experience, these skills become more refined and precise, allowing them to take on tougher problems.

So, why else are they important? Let’s look at what else problem-solving can add to an employee’s skillset…

Greater time management skills

When you know how to approach a problem, greater time management skills tend to come naturally. Because you can balance your time more efficiently, your ability to weigh up your options becomes more precise and considered, allowing you to make less hasty decisions that could make a problem worse.

More creative thinking

Those with strong problem-solving skills can always see the opportunity in a challenge. By tackling problems with innovative solutions, you might find that the result is stronger than you expect.

Improved performance under pressure

When deadlines loom or change is on the horizon, a lack of problem-solving skills could be what leads to poor or half-baked solutions. Because they’re naturally geared towards dealing with the unknown and the unexpected, problem-solvers are less inclined to feel pressure when it arises.

Greater addressing of risk

As well as the ability to deal with the issue itself, problem-solvers are well-equipped to address problems that could spring up later down the line based on trends, patterns and current events . This allows them to possess a degree of control over the future.

How to improve your problem-solving skills

So, how can you improve your ability to solve problems in the workplace? The following tips can help give you an edge whatever your position in a company may be.

Look for opportunities to solve problems

If you’re not used to taking them on, it can be easy to sit back and let someone else deal with problems. Instead of shying away from them, put yourself in situations where problems can arise.

We don’t mean deliberately making mistakes here, but taking on more duties in your current role, with another team or outside your organisation can help familiarise you with the kind of problems that can occur and ways to deal with them.

Observe how others solve problems

By shadowing your colleagues, you can learn problem-solving techniques and put them into practice yourself. Ask a colleague if you can observe their strategy, or schedule in a one-to-one to ask about how they take on problems.

Familiarise yourself with practice problems

There’s a wealth of resources in print and online that you can use to improve your problem-solving skills. These materials offer all sorts of scenarios to put your abilities to the test, unearthing skills you didn’t know you had.

An example problem-solving model

There are several problem-solving models out there, but typically, they follow the broad steps below.

1. Define the problem

Take a step back and analyse the situation. Are there multiple problems? What is causing them? How do these problems affect you and others involved?

Then, drill into the problem by doing the following:

• Separate facts from opinion

• Identify what has caused the problem

• Discuss with team members to gather more information

• Gather relevant data

At this stage, don’t be tempted to come up with a solution. You’re simply trying to find out what the problem is.

2. Identify potential solutions

While you may have only come up with one solution to a problem in the past, brainstorming several alternatives is a better approach. Ask colleagues for their input and get some insights from those with experience of similar problems.

In coming up with alternatives, consider the following:

• Weigh up what might slow down solving the problem

• Ensure your ideas align with goals and objectives

• Identify long and short-term solutions

• Write down the solutions you come up with

3. Evaluate your solutions

Once you have a list of solutions, you need to evaluate them further before acting. What are the positive and negative consequences of each? What resources will you need to carry them out? How much time and, if necessary, who else will you need to put the solution in place?

4. Choose a solution

Your evaluation should clarify which solution best suits the problem. Now it’s time to put that solution into practice.

Before you do, consider:

• Does it solve the problem without creating another?

• Have you reached a group consensus over the solution?

• Is implementing it practical and straightforward?

• Does it fit within company policies and procedures?

5. Put the solution into action

Once you’ve decided on the right solution, it needs to be implemented. Your action plan should include measurable objectives that allow you to monitor its success, as well as timelines and feedback channels your team can use during implementation.

Making sure this plan is communicated to everyone involved will also be key to its success.

6. Assess how effective the solution is

Your work isn’t done just yet! You’ll need to measure how things are progressing to ensure the solution is working as intended. Doing so means you can course-correct should further surprises arise, or else go back to alternative solutions.

How to show problem-solving skills on your CV and at interviews

As we said up top, problem-solving is highly valued by employers, so you’ll want to highlight such abilities on your CV, cover letter and in interviews.

Think back to previous roles for examples of when you used problem-solving skills. It’s not enough to say you’re good at problem-solving; employers will be looking for concrete examples, so be sure to mention them in your cover letter and use bullet points on your CV with specifics.

