The Connection between Great Problem Solving Skills and Resilience

Resilience speaks to our ability to recover quickly from hardships that we experience. Having strong problem-solving skills speaks to our ability to look at problems comprehensively, break them down into pieces, and find applicable solutions for them in a timely matter.

Problem-Solving Involves the following Five Steps (Lawrence, 2019):
  1. Identifying the problem
  2. Breaking the problem into more manageable part
  3. Generating possible solutions
  4. Evaluating possible solutions for viability and selecting the most appropriate option to apply to the problem
  5. Monitoring the results of the applied solution and generating and applying a new solution if necessaryConnected
Applying to the Workforce

The link between the two is that a person with strong problem-solving skills becomes a person who is more resilient. This is because the better we are at evaluating and solving the problems that arise in our lives, the quicker we can recover from the issues we face. The ability to problem-solve helps us to quickly transition out of our circumstances and onto growth (Lawrence, 2019).

How to Develop Strong Problem-Solving Skills

In order to become more resilient, we must learn to strengthen our problem-solving skills so we can better deal with obstacles we may face. The following are ways to develop problem-solving skills in our lives.

  • Ask Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to develop strong problem-solving skills because asking questions gets you to begin thinking critically. It is via critical thinking and asking analytical questions that one can truly get to the bottom of problems and begin developing solutions (B, 2020). Asking questions also ensures that the problem is accurately defined so that the correct issue can be addressed.

  • Gather Information

It can be easy to assume we already have what we need or know all we need to solve problems and challenges that arise in our lives. However, that often fails to be true and leaves us ill-prepared and ill-informed. This means taking the time to consult additional persons and sources for information so that a strong foundation is laid for the problem to be accurately defined and then solved (Talwar, 2019).

  • Flexibility & Adaptability

The ability to be flexible is an important skill to possess when it comes to problem-solving because many problems often require pivoting when it comes to the application stage. This means that as possible solutions are being weighed an even applied one may realize that selected options are not viable and need to go with other options to more effectively solve those problems (Talwar, 2019).

  • Approach with Positivity

Often, we approach problems with apprehension and negativity which hinder our ability to clearly and open-mindedly address an issue. When we have a positive outlook we can approach issues with optimism, which makes us more likely to actually find a viable solution. Believing that a challenge is an opportunity for growth and that a positive outcome can be achieved sets the tone for the ultimate outcome (B, 2020).

When we are people who are better equipped to solve problems, we become people who are also more resilient. Having the skills we need to analyze issues, generate possible options, and apply solutions also helps us build the same skills that help us become more tolerant of difficulties and recover from the difficulties we face with speed.

Thus, active pursuit of activities and opportunities that will allow us to practice asking more questions, gathering information, being flexible, and approaching problems with positivity will help build better problem-solving skills and therefore enhance our resilience.

References:

B, Z. (2020, May 12). 6 ways to enhance your problem-solving skills effectively. Retrieved from https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/6-ways-to-enhance-your-problem-solving-skills.html

Lawrence, J. (2019, December 23). Resilience skills: 5 steps to effective problem-solving. Retrieved from https://in-equilibrium.co.uk/5-steps-to-effective-problem-solving/

Talwar, M. (2019, February 19). 5 ways to improve your problem-solving skills. Retrieved from https://social.hays.com/2017/08/16/5-ways-improve-problem-solving-skills/

Increased Resilience Offsets Rising Workplace Pressure

Resilience in the Face of Rising Workplace Pressures

Resilience in the work environment is being discussed more often these days and in the headlines more frequently.  Due to Coronavirus plus improving technology, rapid change and disruption, many organizations have a work environment with urgent deadlines.  Here employees have to work under great pressure to deliver the work in less time. Employees are expected to ensure that their work is of high quality to help their employer become the market leaders. They should be aware of the latest trends and adapt to them, manage more effectively and work harder to deliver better results.

workplace stress collage

For the current business conditions it is necessary for teams and their leaders to be more sensitive and respond quickly to the desires and requirements of their customers. They should also be able to deal with failure, rejection and new challenges effectively.

Stress Reduction vs. Employee Resilience

If a business wishes to retain its edge under these conditions, it should be able to innovate. The leaders should take the initiative personally and work harder without adversely affecting their health or that of their team. Being resilient can greatly help a business and its management succeed in the current business situation. To make the work environment more resilient, instead of focusing on stress reduction, which many organizations are trying, it is advisable to lead teams more effectively and help build team and individual resilience.

