We know that CEOs worldwide have been continually rating problem solving in the top desirable skills, but do we understand why? Perhaps we need to look at the costs of poor problem solving to understand the benefits. We could look at employee engagement, quality, productivity and other areas, but broad industry data in workplace health and safety is useful to illustrate the point.
Safe Work Australia issues key work health and safety statistics annually, and Rapid Global (8 June 2021) analysed the data to suggest the financial cost of workplace injuries cost Australian businesses a whopping $61.8 million per year. This did not factor in indirect costs such as loss of productivity, reputation damage, frustration and disengagement, or resistance to change.
Whilst we know the costs of injuries in Australia, do you know the cost of quality incidents or rework in your business? How hard is it to contact the customer to tell them there was an error, a product failure, or another delay?
Prevention rather than cure
Employees who are skilled in problem solving are skilled in problem identification, and this leads to a more proactive approach that we could describe as “prevention rather than cure”. By training our employees at all levels we raise ownership of issues and engagement with potential solutions. Rather than resist change, employees begin to look for better ways to operate, and performance across the organisation will lift.