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Employee engagement problem-solving worksheet Q&A

Who should use the problem-solving worksheet? 

Anyone who seeks to improve employee engagement using structured, scientific problem-solving. 

Why should I use the problem-solving worksheet?

  • You want to practice Lean thinking or are new to the Plan-Do-Check-Act method (scientific problem-solving or A3 thinking).
  • You want step-by-step instructions and targeted questions to identify and solve specific problems with employee engagement.

How do I use the problem-solving worksheet?

The worksheet is intended to guide your thinking and actions to solve a problem. You may then:

  • Document your answers and findings in your agency's preferred format, or
  • Use the worksheet to document your answers and findings by filling in the fields as you complete each step. The worksheet is fully editable, so you may modify questions to meet your needs.

How long should it take me to complete the steps outlined in the problem-solving worksheet?

The worksheet will guide your actions to solve a problem. The time it takes to complete those actions will vary based on factors such as the size of the team you focus on, the scope of your effort, and the operating environment (decision-making, authority to act, etc.).

Practice shows it could take anywhere from a few days to a few months. The key is to test a hypothesis through experimentation so that you can learn what does and doesn't work to improve employee engagement.

My agency uses a specific problem-solving tool or process (A3, 7-step, 9-step, etc.). How does the problem-solving worksheet align with my agency’s tool/process?

The worksheet provides targeted questions which will inform and align with other problem-solving tools because they are all based on the same Plan-Do-Check-Act method. 

  • The Identify Issue questions help you specify the nature of the problem and why it matters.
  • The Ask questions help you break down your problem into one that is manageable.
  • The Observe questions help you identify current state.
  • The Analyze questions help you identify root cause.
  • The Experiment questions help you identify an action plan, measures of success, key learning, and how that learning will be used for improvement.

If I have questions about the worksheet or need assistance, whom should I ask?

You may contact the State Human Resources division of the Office of Financial Management at

Back to Employee Engagement Problem-Solving Guide overview and tools page 

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