Tips for Building Resilience

Some tips which will help make the members of the team at the workplace more resilient are listed below:

  • Only focusing on doing the work without thinking or planning can lead to over-working and fatigue
  • Identify what causes stress which makes it difficult for employees to focus on their work. The leaders should understand how the increase in the work output expected, change in the pace or rate of doing work will affect employees’ concentration
  • The team should be able to adapt to changing conditions to remain relevant. The work which a team member was doing to-date, is likely to change in the next five years, so that they remain useful for the business. The employee should be willing to adapt to the change in work profile and also improve his skills to adapt to changing work requirements
  • Employees should be open to feedback and use it constructively to improve performance
  • It is important to accept failure and use it learn and grow when there is more pressure. If the team is discouraged by failure, it will not innovate to prevent further failure, and this will adversely affect growth.

At a time when there is a lot of uncertainty and hardship in the economy, it is important to ensure that all the team members feel that they are working together, their concerns and heard by the team leaders who understand them and will help resolving issues. This will help a business achieve its goals of productivity which are linked to employee well being and performance.

Below are some resources available to help workers dealing with work or personal anxiety or stress and help build resilience.

Resources

If the pandemic is taking a toll on your team’s mental health (or your own), know that you’re not alone. CNN identifies some resources that can help those in the United States:

  • The Crisis Text Line is available by texting 741741. Trained volunteers and crisis counselors are staffed 24/7, and the service is free.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • For the Frontlines offers health care professionals and essential workers free 24/7 crisis counseling and support for workers dealing with stress, anxiety, fear or isolation related to Coronavirus.
Additional Resources

For more support, check out CNN’s guide to giving and getting help during the pandemic.

For more information on resilience, check Flexicrew online or connect with a Flexicrew professional 866.720.FLEX (3539).

Tips for Keeping Employees Engaged During a Market Downturn

Keeping employees engaged remains a major concern for the organizations and specifically the Human resources (HR) department. Keeping high employee engagement levels remains a challenge for most employers. Surveys have observed that less than half of businesses believe that their employees are engaged in their work, and will make an additional effort to do the work. This indicates that most organizations require a lot of help in this matter. Most businesses think that less than two thirds of their employees are engaged in the work.

employee engagement

The immediate supervisors of the employee and leaders are the major factors affecting employee engagement. Some of the tips for managers which will help in keeping employees even during a downturn are listed below:

1. Employees are Assets
  • Employees should be considered as assets for the organization, not expenses and treated well. The leadership of the organization should be aware that if the employees are fully engaged in the work they do, they will add more value to the work they do. It is advisable to define the roles for each employee, define goals which are linked to the goals of their department, division or the entire company.
2. Employee Appreciation Culture
  • The organization should foster a culture of appreciating employees. The employees should be aware that they make a difference and help the business attain its targets and often exceed them. The employees should be informed about how their behavior is linked to the company goals and values using a strategically designed program for recognizing employee efforts. This program will show how the work done daily by the employee contributes to the achievement of company goals.
3. Employee Recognition
  • Improving performance by recognizing additional effort. If the employee is frequently and consistently recognized for his additional effort in the right way, it will result in a greater boost to the performance of the employee. It is observed that the return on investment (ROI) for a well designed recognition program is usually far more than the annual salary increased. The program rewards should be at least 1% of the payroll of the business. The organizations should reduce their annual increments to the lowest possible and encourage better performance from employees by implementing a suitable recognition program.
4. Open and Honest Communication
  • It is important to have an open and creative discussion with workers either face-to-face or in a group. For this, the supervisor should stop considering his own agenda and expertise and consider his subordinate(s) needs. This can help in increasing the engagement of teams since assumptions are questioned, different opinions are considered and problems are converted into opportunities
Employee Discussion Process

Some important considerations which should be discussed and documented after such discussions focus on the following:

– What are the problems which we are facing in this area?

– What are the reasons why we face these problems?

– What can the employee, team or our organization do to get a better result?

– What is the team or organization doing at present which is causing problems?

– If the problem is resolved, how would conditions improve?

After this, the information provided should be converted into plans which can be implemented.

