The best way to solve a problem? Replace it with a solution.

That sounds quite simple when you say it quickly, but there are plenty of instances where the solutions to problems result in unintended consequences.


The Beijing Problem

Take this example.

Beijing, China, has an air pollution problem. The thick smog which often envelops the city is a combination of vehicle exhaust, smoke from coal-fired power plants, and industrial contamination. Residents often wear surgical masks to filter out the particulates.

What’s the solution?

The obvious solution is to shut down the polluters who are contaminating the air. That would certainly clean up the air and solve the problem, but it would also make the area an economic wasteland.

It solves the problem, but with potentially devastating consequences.

Problem-Solving Process

My process for solving a problem is threefold:

  1. Identify the real problem.
  2. Develop practical, real-world solutions.
  3. Implement the most practical solution that will produce the best result.

Futurist and writer Malcolm Gladwell often writes about “redefining” the problem or challenge into different terms, or describing “mismatches.” One company found that the most successful employees owned a dog, so they started hiring more dog owners. Of course, pet ownership had little or nothing to do with the capabilities of the new hires, but the mismatch seemed to make sense. We are looking for certainty in our solutions and tend to seize on anything that appears to fit, without changing the current environment.

So, let’s talk about the challenge of hiring for success and identifying the real problem.


Identify the Real Problem

Employers want to be able to attract and hire employees who will be engaged, loyal and eager for success.

In many organizations the culture does not support the attributes needed to attract the “best” employees.

For example, an organization with top down management, basic benefits, hands-off personnel policy, high turnover, and limited opportunity, may settle for employees who appear to be a close fit, and then attempt to fit the square employee pegs into round corporate holes - a strategy that seldom works.

The “culturally conscious” employer is an important player in my book, The New Productivity Engine. I describe them as believing that corporate culture can positively impact performance and when employees are happy, satisfied, engaged and present, positive performance follows.


Develop Practical Solutions

According to Millennial Boss, Millennials, now the largest generation in the workforce, want employers who align with their values (not the other way around) including flexible work hours, more face-to-face time with management, a high-level view of the goals and aspirations of the organization, fast career progression, and a social work environment.

The practical, real-world solution is to create a culturally conscious organizational environment which embraces these values without compromising the goals and progress of the organization.

At first glance, that may sound like a tall order. Changing corporate culture takes time and can be a lot of agonizing work. But I can suggest one item that will make it easier: A practical and proven financial wellness employee benefit platform.


Implement the Best Solution

Financial wellness helps create a culture where employee financial health becomes a core corporate concern.

A holistic financial wellness solution addresses and supports key financial elements; Spend, Save, Borrow and Plan, to positively impact an individual’s overall well-being.

This is accomplished through education, tools and gamification, encouraging and enabling employees to make informed financial decisions. The program should also include resources for overcome financial challenges, thus reducing financial stress, allowing employees to be their most productive and enjoy increased potential for growth within the organization.  

According to a recent Health and Financial Wellbeing Mindset study1, 78 percent of employees felt well-being programs made companies more attractive to potential employees.  77 percent felt their employer’s well-being program enhanced or improved their overall employment experience.


Creating a Win-Win Situation

We’ve identified the problem: Without a supporting culture, it is difficult to attract employees who are engaged, loyal and eager for success.

We’ve developed a practical, real-world solution: A culturally conscious organization that enables and encourages positive performance.

We’ve implemented the most practical solution: A financial wellness program that successfully combines education with motivation and practical solutions.

As I’ve said many times in this blog, for the employee and the employer, it’s a win-win situation.


1 2019 Health and Financial Wellbeing Mindset Study