How to use problem-solving activities for employee evaluation

Employee training is essential for company competitiveness. Using eLearning to test the level of problem-solving is a valid practice for evaluating the level of staff training

How to use problem-solving activities for employee evaluation

Employee training is essential for company competitiveness. Using eLearning to test the level of problem-solving is a valid practice for evaluating the level of staff training

To achieve and maintain levels of competitiveness suited to market challenges, companies need to manage and preserve their internal wealth of skills and knowledge. Each company function and, more specifically each job, require in-depth and structured know-how to be able to integrate into the value chain. This knowledge must both be formalized and organized in manuals, procedures and best practices, and be actively understood and applied by staff: that is, it is necessary that these are actively applied in order to contribute to the management of activities and the solution of problems.

Staff training is the link between written knowledge and its daily use. Trained collaborators are employees who know how and when to apply know-how and when it is appropriate to think of creative solutions. In one definition, problem-solving, the ability to resolve problems as they arise, is perhaps the main test to verify whether an organization is a living organism, capable of adapting to the environment and modifying it according to resources at its disposal.

The importance and versatility of the problem-solving approach also allow it to be used to evaluate the level of preparation of collaborators. Thanks to eLearning resources, specific paths and tests can be designated to estimate the ability to deal with problems and to prepare staff for typical and atypical events of the company environment in which they find themselves operating. 

Importance of Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is one of the key skills for employees in any industry. Its importance is closely linked to the ability to face challenges, make informed decisions and be able to innovate. Compared to other knowledge and skills, this ability is at a higher level: it is the ability to choose, based on the notions of which one is aware, the information of which one is aware and the objectives with which one is in charge, which decisions take and what actions to take. If without previous knowledge and skills problem-solving has no way of arriving at the correct solutions, having all the possible notions without having a vision and approach to problem solving risks being a form of culture as an end in itself. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this in itself, but in an environment such as that of business competition, knowledge and skills must lead to an effort of continuous improvement, under penalty of economic decline. In light of this reflection, we can define the following purposes of the problem-solving approach:

  • Face challenges
  • Make informed decisions
  • Innovate and adapt
  • Collaborate effectively

The business world is constantly evolving, with challenges and opportunities constantly emerging. Employees who excel at problem-solving are able to face these challenges with confidence. They possess the ability to identify problems, analyze them critically and develop effective solutions.In this context, making quick and effective decisions is crucial. Employees with advanced problem-solving skills are able to collect data, evaluate options and select the best possible solution. This helps improve operational efficiency and avoid costly errors.

Innovation is often a direct result of problem-solving. Employees who are able to think creatively and find new solutions can take the company to new levels of success. Furthermore, problem-solving allows individuals and organizations to quickly adapt to market changes and new customer needs.

Problem-solving is not an isolated skill but often involves teamwork. Employees who excel in this skill are able to collaborate effectively, listen to others' ideas and contribute to solving business problems in a synergistic way. More complex problems, which require an architecture of knowledge possessed by multiple collaborators, lead to the development of interpersonal team-management and team-building skills.

In summary, problem-solving is a critical skill that impacts multiple aspects of employee and organizational effectiveness.

eLearning integration

 eLearning, or online learning, has revolutionized the way organizations approach employee training and development. When it comes to improving problem-solving skills, eLearning offers a number of unique benefits that make it an effective means of training.

One of the main advantages of eLearning is its flexibility. Employees can access online training content from anywhere, anytime, allowing them to learn at their own pace. This flexibility is especially beneficial when it comes to developing problem-solving skills, as individuals can dedicate the time needed to gain in-depth understanding.

The ability to create interactive and engaging eLearning contentallows you to simulate situations in which problem-solving activities can be put to the test thanks to interactive scenarios, games and simulations. This allows employees to practice their skills in situations similar to those they might face in the corporate context.

The possibility that eLearning allows for a continuous and personalized evaluation of problem-solving skills should not be underestimated. Employees can be exposed to problem-solving scenarios and receive instant feedback, allowing them to gradually improve their skills. This is much more effective than assessments sporadically or at irregular intervals and allows you to integrate new scenarios, new problems and new creative approaches as management, people managers and senior management identify them.

In the ever-changing world of business, the skills required can change rapidly. eLearning allows you to easily update training materials to reflect the latest industry trends and challenges. This way, employees can stay on the cutting edge of their problem-solving skills.

Evaluation Strategies

Assessing employees' problem-solving skills is critical to measuring their contribution to the organization. Using appropriate methodologies and tools is essential for an accurate assessment. There are different effective strategies, each with its specific advantages.

Creating realistic scenarios in which employees face complex business problems is perhaps the most widely adopted evaluation method. These scenarios can be incorporated into online learning modules, where employees must solve situations similar to those they might encounter in their daily work. Their ability to identify problems, analyze data and propose solutions will be assessed through these activities.

It is important that the evaluation is carried out at 360 degrees: from the employee's self-evaluation to those by fellow team members, to those of supervisors. This 360-degree approach provides a more complete view of an individual's problem-solving skills and reduces the risk of bias or bias. In particular, assigning problems to solve in a group and requesting self-evaluation from the team you are part of promotes a team vision, necessary to tackle the most complex problems.

Create interactive tests and quizzes that test employees' problem-solving skills. These tests can be implemented within eLearning platforms and can include open-ended or multiple-choice questions that require the practical application of problem-solving skills.

Another approach to evaluation is to assign hands-on projects that require employees to tackle real business problems. Monitor their decision making, creativity in finding solutions, and ability to effectively implement these solutions. Hands-on projects can be an integral part of online training programs.

It is essential for evaluators to collect quantitative data, such as problem resolution times or success rates in proposed solutions, along with qualitative data such as feedback from colleagues and supervisors. This data can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of employees' problem-solving skills over time.

Finally, providing detailed and constructive feedback to employees based on the results of the evaluations allows them to provide them with an overview of the situation and performance. This feedback should be used as a basis for the continuous development of problem-solving skills through targeted training courses and individual improvement plans.

Using a combination of these assessment strategies will allow the organization to gain a comprehensive view of employees' problem-solving skills, while facilitating each individual's professional development and growth.

Benefits for the Organization

A better assessment of employee problem-solving skills brings with it numerous benefits for the organization, positively influencing multiple aspects of the company. Here's how this practice can benefit your organization:

Employees who excel at problem-solving are able to tackle daily challenges with greater efficiency. This leads to a reduction in downtime, process optimization and more efficient management of company resources.

Early identification and resolution of problems can help prevent costly situations or mitigate their effects. This translates into significant savings in financial and time resources.

Employees with well-developed problem-solving skills are capable of generating innovative ideas. This ability to think creatively and find solutions contributes to continuous innovation within the organization, allowing it to remain competitive in the market.

Employees with advanced problem-solving skills often emerge as natural leaders. I am able to approach complex situations assertively, make informed decisions and lead teams to success.

The ability to solve problems effectively reflects positively on customer service. Employees who can address customer concerns in a timely and satisfactory manner help maintain customer loyalty and generate positive reviews.

 Promoting problem-solving within your organization can help create a problem-solving corporate culture. This culture encourages innovation, employee engagement and a positive work environment.

Employees who see an opportunity for professional development and growth within the organization are more likely to stay long-term. Improve employee’s problem-solving skills can increase staff retention.

In conclusion 

An accurate assessment of employee problem-solving skills leads to tangible improvements in efficiency, innovation and company culture. Investments in problem-solving training and assessment can have a lasting impact on the organization, contributing to long-term success.

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