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Engaging Employees with Problem Solving

Last updated Tuesday, July 23, 2013 22:34 ET

NETtime Solutions’ survey on employee problem solving stands to answer, “Is it a useful tool, or a scary can of worms?”

07/23/2013 / SubmitMyPR /

Have a challenge in the workplace? There’s an employee provided solution for that! Forget big consulting firms and high-priced audits, a company’s most valuable answers may come from directly inside their organization.

In a recent survey hosted by NETtime Solutions, business owners and managers were asked to share their views on employee problem solving. Of those surveyed, 85% reported actively engaging employees in an attempt to solve workplace problems. Among top reasons for looking internally for answers to company issues were to encourage team building (60%), to see problems from a new point of view (60%), and to help employees take more ownership of their jobs or feel invested in the company (53%).

Many companies found great success in engaging employees to solve problems, raving…

“One of the best ways to have a successful, open development discussion and review is to turn the tables and let the employee do the reviewing.”

“Merely listening is often the key, then it leads to a path of more open communication between the person/group.”

“Allowing employees to actively engage in problem solving is a beneficial practice. My shipping team recently increased their own efficiency by working on the problem together, as a team.”

Businesses that avoid allowing employees to solve problems shared that they felt their management team was better equipped to solve problems than their workers, or they simply did not have time for extra meetings and discussions. It was also noted that by asking employees to solve their own problems it could result in people hunting down a negative situation to in turn provide a solution.

Regardless of if the company engages their workers in problem solving, 67% of survey respondents do offer some form of skills training for employees so that they can contribute more to the organization. Interestingly, nearly 60% of those who said they engage employees in problem solving went further by offering skills training so employees could contribute more to the organization.

If you’re looking for ways to implement an environment of problem solving within your workplace listen up. Companies having success in this area reported having company wide meetings and encouraging participation as their number one form of employee engagement. Others use a feedback/comment system for passing on ideas or support mentorship with senior executives.

The full results of this employee problem solving survey have been posted to NETtime’s Facebook page along with Q&A graphs. For more on ways to involve your workforce and the vast benefits of employee engagement visit NETtime’s company blog.

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