workplace problem-solving tips

Stay or Quit? Problem-Solving Information & Tips for the Workplace

Deciding to leave an organization can be difficult. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of staying or quitting your current job before making a final decision. For some, it may be time to move on and find a new opportunity that fits their skills and interests better. For others, staying in their current role may be the best option. Consider your values, goals, and needs when deciding which path to take.

Are You in Or Out of The Organization?

We all know people that have lost their jobs in the past few years, and nobody has to tell you we are in a terrible employment economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median tenure in a job is 4.1 years in 2022. Therefore, many people will have around eight to ten jobs in their working careers. If you assume that even half of those job changes are because you will get fired or downsized, you will still end up leaving by your own choice four or five times in your career.

In The Organization: Making It Work

Many problems with the workplace contract can be solved, but they won’t be unless your boss and your company know your objectives don’t align with theirs — the key is communication. If you keep your concerns to yourself, don’t be surprised if your boss seems unsympathetic. Before you make any rash decisions, stop and ask yourself these questions.

  • Is it reasonable? If you expect a plant manager’s salary for a first-line supervision position, then you’re probably in for a disappointment. On the other hand, asking your boss the best way to get to the next level is reasonable.
  • Is your problem temporary? Start-ups can bring a lot of frustration and take time to smooth out. Is your problem like a start-up situation that is likely to lessen over time? If you determine it is, ride it out.
  • Is the problem internal or external? We often think our job is the problem when outside factors are where our discomfort is truly felt. Your company can’t solve personal issues, but they may be willing to help through employee counseling services that are commonly available these days.
Problem-Solving Tips for the Workplace

Problem-Solving Tips for Dealing with Your Boss

Once you consider these issues, you are ready to communicate the problem. Regardless, go to your boss first — even if the problem is with them. You owe them that, and they will be in the best position to represent you and help solve the problem.

If the problem is your boss, there may be a natural tendency to avoid confrontation. Communications of this type are always best handled in person, but that’s unrealistic if your boss is a thousand miles away. As tempting as it might be, don’t send a bitter email! Use the phone. As tactfully as possible, explain the problem their behavior is causing you in doing your job. They may disagree with you, but you might just get them thinking about their actions.

One final thought on communication for supervisors and managers: Don’t burst into your boss’s office, letting them know you will quit if they don’t fix your problem. Once you threaten to quit, you have already quit.

Out Of the Organization: It’s Time To Go

There may come a time in your career when no communication will fix a problem, no amount of hard work will solve an issue, and there is no other path except to find your place outside the organization. We know this because we have been there.

  • When you understand that your company’s leadership and culture are not aligned with your own, it’s time to go.
  • When you stand against your leadership in continual argument because you don’t believe their directives will work, it’s time to go.
  • When you find yourself not caring whether the right things are done, it’s time to go.
  • When you dread routine meetings and phone calls from your superiors, it’s time to go.
  • When you are slowly disintegrating from the stress, and you secretly pray for deliverance, it’s time to go.

What you have lost is belief. You’ve lost belief in your company; you’ve lost belief in your ability to influence events; you’ve lost belief in yourself. Once your situation leads you to lose these core professional beliefs, your only solution is to leave the company. Active belief in your organization is essential for manufacturing leaders and managers.

If your situation is fixable, when you still believe, the economics of remaining in your job will play a large part in your decision to stay or go — at least it will until you find another position. But if you have lost your belief, the decision to leave goes far beyond economics.

Beyond Economics

Our phrase “beyond economics” can be explained simply: Does the risk of an uncertain future outweigh the situation you are in now? Only you can answer the question. It is a personal decision that must be made with your immediate family. Others in your life have no relevant input. We aren’t telling you to quit a bad job or to stay in it. We are telling you that you will likely face a decision beyond economics — in or out of the organization. That may be today, tomorrow, or in ten years, but it will come. We faced this situation, and we can tell you that there is life beyond economics.

Trying to hang onto a paycheck in a crisis of belief will diminish you. Just as importantly, it will diminish those around you — both on the job and at home. The decision to leave must be about who you are and what you believe in. In the final analysis, people will not remember you for your position; they will remember what you were.

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” – James Joyce

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