In interviews, you might be called on to describe times when you encountered problems in previous roles. Here, you should mention the processes you followed to address these issues, the skills you used, and the outcomes achieved.

Likewise, you may be asked hypothetical questions to show how you would solve problems. Base your answers on the steps above, and use the STARR method in conjunction with previous instances of problem-solving to give a detailed yet concise response.

Click here   for the latest news and features from SEFE Marketing & Trading or   visit our homepage   to find out about our latest career opportunities.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of SEFE Marketing & Trading. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. SEFE Marketing & Trading accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

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Work Advice: How to handle an employee who keeps making basic mistakes

Setting clear expectations and allowing time to self-correct can ensure underperformers get things right the first time.

how do you solve problems at work examples

Reader 1: I’m in charge of fundraising at a small nonprofit. One of my supervisees needs improvement in working independently and producing higher-quality work. He sends me material that he clearly has not proofread or checked. For example, he’s supposed to cross-check any mailing list we generate with the “no solicitations” database and eyeball it for other errors — but we almost sent a letter to a donor who was clearly marked as deceased. He has also drafted communications to donors with multiple typos.

He has been in his role for over a year. Mistakes have been pointed out previously in a “please note this for the future” way. Yet they continue. Do I need to be more forceful? Any other suggestions? I would like to keep this employee, and I believe he has potential. But I need for him to engage his brain before simply passing things my way, and I’m not sure how to convey that politely.

Work Advice: My boss's writing is full of errors, and I want to help her improve

Karla: For some people, simply having their mistakes pointed out is all the motivation they need to prevent them from happening again. For others, “please note this for the future” translates to “not immediately important” and vanishes from memory. It’s possible your employee falls into that latter category. Or he could just be operating under the assumption that fast work takes priority over polished work, and everything he has done so far has been good enough. If you have let a year’s worth of feedback opportunities pass without telling him otherwise, it may come as a surprise to him that he is not performing up to standard.

You can have a conversation now about taking his work to the next level. But it’s probably more efficient to start retraining by having him fix his own mistakes. No need to be forceful, just consistent. As soon as you catch the first couple of typos or an invalid name, send it back and ask him to check for more. If he fixes only what you point out, but leaves other errors, repeat as needed until you receive a clean copy.

Yes, this change in dynamic will probably be slower than just continuing to fix all the mistakes yourself — at first. Start setting deadlines for assignments a few days before you actually need them, knowing that they will be a first draft rather than a finished product.

It’s also possible he is engaging his brain as much as he is capable of, and you need to find ways to make your processes more goof-proof:

  • Have him and a peer cross-check each other’s work.
  • Give him a checklist of crucial items to confirm for every project: names, spell-check, living status.
  • Look for technological solutions to automate tedious but important tasks, such as generating clean mailing lists.

If all else fails, it may be time to look for different duties that play to his strengths, or ones where mistakes won’t affect donors. I realize nonprofits can’t often afford to be picky, but having someone in a job who creates more problems than he solves is hardly better than doing it all yourself.

Work Advice: Dealing with poor work performance — in a friend

Reader 2: I’m a volunteer at a state park. When the place is fully staffed, there are 30 employees. For many years, the staff and volunteers were quite close, sharing ambitious work projects and meals prepared on the grill. But now, one new park employee, who’s responsible for logging volunteer hours, has told us that volunteers are not allowed to talk with park management unless she’s present. Any emails or texts must include her. This seems unnecessarily restrictive and counter to everything I have experienced in team building. Is it even legal? Do you have any suggestions for how to address this issue?

Karla: Two words: malicious compliance. Include her in texts and emails, no matter how mundane the topic. Whenever someone from management asks you a question, either tell them “I have to run that by [Liaison],” or call and ask her to join the conversation.

The beauty of this is that it works regardless of whether her demands are ridiculous or legitimate. If she’s overreaching, compliance is the fastest way to irritate the people with authority to overrule her. And if she has cause for her demands — preventing abuse of volunteer time or adhering to safety rules, for example — compliance will ensure the rules do their job. It’s quite possible those “unnecessarily restrictive” rules are the result of an incident your organization wants to keep from happening again.

how do you solve problems at work examples

iPhone Battery and Performance

Understand iPhone performance and its relation to your battery.

