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Problem Solving For Labour Unions

 

What’s your problem?!

Human beings are hard-wired for problem solving. Give us any kind of puzzle and we’ll wrack our brains for hours to figure it out.

When unions are faced with a problem in the midst of Negotiating, Bargaining and or Grievances, it’s no different.
As when solving a puzzle, it helps to stand back and look at it, rather than jumping right in. ...Defining the problem is the first step.

The problem solving process


1.    Define the problem
2.   Determine and analyze
       all of the causes
3.    Create and select a solution
4.    Implement the solution
5.    Evaluate the effectiveness
       of the solution

The Problem Solving Model
 
How do you approach problems during Negotiations, Bargaining or Grievances & Discussion?

To avoid time and energy traps in the solution-seeking process, you could try a Problem-Solving Model.
 
What is it?
And what are its benefits ?

 
A Problem-Solving Model (PSM) is a series of steps toward solving a problem as effectively as possible.
The PSM will get you off to a good start, and then it will be a map through the process, so you can stay focused, and on track.

18 steps to help you work through
Effective Problem Solving

  1. Define the problem in clear terms.
  2. Challenge yourself to think outside the box.
  3. Avoid jumping to solutions.
  4. Consult with those who have knowledge of the problem.
  5. Form an Action Team of 4-6 people from the above people.
  6. Have the Action Team identify and analyse the possible causes.
  7. Create momentum by scheduling Action Team meetings over a short period of time (for example: once a week, for 6 weeks).
  8. Determine “since when” or “how long” the issue has been a problem.
  9. Use a problem-solving model to help keep you on track.
  10. Use a variety of creativity techniques to generate ideas.
  11. Ask yourself…”Have I seen this kind of problem before?”
  12. Reflect on the problem –  walk away from it for a while. Your subconscious will continue to work on it
  13. Set clear objectives. Ask “by when?” and “by how much?”
  14. Use a mind map to link all of the contributing causes of the problem.
  15. Keep asking WHY until you root out the problem.
  16. Once you’ve decided on a solution, use a force field analysis to identify the benefits and challenges of implementing your idea.
  17. Define implementation. Include clear time-lines and responsibilities. Attach names and dates to these tasks.
  18. Set dates to evaluate your solution after it has been implemented.

Final Thought…
Try this:

  • Find a creative space and go there, mentally or physically, when you need to think innovatively.
  • Engage in creative recreational activities on a regular basis (for example: photography, reading, sewing). These activities will both widen your body of knowledge and develop your problem solving skills.

 
Remember: Problems create opportunities
 
Problems aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They give you the chance to exercise your “risk muscle”… They’re a challenge to try something different..
 
Many people are afraid of problems. They try to avoid or ignore them. But it is the person who has the courage to try something new who is the true hero of tomorrow.

Go ahead…be a hero!

Download a FREE copy of this article and use it at your next Union meeting!

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