March 12, 2021

5 Effective Problem-Solving Techniques for Managers

5 Effective Problem-Solving Techniques for Managers

Managers have a lot on their plate at the best of times, but a large part of their job will involve problem-solving. It’s often easy to get snowballed with even more problems to firefight, leaving the root problem unsolved. If this sounds familiar, then don’t worry, because we’re about to look at some effective techniques that you can practice to help you become master solvers. As managers, you are proven leaders amongst your peers, and with a bit of forwards thinking, you can change your treacherous mountains into manageable molehills. 

Learn the Art of Innovation

We’re taught how to solve basic problems from a young age, but as managers, your specialism is solving problems and that takes more than just tackling each new problem with tunnel vision. You need to learn to spot the root causes of a problem, and this might take some creative thinking. To give yourself a fighting chance, you could consider enrolling in an online MSc innovation to build creative problem-solving. There are requirements of course: 

    • You need a good UK honours degree (minimum 2:2 classification) or an equivalent overseas qualification.
    • You must be able to provide official academic transcripts of your grades to date
    • Have both maths and English qualifications (at least secondary school level)
    • Two written recommendations (at least one to be an academic referee)


  • International students only need an official transcript along with a recognised English translation
  • International students only must meet specific English language requirements or equivalencies.


An online course like this would be an ideal platform for you to learn quality innovative management techniques – and with it being part-time, you can complete it around your current job.

Clear Communication

As a leader, you need to create a working environment where communication is transparent, and employees feel safe to speak up about issues that they have – this will go a long way in finding the root of a problem. If employees that are fundamental to the problem are afraid that their job might be on the line if they speak up, then they won’t. This just means that your job as a manager will become even more difficult.

Once you have created a comfortable communication environment, you will be able to talk to employees in an open forum that accounts for everyone’s point of view. With this, as the manager, you will have a thorough overview of the problem and be able to steer your ship towards a sensible solution. This being said, communication only gets you partway there; you need to trust your instincts and be aware that even though communication is open, some people still might not be comfortable talking about certain problems.

Break Down the Walls

One of the biggest causes of problems in the workplace is from groups of people, often called silos, that don’t communicate with others. For example, if one group of people has a target that benefits them, then their priority aligns with that particular group. Those people might shut out the notion of open communication because it doesn’t benefit them. 

This isn’t always an easy task, but one thing that you could do is create a workplace environment that is cross-department beneficial, where everyone in the workplace is working towards the same set of goals. If you can do this, then instead of your employees wanting to win for themselves, they will be winning for everyone in the company – this means that your workforce will be more inclined to become actively involved in the problem-solving process, which makes your job as a manager much easier.

Hire the Right People

Now that your business is set up to nurture communication and encourage departmental collaboration, you need to make sure that you have the right people on board. When you are hiring staff, you want them to help your new processes and not hinder them. You can look out for open-minded people who are adaptable, flexible and are fantastic team players. You are the manager after all and you’ve come so far, so allow yourself to be a bit ruthless in your selection process.

As a manager, you also need to know who you can rely on in times of peril. You should observe the way that your employers work, looking out for the above traits. Not only will knowing who to rely on when the going gets tough be useful, but it will let you see who is letting your new process down so that you can come up with solutions to train those people towards more innovative thinking – after all, you are the master of problem-solving.

An Effective Game Plan

Just like football managers work hard to come up with a plan to win a game, you need to be able to create effective plans to carry your business towards success. You’ve got your team to be open communicators, who collaborate well to solve problems, and you know who needs more training. All of that is fantastic, but if you don’t have an effective game plan to solve the problem, then these changes are futile.

When you are faced with a problem, you need to fully understand it from every single angle, and then be able to use any resources necessary to come up with a plan. Effective managers will think ahead about what the potential road bumps might be, and they plan to for all eventualities – your problem-solving game plans should be like a well-oiled machine. If your business is full of chaos when problems, then take a look in the mirror and see what you can do to improve.

The Takeaway

None of the above is ground breaking, it is merely a concise way of utilising the different skills. With a bit of effective strategizing, you can create a business-wide game plan that will nurture open communication, an environment that encourages a strong team ethic, and a strong eye for spotting the right people. When you combine all of these things, your job as a manager will be much easier, and your problem-solving processes will be less chaotic.

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