Your iPhone is designed to be simple and easy to use. This is only possible through a combination of advanced technologies and sophisticated engineering. One important technology area is battery and performance. Batteries are a complex technology, and a number of variables contribute to battery performance and related iPhone performance. All rechargeable batteries are consumables and have a limited lifespan — eventually their capacity and performance decline such that they need to be replaced. Learn more about iPhone batteries and how battery aging can affect iPhone performance.

About lithium-ion batteries

iPhone batteries use lithium-ion technology. Compared with older generations of battery technology, lithium-ion batteries charge faster, last longer, and have a higher power density for more battery life in a lighter package. Rechargeable lithium-ion technology currently provides the best technology for your device. Learn more about lithium-ion batteries .

How to maximize battery performance

“Battery life” is the amount of time a device runs before it needs to be recharged. “Battery lifespan” is the amount of time a battery lasts until it needs to be replaced. One factor affecting battery life and lifespan is the mix of things you do with your device. No matter how you use your device, there are ways to help. A battery’s lifespan is related to its “chemical age,” which is more than just the passage of time. It includes different factors, such as the number of charge cycles and how it was cared for. Follow these tips to maximize battery performance and help extend battery lifespan. For example, keep iPhone half charged when it’s stored for the long term. Also avoid charging or leaving iPhone in hot environments, including direct sun exposure, for extended periods of time.

When batteries chemically age

All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age.

As lithium-ion batteries chemically age, the amount of charge they can hold diminishes, resulting in shorter amounts of time before a device needs to be recharged. This can be referred to as the battery’s maximum capacity — the measure of battery capacity relative to when it was new. In addition, a battery’s ability to deliver maximum instantaneous performance, or “peak power,” might decrease. For a phone to function properly, the electronics must be able to draw upon instantaneous power from the battery. One attribute that affects this instantaneous power delivery is the battery’s impedance. A battery with a high impedance might be unable to provide sufficient power to the system that needs it. A battery's impedance can increase if a battery has a higher chemical age. A battery’s impedance will temporarily increase at a low state of charge and in a cold temperature environment. When coupled with a higher chemical age, the impedance increase will be more significant. These are characteristics of battery chemistry that are common to all lithium-ion batteries in the industry.

When power is pulled from a battery with a higher level of impedance, the battery’s voltage will drop to a greater degree. Electronic components require a minimum voltage to properly operate. This includes the device’s internal storage, power circuits, and the battery itself. The power management system determines the capability of the battery to supply this power and manages the loads to maintain operations. When the operations can no longer be supported with the full capabilities of the power management system, the system will perform a shutdown to preserve these electronic components. While this shutdown is intentional from the device perspective, it might be unexpected by the user.

Preventing unexpected shutdowns

You're more likely to experience unexpected shutdowns when your battery has a low state of charge, a higher chemical age, or when you're in colder temperatures. In extreme cases, shutdowns can occur more frequently, making the device unreliable or unusable. For iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus, iOS dynamically manages performance peaks to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, so you can still use your iPhone. This performance management feature is specific to iPhone and doesn't apply to any other Apple products. Starting with iOS 12.1, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X include this feature; iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR include this feature starting with iOS 13.1. Learn about performance management on iPhone 11 and later .

iPhone performance management works by looking at a combination of the device temperature, battery state of charge, and battery impedance. Only if these variables require it, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. As a result, the device workloads will self-balance, allowing a smoother distribution of system tasks, rather than larger, quick spikes of performance all at once. In some cases, you might not notice any differences in device performance. The level of perceived change depends on how much performance management is required for your device.

In cases that require more extreme performance management, you might notice effects such as:

Longer app launch times

Lower frame rates while scrolling

Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center)

Lower speaker volume by up to -3dB

Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps

During the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI

Apps refreshing in background might require reloading upon launch

Many key areas aren't affected by this performance management feature. Some of these include:

Cellular call quality and networking throughput performance

Captured photo and video quality

GPS performance

Location accuracy

Sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer

For a low battery state of charge and colder temperatures, performance-management changes are temporary. If a device battery has chemically aged far enough, performance-management changes might be more lasting. This is because all rechargeable batteries are consumables and have a limited lifespan, eventually needing to be replaced. If you are impacted by this and would like to improve your device performance, replacing your device battery can help.

