Problem-Solving: Developing Critical Skills to Generate Solutions

Paper Type:  Critical thinking
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1298 Words
Date:  2023-01-14


Problem-solving is a primary management issue. As such, people tend to behave differently when faced with a problem. Some get uncomfortable and wish it would go away while some look for people to blame while some strive to come up with solutions. There is need to exude the critical problem-solving skills that help to generate the most suitable solutions to problems. In this regard, the goal of problem-solving is to resolve any conflicts that one might be dealing with. However, as highlighted by (2016), there is a general problem-solving technique that cuts across all challenges. This technique involves a six-step process that includes: problem definition, analysis of the problem, generating possible options, evaluating the solutions, selecting the best options and creating the next plan of action (GDRC, 2016). This paper, therefore, sets to examine how the problem in scenario 1 can be solved using the six-step method.

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Step 1: Problem Definition

In this case, the problem at hand is the fact that the employee has worked at a particular company for 11 years. Another job opportunity presents itself in a company located in a different state. The company he currently works for has allowed him to continue with his studies and acquire a bachelor's degree. He is being offered a better position with better pay in the new company. However, the new organization does not provide incentives such as education, something that is being provided by his current firm. In the new company, the position requires someone with a master's degree. As such, this proves a challenge to the employee in terms of advancing his education. In this case, the problem is between further education and financial increase.

Step 2: Problem Analysis

The employee has worked with his current company for 11 years. He has been committed in his work all through. His excellent performance has also been acknowledged by his former boss, who is now a supervisor in the new company. He has also managed to earn his bachelor's degree and intends to further his advancement in the organization. The current company he works for wants to reward him by recommending him for a job in the new firm. However, he is undecided since the new company does not offer education advancements like his current firm. The employee should, therefore, critically examine his situation and how it will serve him (Robins, 2014). First, he is not yet done with his degree entirely, and the new job requires that he moves within two weeks. Accepting the position means he will have to graduate at a later date. Hence, he might not acquire his degree at the right time.

Additionally, accepting the job means he will lose out on the tuition incentives that his current company offers. A chance to develop in a new environment might arise in the future, but leaving his current work station would not be a good idea due to the education incentives. As such, the aspects to be examined and considered are financial security and the cost of living.

Step 3: Generating Options

Once you have identified the problem and the environment into which the solution should fit, the next step is to come up with possible solutions. The possible options for the employee to choose from would be first, to ask the organization if they could extend his reporting date to give him more time to complete his bachelor's degree. Hence, he will start working in a new company having qualified fully. If the company grants his request, he will have adequate time to learn more about it. The second possible option would be to request his new company if they could support him with his tuition. Indeed, this is something that can be agreed upon between the management of the firm and the employee. The third possible option would be to talk with his current employers if they could give him a pay rise. This seems like the most feasible solution has worked for the company for 11 years. He has also been acknowledged for excellent performance in the organization. As such, his current work station might buy into this idea since he has been a great asset to them.

Step 4: Analyzing/Evaluation the Possible Solutions

This phase of the problem-solving process involves examining the various factors about each possible solution. (Whimbey, 2013). The first step of the new firm was to delay the employee's reporting date. If the new employers agree to this, he will have more time to complete his studies, thus allowing him to begin working as a qualified candidate. He will also have ample time to budget his finances, ensuring he makes the right decision. Though the employee will have a pay rise, he might not be sure about the company's stability. It is also not a guarantee that he will last longer in his new work environment, or he might end up being fired. If his new employers are not willing to pay for his education advancement, then he might be forced to pay for his studies. Similarly, he could stay at his current workplace if the company agrees to increase his wage.

Step 5: Selecting the Best Options/Making a Decision

The best choice would be to evaluate the various factors for each possible solution and decide which option to keep and which one to disregard. (Watanabe, 2010). Here, one looks at the solution as a whole and use their judgment to determine whether the solution is the best way out or not. By doing this, the employee ends up will a list of potential and viable solutions. In this case, the better choice would be for the employee to remain in his current workplace and request for a pay rise from the management of the company. This is because he is not sure of what to expect and what might transpire if he decided to take up the new job. Moreover, his current employer also offers education incentives, something that the new company does not provide.

Step 6: The Next Plan of Action/Implementation, and Reflection

This phase is where you come up with a list of what you are going to do next. This step involves doing various things at different times and ensuring that they have been carried out as projected. Also, this phase ensures that the valuable thinking that has gone into problem-solving becomes a reality. Now that there is a potential solution, the employee needs to decide how he will make the solution happen. As such, it will be convenient for him if he chooses to retain his current job. After weighing all the possible options, and asking the company for a pay rise, he should consider the benefits he will get by choosing to stay with his current employer. The good news is, he will have time to finish his bachelor's degree and possibly start his master's degree.


Overall, problem-solving skills are the most sought after by individuals as they aim to identify and solve problems in the workplace. As such, a lot of work in solving problems involves understanding the issues at hand. As such, a series of skills are needed to find viable solutions effectively. In this regard, it is evident that the six-step process would be useful if they are well executed. As such, the employee needs to examine each method effectively. He should diagnose and define the problem in a way that will provide the most viable solutions. In choosing the ideal option, he the most complex issues will have been solved.


GDRC. (2016). The Problem Solving Process. Retrieved from

Robbins, S. K., (2014). Problem Solving: Techniques, Strategies & Skills for Solving Problems. Createspace Independent Pub.

Watanabe, K., (2010). Problem Solving 101: A simple book for smart people. Ebury Publishing.

Whimbey, A., Lochhead, J. & Narode, R. (2013). Problem Solving & Comprehension. Routledge.

Cite this page

Problem-Solving: Developing Critical Skills to Generate Solutions. (2023, Jan 14). Retrieved from

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