JR (Job Relations) is about the development of skill, the skill of obtaining results through people. It isn’t about giving stock answers to personal questions or problems; it isn’t about providing industrial relations training. It is a streamlined intensive program designed to give leaders practise in doing just that – leading.
It is ideally suited for newly appointed leaders but can be just as valuable for those who have held such positions for some time. Feedback along the lines of “I wish I’d practised this basic stuff years ago” is common.
There are four Foundations of Good Relations used proactively and preventively:
- Let each worker know how he/she is doing.
- Give credit when due.
- Tell people in advance about changes that will affect them.
- Make best use of each persons’ ability.
JR foundations are about:
- Doing the small things (aligned with the foundations) daily.
- Making frequent small ‘deposits’ into peoples emotional bank accounts. (A positive balance thus awaits when a withdrawal occurs.)
- Building trust aligned with intent.
We learn throughout JR that no two of us are alike, people must be treated as individuals, and that problems will arise that need to be handled (no matter how well we practise the four Foundations of Good Relations).
This reactive aspect of JR is a four-step Plan-Do-Check-Act based pattern. The handling a problem side of JR is PDCA with a human element …
First we determine our objective.
We then apply the four steps which are:
- Get the facts.
- Weigh and decide.
- Take action.
- Check results.
Setting an objective is about us first being clear on our intent before we launch into the four steps!
In getting the facts we include the opinions and feelings of those involved. They are facts to them and are part of the whole story.
In weighing and deciding we consider the impact of our possible actions on our objective, the individuals, those impacted, and on production or delivery of the service.
In taking action we consider our responsibility, capability and authority.
Lastly, after taking action we check for changes and close the PDCA cycle by reflecting on the objective and on production or service delivery. After all, what is produced or the service that is provided is the reason our organisation exists.
JR takes in account the human side of any operation (production or service), any form of continuous improvement, any endeavour to adopt a Lean approach. At the heart of every work system, and the improvement of it, are people. No matter how good the technology, the machines, the processes and the systems, in the centre of it all are the people who make it all work. JR is a means of establishing and maintaining respect for people.
“If people on your team don’t trust your intent it will be difficult to make progress. TWI Job Relations is a means to developing the skill of building trust.”Dave Hyem, Site Director Boeing Seattle
“We don’t necessarily like the outcomes, but at least now our supervisors are being consistent in their approach when there are people issues.”General feedback from staff, Tatura Milk Industries