Increasing the recognition of the employees, being involved with the employees, their problems and offering better opportunities for career growth can help improve employee engagement. Organizations with high engagement levels are more likely to be monitoring the engagement of the employees closely, recognizing better employee performance offering career growth. The workforce will also have leaders and supervisors who improve employee engagement.

Recruiting Engaged Employees

Need assistance recruiting engaged workers, call on Flexicrew or just pick our professionals‘ brain for creative ideas.

The Importance of Employee Engagement during a Downturn

Studies have indicated that organizations where employee engagement levels are high will usually be more profitable and successful. Sometimes the organization may face a crisis due to factors beyond their control like a pandemic or recession. In this case, it becomes even more important for the organization to use all the resources available efficiently. Employees are a major resource for all organizations, and their compensation forms a significant part of the regular business expenses. Hence increasing the engagement levels of its employees is one of the most cost effective ways of boosting the productivity of the organization.

simple ways to employee engagement

Here are four simple ways to improve employee engagement:

Communicate regularly

During a recession, many employees fear that they will be dismissed, especially if the organization has dismissed some employees in other offices. This can lead to a lot of mental stress, anxiety since the salary is the main source of income for most employees. It is also very difficult to get a job during the recession. The employees may waste a lot of time gossiping and may not provide proper customer service. Hence it is important for the management and human resources (HR) to communicate regularly with the employees and honestly answer any query they may have. This will greatly reduce the stress which uncertainty can cause.

Low cost methods to improve engagement

During a crisis, the profit of the business will usually be adversely affected due to which it cannot afford to spend more money to keep employees happy. One way to deal with the problem is looking for low cost solutions. Often the threat of a layoff can cause a lot of stress for the employees. Some companies are announcing salary cuts for all employees to reduce the wage bill. In other cases, the employees are offered other options which will help them improve their lifestyle or have more free time. For example, some employees may be allowed to work at home.

Reskilling and training

When the number of orders is reduced, the employees usually have more free time. Instead of firing these employees or paying them salaries despite doing no work, many companies are utilizing this time to train these employees in new technologies which are likely to be in demand. The training will also help improve the career prospects of the employee, and increase the employee engagement since the employee does not have to pay any additional amount for the training. The free time can be used for reskilling, asking experienced employees to train others.

Cost effective Recognition

Though a large number of employees may be working remotely, the organization can still find cost effective methods to recognize performers. The organization should determine the goals which are important and how the employee contribution can help in achieving these goals. It is important to recognize the top performing employees and acknowledge their contribution on time, so that they remain motivated, engaged and work hard. There are many tools which are available which can be used to acknowledge employees for meeting or exceeding the goals specified.

Summary

Though a recession, pandemic or other natural or man-made disaster is a difficult period for any employer, keeping employees engaged can help the organization tide over the crisis successfully.

Resources

Contact Flexicrew and we will expertly guide your organization towards optimal performance through employee engagement.

5 Paths to Raising Employee Productivity

Employee productivity is essential for a company to exist and move forward. If the employees do not accomplish their work tasks, then it harms the business. Sometimes there may be issues but it is important to have the employees understand the work rules, and stick to them. Nevertheless, there are some things that can be done to improve productivity in the workplace regardless of who the employee may be.

Here is a list of 5 ways to improve workplace productivity.

1. Set a Goal of Where the Company Needs To Be

A lot of times, if a person knows that his or her boss has expectations of how things should be in the workplace, they may feel a need to step up to the plate and give all of the effort that he or she can. No one wants to feel like they are a less valuable employee than the next person, so if the company is straightforward of how things should be, then a person will be more likely to put a bit more effort into what he or she does. Goals are something to strive for, and if a workplace has them in place, then the productivity will reach higher levels.

2. Good Communication

It is essential for a workplace to have good communication between employees and higher-ups. Communication is important regardless, but especially in the workplace. The communication should always be straightforward, and easy to understand. If communication is unclear, not only is it unprofessional, but it can also result in serious issues or even safety concerns. Communication should be fast as well. People should be told in advance about important things that he or she should know of. Communication should be consistent. It is not professional to keep employees unaware of some things, but communicate about others.

It is important to note that if communication is not a priority, then the work team risks not being very successful.

3. Support the Employee

A lot of times, if an employee just does not seem like himself, or is unusually unproductive, there is a reason behind it. If this is the case, it is wise to support the employee, and let him or her know that they have someone to talk to if they need it. Everyone wants to feel like they are needed, and if an employer shows that they value the employee by supporting them through a difficult time, then it will be greatly appreciated. Employees are a critical part of having a successful business, and if they are not in the right frame of mind, productivity will be down.