For iOS 11.3 and later

iOS 11.3 and later improve performance management by periodically assessing the level of performance management necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns. If the battery health is able to support the observed peak power requirements, the amount of performance management will be lowered. If an unexpected shutdown occurs again, performance management will increase. This assessment is ongoing, allowing more adaptive performance management.

iPhone 8 and later use an advanced hardware and software design that provides a more accurate estimation of both power needs and the battery’s power capability to maximize overall system performance. This allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown more precisely. As a result, the effects of performance management might be less noticeable on iPhone 8 and later. Over time, the rechargeable batteries in all iPhone models will diminish in their capacity and peak performance and will eventually need to be replaced.

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Battery Health

For iPhone 6 and later, iOS 11.3 and later add new features to show battery health and recommend if you need to replace the battery. You can find these in Settings > Battery > Battery Health (with iOS 16.1 or later, find these in Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging).

Additionally, you can see if the performance-management feature, which dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns, is on, and you can choose to turn it off. This feature is enabled only after an unexpected shutdown first occurs on a device with a battery that has diminished ability to deliver maximum instantaneous power. This feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus. Starting with iOS 12.1, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X include this feature; iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR include this feature starting with iOS 13.1. Learn about performance management on iPhone 11 and later . The effects of performance management on these newer models might be less noticeable due to their more advanced hardware and software design.

Devices updating from iOS 11.2.6 or earlier will initially have performance management disabled; it will be reenabled if the device subsequently experiences an unexpected shutdown.

All iPhone models include fundamental performance management to ensure that the battery and overall system operates as designed and internal components are protected. This includes behavior in hot or cold temperatures, as well as internal voltage management. This type of performance management is required for safety and expected function, and cannot be turned off.

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Your battery's maximum capacity

The Battery Health screen includes information on maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability.

Maximum battery capacity measures the device battery capacity relative to when it was new. A battery will have lower capacity as the battery chemically ages, which might result in fewer hours of usage between charges. Depending upon the length of time between when the iPhone was made and when it's activated, your battery capacity might show as slightly less than 100 percent.

Batteries of iPhone 14 models and earlier are designed to retain 80 percent of their original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles under ideal conditions.* Batteries of iPhone 15 models are designed to retain 80 percent of their original capacity at 1000 complete charge cycles under ideal conditions.* With all models, the exact capacity percentage depends on how the devices are regularly used and charged. The one-year warranty includes service coverage for a defective battery in addition to rights provided under local consumer laws. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers battery service for a charge. Learn more about charge cycles.

As your battery health degrades, so can its ability to deliver peak performance. The Battery Health screen includes a section for Peak Performance Capability where the following messages might appear.

Performance is normal

When the battery condition can support normal peak performance and does not have the performance management features applied, you'll see this message:

Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance.

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Performance management applied

When the performance management features have been applied, you'll see this message:

This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to help prevent this from happening again. Disable…

Note that if you disable performance management, you can’t turn it back on. It will be turned on again automatically if an unexpected shutdown occurs. The option to disable will also be available.

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Battery health unknown

If iOS is unable to determine the device battery health, you'll see this message:

This iPhone is unable to determine battery health. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can service the battery. More about service options…

This might be due to having an improperly installed battery or an unknown battery part.

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Performance management turned off

If you disable the applied performance-management feature, you'll see this message:

This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. You have manually disabled performance management protections.

If the device experiences another unexpected shutdown, the performance-management features will be reapplied. The option to disable will also be available.

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Battery health degraded

If battery health has degraded significantly, the below message will also appear:

Your battery’s health is significantly degraded. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance and capacity. More about service options…

This message doesn't indicate a safety issue. You can still use your battery. However, you might experience more noticeable battery and performance issues. A new replacement battery will improve your experience. More about service options .

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Important Battery Message

If you see the message below, it means the battery in your iPhone is unable to be verified. This message applies to iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and later.

Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery. Health information not available for this battery. Learn more...

Reported battery health information isn't available. To have your battery checked, contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider. More about service options .

Learn more about this message as it appears on iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and later .

Getting further assistance

If your device performance has been affected by an aged battery and you would like to get help with a battery replacement, contact Apple Support for service options.

Learn more about battery service and recycling .

Recalibration of battery health reporting on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max

iOS 14.5 and later include an update to address inaccurate estimates of battery health reporting for some users. The battery health reporting system will recalibrate maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Learn more about recalibration of battery health reporting in iOS 14.5 .

* When you use your iPhone, its battery goes through charge cycles. You complete one charge cycle when you’ve used an amount that represents 100 percent of your battery’s capacity. A complete charge cycle is normalized between 80 percent and 100 percent of original capacity to account for expected diminishing battery capacity over time.

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  6. How to Solve Problems at Work

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COMMENTS

  1. 26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)

    Problem-Solving Defined It is the ability to identify the problem, prioritize based on gravity and urgency, analyze the root cause, gather relevant information, develop and evaluate viable solutions, decide on the most effective and logical solution, and plan and execute implementation.

  2. 8 Common Problem-Solving Interview Questions and Answers

    When preparing for your interview, consider a few different examples of when you successfully solved a problem, including what the problem was, what steps you took to solve the problem and the outcome: When you are faced with a problem, what do you do? Describe a time when you faced an unexpected challenge at work.

  3. How To Put Problem-Solving Skills To Work in 6 Steps

    1. Define the problem The first step is to analyze the situation carefully to learn more about the problem. A single situation may solve multiple problems. Identify each problem and determine its cause. Try to anticipate the behavior and response of those affected by the problem.

  4. 25+ Good Examples of Problem Solving in the Workplace

    According to professionals, here are good examples of problem-solving in the workplace: Lisa Bahar, MA, LMFT, LPCC Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist | Philosophy of Global Leadership and Change Ph.D. Student, Pepperdine University How are workplace environment problems assessed and evaluated?

  5. What Are Problem-Solving Skills? Definitions and Examples

    Here are a few examples of skills you may use when solving a problem: Research Researching is an essential skill related to problem-solving. As a problem solver, you need to be able to identify the cause of the issue and understand it fully.

  6. Problem Solving Strategies for the Workplace [2023] • Asana

    1. Identify the problem that needs to be solved One of the easiest ways to identify a problem is to ask questions. A good place to start is to ask journalistic questions, like: Who: Who is involved with this problem? Who caused the problem? Who is most affected by this issue? What: What is happening? What is the extent of the issue?

  7. 7 Problem-Solving Skills That Can Help You Be a More ...

    Although problem-solving is a skill in its own right, a subset of seven skills can help make the process of problem-solving easier. These include analysis, communication, emotional intelligence, resilience, creativity, adaptability, and teamwork. 1. Analysis. As a manager, you'll solve each problem by assessing the situation first.

  8. How to Solve Problems at Work: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Step 1: Define the problem Before you go into problem-solving mode, you must first establish what the problem is and get a solid understanding of all its components. Start by answering a few questions, such as: Who is involved? What exactly happened? What caused the situation? Where did this problem occur? Why did it happen?

  9. Your Guide to Problem-Solving Skills at Work

    How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills (and Show Them Off in Your Job Hunt) by Deanna deBara Updated 6/9/2021 Morsa Images/Getty Images Problem-solving skills are critical for any career path—no matter where you work or what job you have, you'll face problems big and small all the time.

  10. How to Solve Problems

    Collaboration and teams How to Solve Problems To bring the best ideas forward, teams must build psychological safety. by Laura Amico October 29, 2021 HBR Staff/EschCollection/Getty Images Teams...

  11. 10 Problem-solving strategies to turn challenges on their head

    2. Break the problem down. Identifying the problem allows you to see which steps need to be taken to solve it. First, break the problem down into achievable blocks. Then, use strategic planning to set a time frame in which to solve the problem and establish a timeline for the completion of each stage. 3.

