Last week I wrote about the simplicity of Problem Solving. A key component of solving any problem is to first identify the problems root-cause. All too often we address symptoms of a problem and not its root-cause. Imagine after feeling hot all we did was unbutton a collar or took off a sweater only later to discover that we have a fever and the cause of that fever is an infection from a simple cut. Trying to solve a business problem based on symptoms alone could end with the same result – you could succumb. How do you find the root-cause of a situation? What steps do you follow?
No one likes problems. We either try and resolve them or we try to avoid them. We avoid them by doing nothing or by simply ignoring they exist hoping they will go away. Sometimes ignoring a problem is a good strategy as not all problems need or deserve our energies to resolve. However, when we decide to work on resolving a problem how we proceed is important to achieving an outcome. Too many times I have seen organizations and individuals focus on the process instead of the desired results. In other words, they spend more time talking about the problem, talking about the problem-solving process and little to no time about executing the solutions to the problems they are trying to fix. This process focus isn’t problem-solving.
So what is problem-solving?
The current worker shortage has caused havoc for many businesses. Work is being declined, and that is both stopping business growth and causing revenues to decrease. So what is a business to do? The answer, not without concerted effort and skill, is simple just the same. Workforce Planning for your business can in fact not only address the shortage but also make your company more productive and profitable.
The bigger challenge is having the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA) within your organization to go through the process. Workforce Planning can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, the OPM has a simple 5-step process you can follow that can get you started. What does that OPM 5-step process look like?
Many of us have seen the cycle of Start, Stop. We start an initiative, and it loses momentum then stops. Later, we do this again. Still later, again. Over time our employees lose any enthusiasm or interest in what they are doing. Ultimately this Start, Stop cycle causes disengagement of our workforce which leads to employee turnover.
Why does this happen? Why do we start things and never finish? More importantly, what can we do to change the behaviors of Start, Stop? While there are many different reasons for this, a few are:
The question is really that simple. Do you strategic plan? Do you plan for the future of your business, how it will grow and equally if not more importantly, how will it prosper? A Strategic Plan is simply a roadmap for your business to follow over the next several years, in general around 2-3, what your goals are, and how the business will achieve those goals. The Strategic Plan is simply the way you will coordinate and execute the different parts of your business to achieve your goals.
If you don’t have a Strategic Plan your business is not only at risk of failure, but it is even at risk of not being close to as successful as it could be. To put it another way, not having a Strategic Plan is just like walking around in the wilderness without a map. You might find your way out, but the odds are great that you’ll simply wander around.