Top techniques for decision making in the workplace

Published by Elaine Gallagher on

Top tools and techniques for decision making in the workplace

Table of contents

There are consequences to any decision, in all areas of life. These consequences are what make decision-making a challenge.

In the workplace, choices can be loaded with consequences. Your decisions may impact your colleagues, managers, and the business as a whole. Your evaluation process needs to be sound, and your motivations should be clear. 

You might need to make decisions on multiple occasions during the day. Whether your choices have small consequences or considerable ones, you need to feel confident in them.

Consider utilizing decision-making tools that are guided by behavioural science. The best tools and techniques should help to evaluate your choices and provide a way to fairly assess different options within the workplace. 

Decision making techniques

Mental exercises and decision-making tools can provide an objective way to make a decision. Some of these tools might be familiar to you already. For instance, weighing up the pros and cons is a familiar decision-making tool, for many areas of life. Exercises like this can help you to create a physical representation of your choice, and analyse all sides.

Quantitative pros and cons are one of the most common decision-making tools. In this exercise, you must list the benefits and disadvantages of carrying out each potential decision. You might want to make a list on paper or draw a diagram if it helps. The key to effective pro and cons lists is quantifying your reasoning. Rate each pro and each con. This provides a tangible reason to drive your decision. 

Another popular decision-making tool, commonly used in the business sector, is the decision tree. This template encourages you to contemplate each option and its relevant outcomes. Use this tool to work through the different stages of decision-making. For instance, if you’re considering implementing a new training programme, your options are to upgrade to the new programme or continue using your existing one. The branches would then extend listing the different outcomes of those decisions. 

The decision tree helps to map out all the possibilities from one decision and get a clear image of the potential outcomes and impact.

team in meeting room around laptop making decisions

Decision making tools

There are plenty of tech-based tools out there to facilitate your research and decision making. Tools like Lucid Chart can help create maps and charts to work through decisions you’re taking. These programs can facilitate brainstorming sessions, and help to build decision trees. 

Cascade also offers a similar tool but can integrate with your teams to align your goals. You can measure the results of your decisions, and use the tool to drive your next steps. 

Consider utilizing a combination of mental practices and digitized tools to facilitate decision making in the workplace. These visual decision-making techniques help to evaluate every available option and look at your thoughts objectively as an impact on your teams or business. Ultimately, this should result in good decisions.

Communicate and Reflect

Decision making isn’t a one-man job. Decisions in the workplace impact a range of people, from your teammates and colleagues to management. Therefore, it’s important to communicate your thoughts and intentions clearly, and involve those that are impacted by your choice. Open the decision making up to a wider circle, and enlist the help of other team members.

Implement an action plan based on your goals, and discuss how the decision will affect the workplace. 

Your ultimate goal will dictate the success of your decision-making process. Consider whether you achieved your goal. It’s important to reflect on the results of your decisions so that you can learn where to improve your process, or where a wrong choice was made. 

At BAD, we understand that making effective business decisions is challenging, but implementing the effects of those decisions can be even more difficult. We create tailor-made digital experiences, for successful workplace change. Contact us to discuss your next change programme, and how we can drive your workplace forward. 

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