From A to Z on your roster, every employee needs the ability to make decisions, use available resources effectively and to problem solve. Knowing when and how to ask the right questions, whether you’re the custodian or the CEO, is of tremendous value. This aptitude for “thinking on your feet” assists anyone and everyone in performing his/her duties and greatly benefits the overall success of the company.
But unlike technical qualifications that can be tested and confirmed, these critical thinking skills often have to be observed in action. Which may be why although Employee XYZ, whose education and training are second to none, hasn’t lived up to your expectations. Oh, he’s a good guy and all, but he’s lacking in initiative and can’t seem to think outside of narrow parameters.
While some people’s natural abilities fuel these critical thinking skills, others less inclined can still learn to utilize the variety of components that make up what we’ve come to describe as critical thinking skills.
You can assist your employees in developing these needed qualities and in making their usage a habit.
Get them thinking
Consider implementing something similar to the “bell ringer” concept utilized in many school classrooms across the country that encourages students to get their thought processes flowing the moment the bell rings for class to begin. In a central location, on paper or a whiteboard, present a problem/dilemma/opportunity that encourages individual brainstorming to find a solution. It can be something as simple as solving the traffic flow pattern to and from the supply closet. Or something as major as brainstorming themes for the next marketing campaign. The idea is to get everyone to think logically, to ask questions and to share ideas.
Encourage discussion and debate
Bring those individual ideas to a group setting to be hashed out. Foster an atmosphere that is accepting, even encouraging, of any constructive suggestions. Encourage the exploration of different points of view. Assist your employees in recognizing their biases and help them to view a situation from all perspectives. Settings that encourage creativity and “thinking outside the box” will reap a harvest of engaged, motivated workers who, when faced with a serious dilemma, will have the skills needed to find a solution.
Make it okay to be wrong
It’s crucial to nurture an atmosphere that discourages the blame game. Seriously, how ridiculous it is to hear grown men and women engage in the Kindergarten ritual of blaming.
- “It was his idea.”
- “But you didn’t do your part.”
- “The whole idea was stupid.”
- “I can’t help it if my concept went over your head.”
All ideas are valuable. Not every idea is feasible. That’s okay. That where critical thinking enters, to weed out the suggestions that won’t translate into a feasible solution.
At B. Loehr Staffing we utilize critical thinking to find the best candidates to meet your staffing needs. By asking the right questions and thinking through logical solutions, we can meet your Flexible, Planned and Facility Staffing requirements. Contact us today. Discover how our technical and critical thinking skills have made us the staffing company that successful companies have relied on since 1898.