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How does a manager create the kind of culture that encourages employees to use their initiative?They do this by: Undertake Problem Sensing Most employees, whether independently or working in teams, want to move immediately to identifying solutions, so a key role as a leader of a team will be to hold the person or group back until it has thoroughly studied the problem or situation.The foundations are laid for employees to resolve problems on their own—and regain employee engagement—when their manager includes staff in goal setting and development of action plans.
Most problems leave paper trails and careful analysis of printouts, marketing research, findings, and other data can cast a light on a problem or suggest a new product idea that further research can confirm.
Of course, there are more sophisticated problem-sensing tools as well that you may want to bring to bear on the problem, like Pareto analysis, scatter diagrams, workflow diagrams, cause and effect diagrams, and variance analysis that will help you separate symptoms from causes.
As a manager, you practice preventive management for just this reason.
You understand how problems often can be identified in their early stages, even avoided.
Just as in marketing, in which groups of potential customers are brought together to give feedback on a new product idea—focus groups—in problem solving you might want to hold focus groups with employees or those affected by a problem to get their ideas about the cause.
Creative Problem Solving Skills
There are a number of other techniques that can also be used.
Once you do that you can move on to resolving the problem or suggest a new product idea that further research can confirm.
Insight from employees may also be worth gathering.
One helpful bit of advice is to write a problem statement down.
Begin it with the words “how to,” then complete it with an appropriate verb.