«Creative Problem Solving» Essay Sample

Creative Problem Solving

Defining Steps for Solving the Problem

Defining steps for solving a motivation-related problem could be difficult due to the specific features of part-time jobs. To begin with, the temporality of work could be really detrimental to the workers’ motivation as this factor often decreases the feeling of belonging to the company. The second factor is possibly the lack of training of temporary workers and hence the loss of the skill while they are not engaged in work all year round. Since the goal is to make the part-time employees more customer-oriented during their on-site performance, it would be sensible to also find out if the employees are equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools of communication (Sturman, Ford 2015). Thirdly, the improper understanding of what is acceptable as a working result and what is not could also be a trouble. Since the seasonal employees already receive higher salaries than full-time workers, paying them larger sums of money would not bring the necessary result. The paper will, therefore, aim to discuss the alternative methods to be used for giving the employees an incentive to perform better.

Thus, judging from the list of possible reasons why workers might not perform in accordance with their wages, one can define certain steps for solving the problems. The first one would involve communicating the company goals to every employee before the season even starts. This could be done through face-to-face interviews to test their readiness to work along the way. Secondly, their feeling of belonging to the company could be reinforced by teambuilding activities with the full-time employees. The third step would be introducing a universal motivation tool that would inspire the workers to engage more deeply in their work such as days-off, football game tickets, the snacks for the teams choosing to work on complicated sites or others non-fiscal bonuses provided for a well-performed task. Finally, strange and trivial as it may seem, receiving a positive feedback from the employer or customers could improve the situation with the employees who skip certain parts of their work. In addition, they would need to receive a clear understanding of the desired outcome for their work. In this case, not only the customer feedback, but also peers’ opinion would shape their realization of a well-done job. It would also be beneficial to let the best employees of the week or a month to choose their working site themselves from time to time as it is regarded normal to have personal preferences in any job (Nicholson 2005).

Creative Approach Application

The change of perspective would be a viable option for solving such a problem. This choice might seem strange because creative problem solving offers other options even for less complex tasks than this one. However, as incurred from the information given in the previous section, it could be that the lack of motivation is not the main reason why the part-time workers are sloppy or unfriendly towards the clients. Provided that they only serve the business on a temporary basis, they might not possess the sufficient knowledge or simply have a different perspective on work because of their previous experience (Baumgartner 2010). Consequently, having a role-play (with the subsequent discussion and corrections) in a relaxed manner and asking the employees to pretend they perform their duties and commenting on every step of their performance is a crucial and effective approach in defining the problem areas and engraining the working culture of this particular business. It would be even more beneficial as they might not even be aware of not doing the job so well. To be aware of it, they need to be informed about it and know what is expected of them.

Brainstorming

Raising wages is certainly the number one motivation tool as it is the most important job aspect according to the employee surveys (Feldman 2015). However, as demonstrated by the situation, it is not always the case. The five potential programs for motivating the employees could include making the seasonal employees feel full-fledged representatives of the company (working in mixed teams with full-time workers, wearing nice-looking uniform, having full access to the company’s internal services), grouping people into teams with consequential rewards for the best team (gamification), material bonuses for receiving a positive feedback from customers, the recognition as an employee of the month, and additional benefits for completing the working plan impeccably for a certain period of time.

Reward and Recognition Program Choice

The creative approach, although being simple, suggests using non-trivial methods of motivating employees. Almost all of the aforementioned steps suggest an incomplete approach to solving the problem. However, gamification could be a perfect solution as it covers several weak areas at the same time (Kumar 2013). Firstly, gamification builds teams and these should not be headed by the more experienced full-time employees. They would merely play a role of a guide. A timeline of the busy seasons could be visualized and equally discussed in the office in a popular spot. It should be divided into segments, for example, weeks, not months, for the employees to see the goal approach faster. In the end of every week each team is assessed depending on their performance.

 
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The points of assessment could be converted from the customer’s feedback. It would require providing the customers with an online tool that would permit ranking by awarding the employee, for instance, from one to five stars by differentiated criteria. It could include the quality of work done, the ratio between the price and quality, customer friendliness, the willingness to recommend the company to friends. The more stars each employee earns, the more he/she contributes to the team’s score.

The experienced full-time employees, in turn, would be interested in training the seasonal ones to facilitate the work for themselves. Each week the winning team may get to wear a golden badge with the businesses’ logo on it, until the next successor takes it away. This will secure the part-time workers with a feeling of belonging more than ever. The winning team will also be one step ahead on the office timeline marked by, for example, a magnet. At the end of the season, the winning team would get the aforementioned awards paid by the firm.

Summary

The solution of the approach will be effective because people psychologically involve in playing games more willingly than accomplishing tasks when they do not have competitors even when it is their daily routine (Kumar 2013). Because of the landscape and gardening business’ specific nature, many clients suggest the same company to their friends in case of the successful completion of a project. That is why it is crucial to invest into a good reputation. Having an online ranking system also shows the clients that their feedback matters and demonstrates transparency of the firm. This is extremely important in such a customer-oriented business. Later, it will leverage even larger profits because of the company’s highly probable success and will thus be cost-efficient.

This approach is innovative because it comprises all the other approaches to enhance employee motivation. Making them feel more belonging, receiving feedback, peer assessment, and other non-financial incentives, which look more similar to presents, are all possible solutions in this case. However, the authentic innovation lies in sparking the passion of competition while incorporating all the aforementioned features. Because people will be working together they will also feel more valuable for the company. That is exactly why the solution will fit the problem.

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Alternative Approach

An alternative method for solving the problem with motivation creatively could be a fractionalization and conquering method. Doing the motivating task piecemeal would be a great idea for solving this problem as well. Besides, the problems could be attended by the famous approach of finding “what makes each employee tick”. It could involve listening to what motivates each employee one by one, asking them questions about how they think their work should be done, and, once again, letting them pick their favorite assignments in a team (Pozin 2015).

In conclusion, although huge companies can motivate their workers without money in a variety of ways, there are possible solutions for smaller businesses as well. These can be based on such a popular approach as gamification, involving a healthy competition and rewards system. It not only brings the feeling of belonging to the employers by offering them team spirit and the sense of achievement but increases the customer satisfaction and boosts the entire company’s profit.

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