To achieve Step 3, individuals will show that when faced with a problem, they can find the information they need themselves to complete a task.
In earlier steps, the focus was on completing tasks by following instructions, finding someone who could help if they were stuck, and articulating a problem to them. This step builds on this by encouraging individuals to think about how they can find information themselves to help them complete a task.
The building blocks of this step are learning:
In education, we are often set tasks by teachers or lecturers and there is a clear expectation that we complete those tasks fully. However, we can sometimes find that we do not have enough information to complete it. When this happens, it is important that we make the effort to find the extra information we need and not just hand the task in incomplete. We can find out more by thinking about the problem and looking in different places, such as in books, magazines or searching online for key facts, dates or instructions. We might need to ask questions of our teachers, lecturers, friends or others to get further information.
Just as in education, at work you may find in order to complete a task you need to gather more information. As you work on a task, questions may begin to form in your head. You need to be clear what extra information you need. Then, you can go about finding it. You may be able to do this by reading instructions or training materials, perhaps online, or searching back through emails and other communications. Sometimes the extra information can be gathered from a colleague, a manager, a customer or a client by speaking with them.
Depending on the task you have to complete, there are lots of types of information you might need: Dates, times, costs, sizes, names, addresses and much more. If there is no one to ask, for some information you need, a good starting point can be an online search. However, it is always worth checking that the sites you access are reliable sources of information.
To best practise this step of Problem Solving, apply what you have learnt to a real-life situation. Choose one or more of the activities below, remind yourself of the key points and strategies in the step, and have a go!
To teach this step:
This step lends itself well to being used and reinforced in the classroom. For example, learners can be introduced to seeking out extra information themselves to complete tasks, and these opportunities can be structured into lots of learning.
This step can be assessed by setting a task for the learners. The learners can be set a task to complete that requires them to identify and then seek out information from a range of readily available sources to complete the task.
The assessment can focus on those who can locate the information they require to complete a task, what of that is extra information, and then being able to find that information.
This step is relevant to all individuals who are involved in solving problems at work.
To build this step in the work environment, managers could:
There are plenty of opportunities for building this skill in the workplace:
For those already employed, this step is best assessed through questioning and observation For instance:
During the recruitment process, this step could be assessed by:
We work with a wide range of organisations, who use the Skills Builder approach in lots of different settings – from youth clubs, to STEM organisations, to careers and employability providers.
We have a lot of materials available to support you to use the Skills Builder Universal Framework with the individuals you work with, including:
We also do a lot of work with organisations who join the Skills Builder Partnership to build the Universal Framework into their work and impact measurement systems. You can find out a lot more using the links below.
At home, you can easily support your child to build their essential skills. The good news is that there
are lots of ways that you can have a big impact, including: