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Having a workforce with well-developed problem-solving skills is a significant competitive advantage for a company.
In the same way that you need to provide training so workers can acquire basic job knowledge, you’ve got to help them acquire basic job skills as well.
Again, this is important in general, but it will also help the worker develop problem-solving skills (because it will help him/her know “how stuff works”).
In that case, you could do something like use the e Learning course to introduce it, and then assign periodic refresher training in the form of a quick PDF for the worker to read or even a quick online quiz for the worker to complete. By this time, the worker knows the basic job knowledge and has the basic job skills that will help him/her become an effective problem solver.
The worker also has a firm understanding of the work processes at your area (because this is where the worker will be applying that problem solving).
In fact, that’s not likely, and in many cases, a worker with this solid foundation will still take years of job experience to transition into that experienced and highly valuable problem solver of your dreams (or, to return to the comment from my customer at the beginning of this article, to become the “machine operator who’s also a machine engineer”).
But who wants to wait a long time–weeks, months, or even years, depending on the complexity of the job and the problems the worker will face?
This includes stuff like “we produce five grades of paper” and “this is the boiler” and other simple, knowledge-based training.
We won’t go into much more detail about that here, but know that we cover it more for you in this article if you want to read more, and that it’s a critical-but-easy-to-overlook aspect of training if you want to quickly move the worker up to the point where they’re effectively solving problems.
And even if you do wait for years for these skills to become finely honed, it doesn’t mean the worker will always identify the most likely root cause early in the problem-solving method instead of getting distracted and spending time on less likely root causes.
Wouldn’t you like to dramatically compress the time frame necessary to fully hone these problem-solving skills, and help the worker learn to problem-solve as efficiently as possible?