The problem with problems: being solutions-focused to build a positive workplace culture
23rd November 2022
Hannah Ridgley, Director of Culture & Kindness

The problem with problems: being solutions-focused to build a positive workplace culture

You may think that being solutions-focused is only relevant in the nitty gritty, day to day tasks, problem solving, collaborating with colleagues and coming up with innovative solutions, big or small, for your client partners, customers or consumers.

However, being solutions-focused is a mindset - taking it back to basics, it’s the ‘glass half full’ effect. It’s the can-do attitude that brings positivity, which is contagious to those around you - the power of positivity.

I’m sure there are people in your personal life or who you work with, who spring to mind when I say this. Those people who are always keen to help, to use their mental energy to offer their ideas and solutions, and usually offer words of encouragement, such as ‘We’ve got this!’ or ‘We’ll find a way around it!’ or even better, ‘I’ve got an idea!’. These are the people that make your day that bit brighter and make the world a better place.

Of course, we can’t all be positive 100% of the time, which is where the ‘glass half full’ scenario comes in. Things could (almost) always be worse - that project that’s giving you a headache, your child is having a hard time at school or your car is playing up; at the end of the day, all of these things can be worked around - there is always a solution. Usually the solution is people - minds coming together, more ideas (no matter how out there, no idea is a bad idea), and you’ll get through it together. Approaching any challenge with a can-do attitude changes the way you view problems as mere obstacles, rather than roadblocks, encouraging us to be more creative in the way we find the solutions.

Creating this ‘can-do’ mindset and culture is also invaluable to companies, it’s been reported that companies who foster a positive and strong culture saw a 400% increase in revenue growth1

At my first job in a marketing agency over a decade ago, my then line manager would say to me, when I went to her with an issue - ‘What do you think the solution is?’ and most of the time, I had an answer. It’s gut instinct, self belief and confidence. 11+ years on, I still think of those moments often and have relayed this story to many colleagues over the years. As my career has developed since then, I’ve always adopted a solutions-focused mindset - I don’t know about you, but one of my pet-peeves is when people speak up about an issue, but don’t have any proposed solution, focusing on the negatives. Being solutions-focused naturally breaks the cycle of negative feedback loops, feelings of hopelessness and unproductivity - something that would benefit us all in all aspects of our lives.

So, the next time life sets out to try you, visualise the issue as a small obstacle, think positively about finding solutions, ask for help or advice when you need it, and see how your mindset shifts. Such approaches are vital when building your team. People are your business and positive people are happierand more driven to meet your shared goals. People are your culture and those that support and nurture their colleagues are like gold dust. Let’s support each other to embrace positivity!

If your company would like support in inspiring positive change within your teams, check out the Kinderworks corporate workshops here:


  1. Forbes 2021,