Autonomous problem solving.

An employee who raises a problem, issue or topic for debate is more valuable than someone who shies away or ignores a problem. This first step is to be commended.

However, there is a second step that is infinitely more helpful for the manager or small business owner. At the same time that you identify a problem, suggest a solution.

When talking to staff I’ve always tried to challenge them with, ‘what would you do?’ or ‘what do you think is best?’. I’ve recently started returning emails if get sent only the problem. I’ll request a suggested solution too.

The employee knows the problem because they raised it. They are the most informed person on the subject. In my experience the employee either has a great solution or has a couple of solutions as options. They are simply looking for approval.

It saves so much time if an employee says, ‘We have problem x and I think we should do y’. Then the manager can say, ‘I agree’ or ‘Ok, but have you thought about z’?

No one wants more problems. We need solutions!

So employees of the world don’t wait to be asked for your solution, just give it.

Autonomous problem solving is really really important.

Posted by Tim Fouracre

Tim founded Clear Books in 2008. Like many small business owners he worked from home for 15 months to get his startup off the ground. Today Tim enjoys helping Clear Books, its customers and its growing team innovate and achieve. Tim did his GCE O Levels in Ghana.