Often, people face numerous challenges that create the need for decision making. Some of these decisions are straightforward while others are quite complex. In some instances, one may be forced to trade-off one thing to get the other, thus creating an opportunity cost (Iiuber, 151). Making the right decision requires a great deal of problem-solving skills, a term used to refer to the tactics of handling complex issues. In businesses, it an essential skill for smooth leadership and management (Funke, 132). When confronted with a situation, the next question always becomes, ‘what next’ or ‘what will I do.’ There are different approaches to problem-solving and decision making. This paper uses the six-step problem-solving model to aid decision making in the scenario below.
“You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree when a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees, so you know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.”
(Source: Assignment 2)
The Six-step Problem Solving Model
The six-step problem-solving model highlights the various actions that need to be taken to solve an impending situation (Barry & Edgman-Levitan, 781). According to this model, the first step entails defining what the problem is. This is followed by identifying the cause of the problem. After this, the possible solutions to the problem are identified, majorly through brainstorming (Gdrc.org, n.p). The best solution is then picked. Afterward, the plan is then implemented followed by evaluation and monitoring the progress.
Applying the Model to the Scenario
Step 1: Defining the Problem
An employee is faced with the challenge of deciding whether to continue with the degree program or to quit and start the new job, whose starting date is in two weeks, which also happens to be the period of the final exams. Similarly, the employee has to decide whether to quit the current job even though there might be a chance for a promotion after completing the studies. After working hard for a company for 11 years, a lucrative job opportunity has presented itself in a competing company. The new position offers a $15,000 pay increase, car allowance, and relocation expenses. All other supervisors at this level have a master’s degree. This will create the need for further studies to be at par with the others. Unlike the current company, the new job does not offer tuition reimbursement. The primary challenge here is; should I quit the current less-risky job, take the new risky opportunity, and be forced to take on master’s classes without tuition reimbursements?
Step 2: Analyzing the Scenario
The employee has devoted his past 11 years to hard work in a company that has good employee welfare, at least because they give tuition reimbursement. The excellent performance has been recognized by a former supervisor who has told off of the new opportunity in the new company. Due to his outstanding performance, the current company is willing to recommend him for the new job. However, the new company does not offer tuition reimbursements although the company is providing a good paycheck and a car allowance. It is important to first analyze all these situations before making a decision.
The new company requires the employee to start in the next two weeks, although he has not yet completed his studies. The chances of finishing the studies after starting the new job are minimal, or at least he will have to postpone it, considering the fact that the job is in a different state. Accepting the new job offer may mean forgoing the Bachelor’s Degree exams since the starting date coincides with the starting date. Security of the job may be at risk if this degree, leave alone the Masters, is not obtained. For the current position, performance has been quite outstanding, and the chances for a promotion after getting the degree are high. The tuition fee is reimbursed, and the risks are minimal.
Step 3: Generating Options for the Problem
There are a couple of options that can be considered in this scenario. The first option is to request the company to extend the start date which they might accept or deny the chance. The second option is for the employee to talk to the current employer and ask if they can give a pay increase after completing the Bachelor’s degree. The third option is to request the new company to consider supporting his education when undertaking the master’s degree, although this is not the company’s policy as at now. The Fourth option would be continuing with the current job, with existing terms and wait for an opportunity for promotion and consequently a pay rise.
Step 4: Evaluating the Options
Under the first option, the employee can negotiate with the new company to determine a new starting date. This will allow him to complete his studies and have ample time managing the change from the current to the new company. As for the second option, the company may accept his request for a pay rise, because he has worked 11 years for the company and his performance has been outstanding. If this is approved, he will continue with the current job. Regarding the request for tuition support and reimbursement, this will have to be a decision by the management. As for the fourth option, this seems to be a less risky option. However, the employee may feel wasted if a chance for promotion may not occur.
Step 5: Choosing the Best Option
The best option is chosen after analyzing and evaluating all other options at hand and underlying circumstances. In this scenario, the best option is to remain the current company and request the company for a pay rise to match is new qualifications. Due to his outstanding performance, the company may easily consider his request. Similarly, he is not fully aware of the risks awaiting in the new opportunity. The current company also reimburses his tuition fees; thus, he will not be overburdened in case of further studies.
Step 6: Planning the Next Course of Action
Deciding to stay in the current job is rather easy to implement in this scenario. The first step would be arranging a meeting with his line manager, who may invite other members such as the human resource and the management. After the meeting is secured, he should go ahead and present his request, underlying his need for a pay rise and also supporting his quest. This decision will give him ample time to complete his studies with ease and avoid the risks of moving out of a company that has given him an opportunity to grow. It is more likely that his idea will be bought by the management considering his past performance in the company.
Barry, M.J. and Edgman-Levitan, S., 2012. Shared decision making—the pinnacle of patient-centered care. New England Journal of Medicine, 366(9), pp.780-781.
Funke, J., 2010. Complex problem solving: A case for complex cognition?. Cognitive processing, 11(2), pp.133-142.
Gdrc.org. (n.d.). The Problem-Solving Process. http://www.gdrc.org/decision/problem-solve.html.
Iiuber, O., 2014. Complex problem solving as multistage decision making. Complex problem solving: The European perspective, p.151.