A common adage says if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. While we can all probably agree it’s a generalization, at HumanQ we do believe that a company of problem solvers is much more powerful than a company of role players.
Let’s start with what we don’t want: role players. These are employees that have a single job with specific, siloed accountability. These people tend to have their task or limited purview in mind versus the overall aim of their group, department or company.
So where does that leave you? Ultimately, yes, everyone needs to do the job they were hired to do. But we’ve found that by increasing communication, collaboration and empowerment, companies are able to create a more engaged, productive and effective workforce.
Sharing the vision
As our companies have the needs, we hire people into specific positions to fulfill specific roles, tasks and goals. There’s nothing strange about this. It’s the way we make sure our business specifics get the attention they deserve. But we also have an obligation to make sure those people understand the broader company objectives. It seems simple, and honestly, it is. Knowing where you fit within the big picture creates better awareness of the effects of each employees’ actions, and, more importantly, it gives them something to buy into. By knowing and understanding the company’s overall goals, they feel more connected and bought in to making it happen. This connection, and the context it provides, is key in creating and enabling problem-solvers.
Filling the space between roles
The great thing about problem solving is that any size business supplies a never ending string of challenges. We’re all able to see the problems, but not everyone is capable of solving them. We’ve found that a big reason problems don’t get solved is because people are only able to act within their own or closely adjacent workflows. And a lot of times, this is what creates the problems, because solutions often lie between peoples’ current roles and responsibilities.
By facilitating cross-departmental relationships and communication, you give people the power not only to identify problems, but to create more meaningful solutions together.
Open ears will open doors
Now that you’ve got your people talking with each other, you need to make sure they feel they can bring their solutions to decision makers who can make the solutions a reality. Or better yet, let them know that everyday solutions can be implemented without a complicated process. The less friction there is to implementing solutions, the more problems will be solved. And in the long term, the DNA of the company will change to include problem solving as the expected, not the exception.
Through our work with thousands of companies and people, we have found time and time again that embracing a mindset that encourages problem solving creates a significantly more engaged, valued and productive workforce on every level.
Is your organization set up to embrace problem solving? If not, we hope we’ve given you a good plan to help everyone in your organization become part of the solution.