With unemployment at historical lows, what should companies do if they can’t find more people? Nearly all my clients have positions open currently, and there are various approaches to hiring. They range from marketing the company as a great place to work, paying more for skills and experience, to engaging apprentices straight from school.

The other approach I am seeing is to focus on existing staff. Leaders are engaging long-standing employees through involvement in setting team direction and opportunities for up-skilling.

Problem solving skills sought after by leaders

One of the most sought-after skills according to World Economic Forum data (Jan 2016) continues to be Complex Problem Solving. Leaders are not only seeking this in new hires, but they are also ‘building-in’ these skills by training existing staff.

Critical thinking goes alongside problem solving, and studies show that these are learned skills that are invaluable across all industries and sectors including finance, engineering, manufacturing, construction and more.

No matter what the role a person plays in an organisation, the ability to think critically and apply simple problem-solving techniques allows the individual to resolve daily issues as they arise, and aid teams in resolving bigger issues that may affect productivity, quality or safety. Training the team together to use the same techniques and terminology makes problem solving part of the vernacular and embeds it in the #culture for the team.

Are your team members skilled problem-solvers? Is there a culture of problem solving in your organisation? I’d love to hear how you and/or your organisation focuses on up-skilling teams for effective problem solving.