  12. How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

    1. Decision-making You'll need to develop your decision-making skills if you want to excel at problem-solving. No problem can be solved without making important decisions, including what data is relevant, who to delegate tasks to, and which proposed solution is the best option. 2. Communication

  13. How To Problem-Solve in the Workplace

    1. Define the problem Before you can solve a problem, you must define what it is. There may be multiple minor problems causing one bigger one, or people may view the problem differently. It is important that you talk to everyone involved to understand the full picture and pinpoint the problem accurately.

  14. Problem-solving skills: definitions and examples

    Problem-solving skills are skills that enable people to handle unexpected situations or difficult challenges at work. Organisations need people who can accurately assess problems and come up with effective solutions. In this article, we explain what problem-solving skills are, provide some examples of these skills and outline how to improve them.

  15. 12 Problems at Work and How to Solve Them (With Examples)

    Here are 12 common work problems and some suggestions on how to solve them: 1. Low employee motivation Addressing low employee motivation is typically a priority for many businesses. Often, repetitive tasks, lack of compensation or advancement opportunities can cause employees to become less motivated about their position.

  16. Problem-Solving Interview Questions: How-to + Examples

    To put these skills to the test, recruiters use "problem-solving" job interview questions, also known as analytical questions. Here are some common ones: Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem. Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

  17. Problem-Solving Skills: 5 Ways to Evaluate Them When Hiring

    Problem-solving skills encompass all the skills that employees use in the workplace to analyze problems and come up with solutions. Examples of typical problem-solving skills include good communication skills, active listening skills, decision-making skills, analytical skills, creativity, and collaboration. Different problem-solving skills are ...

  18. 14 Effective Problem-Solving Strategies

    1. Define the problem Taking the time to define a potential challenge can help you identify certain elements to create a plan to resolve them. Breaking down different areas and potential solutions to a problem can help you recognize how extensive the challenge could be and what strategies to put in place for a resolution.

  19. How to Be a More Creative Problem-Solver at Work: 8 Tips

    8 Creative Problem-Solving Tips. 1. Empathize with Your Audience. A fundamental practice of design thinking's clarify stage is empathy. Understanding your target audience can help you find creative and relevant solutions for their pain points through observing them and asking questions.

  20. 7 Examples of Problem-Solving Scenarios in the Workplace (With ...

    Problem-solving Scenario #1: Tight Deadlines and Heavy Workload Problem-solving Scenario #2: Handling a Product Launch Problem-solving Scenario #3: Internal Conflicts in the Team Problem-solving Scenario #4: Team not Meeting Targets Problem-solving Scenario #5: Team Facing High Turnover Problem-solving Scenario #6: Team Member Facing Discrimination

  21. How to Solve Any Problem at Work Like a Pro

    Be the first to add your personal experience. Be the first to add your personal experience. Problems are inevitable in any career, but how you handle them can make a big difference in your ...

  22. Improving Problem-Solving at Work

    In coming up with alternatives, consider the following: • Weigh up what might slow down solving the problem. • Ensure your ideas align with goals and objectives. • Identify long and short-term solutions. • Write down the solutions you come up with. 3. Evaluate your solutions.

  23. 12 Approaches To Problem-Solving for Every Situation

    1. Rational One of the most common problem-solving approaches, the rational approach is a multi-step process that works well for a wide range of problems. Many other problem-solving techniques mirror or build off of its seven steps, so it may be helpful to begin with the rational approach before moving on to other techniques.

  24. Advice

    Setting clear expectations and allowing time to self-correct can ensure underperformers get things right the first time. Reader 1: I'm in charge of fundraising at a small nonprofit. One of my ...

  25. iPhone Battery and Performance

    For iPhone 6 and later, iOS 11.3 and later add new features to show battery health and recommend if you need to replace the battery. You can find these in Settings > Battery > Battery Health (with iOS 16.1 or later, find these in Settings > Battery > Battery Health & Charging). Additionally, you can see if the performance-management feature ...

  26. Interview Question: "Tell Me How You Handled a Difficult ...

    Describe the situation. Explain the "situation" you handled in one or two sentences. This part can provide the hiring manager with context so they can understand the rest of your answer. Explain the problem. The next component of the STAR method is explaining the "task," which is the role you had in the situation.