4. Recognize When an Employee Does Something Praiseworthy

As stated earlier, everyone wants to feel as though they are needed. If a supervisor tells the employee that he or she has done a good job and that their work is appreciated, it will go a long way. If a person notices that they are being praised for good work, it will motivate them to keep doing the best that they can, and will likely get them to try to become a better employee in the process. Everyone likes praise, and if it will help a person try to better themselves as a worker in the process then it is a win-win.

5. Establish SMART Goals

Either for ongoing project milestones or for directing individual employee work performance fix goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely). SMART goals are vital to achieving enhanced performance and more profitable outcomes.

Why Is All Of This Necessary?

If a company ever expects to have a highly productive workforce, then the steps above should be followed. If there are no goals, then there is no reason to strive to become better. If there is poor communication, then the workers will possibly leave and go somewhere where communication is more of a priority. If the employees are not supported by the employers, then they will not want to work for them anymore and go where they are respected. The same is true with employee appreciation. If a company does not get the basics right, then they are doomed from the start.

Conclusion

All in all, there are certain things that need to be done in order for workplace productivity to be high, and if these needs are not met, then there are big problems and things will need to change. If these needs are met however, then the company is on the right track and is headed towards success, as long as things stay consistent.

Flexicrew Staffing has the expert knowledge and resources to help you find the right candidates. Let us assist you in finding the right person for your small or midsize business.

5 Workplace Lessons from Shawshank Redemption

So many lessons are packed into the movie masterpiece “The Shawshank Redemption.” We can learn a lot of things from it that make our worklife different and successful. Recruiters can learn something from the movie, as we know how meaningful some scenes are.

We present you 5 work lessons you can learn from “The Shawshank Redemption,” and each of them can elevate your career in a good way.

1. Teamwork is Necessary

You cannot make it alone. Especially if your business depends on more than one person. And almost any business does. What can you do to make things work for you? Ask for help. That’s when good teamwork comes to light. You can have more than one solution, because each team member can bring their own perspective. Combining all perspectives is usually a good way to find the right solutions. That’s why teamwork plays a significant role in the work process.

Search for the candidates who can think out of the box, because, sometimes, the little digging (like Andy does) into a problem can completely solve the issue.  There’s always the light at the end of the tunnel.  Andy from “The Shawshank Redemption” found it, and you can find it too.

2. Make Allies

In the Shawshank prison, everything is clear. If you are not able to make friends, you are in trouble. Friendships at work are not always possible. But we can do our best to make them possible. Team work is based on some kind of positive relationship. We must know the key features of our teammates, so we can make the most out of them. It is the thing that most recruiters should search for. Some kind of personal touch is necessary here, especially if we want to build a healthy working atmosphere.

3. Stay Alert and Focused

No matter how challenging the work environment is, you must keep your focus. That ‘eye on the prize’ is what makes our career goals closer to our reach. You can remember how persistent Andy was when he worked on his escape. He did everything possible to get closer to his goal. And he made it in the end. That’s a main lesson about working on our goals and having the right motivation to make them possible. The struggle is always there, and the success in much sweeter when we know how much effort we put into making things work.

4. Be Flexible – Adjust to your Environment

You can see in the movie the importance of adapting. No matter where you are, and how long you plan to stay there, you must have the ability to adapt. It is not only essential in the workplace, it is also crucial for personal development. When Andy Dufresne (the key character in the movie) arrives in the prison, he is faced with so many challenges. How to keep up with all of them is a matter of art. And he makes it possible. With a few personal skills and a lot of team work, you can make each day meaningful, no matter where you are.

5. Recognize the Big Picture

In “The Shawshank Redemption,” few things are certain. The prison environment makes you institutionalized in the wrong way. But, what you can do is make the best out of it. We are sometimes stuck in a work situation where we cannot see the exit. But, if we take a look at the big picture, we can use a different perspective. In that case, the solution comes along, and we can make a successful choice. That’s why we need to see a bigger picture of each situation, because many times, the solution is right there in front of us.

Flexicrew Support

With the lessons from the movie, Flexicrew can make your work and recruiting process simpler, just by applying a few rules we learned along the way.  Call us today for some simple workplace lessons.