Job Relations (JR)

What is Job Relations?

Job Relations is the TWI component that develops the skill of leading.  Good leaders are able to get their jobs done by working with and through people.  Some leaders may find this difficult if they are unwilling to delegate or take charge.  Sometimes the people they lead have more knowledge of the work or more years of service.  Other times they have to deal with people who have never worked before, or who have worked in different work environments and are unfamiliar with their new organization’s rules or expectations.  To be successful, the leader must figure out how to motivate people in all these types of situations.  Leadership is getting people to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and the way it needs to be done, because they want to.  JR will develop that skill in your leaders.

The JR 4-Step Method

How to Handle a Problem
Determine Objectives

Step 1 – Get The Facts

  • Review the record.
  • What policies, rules, and regulations apply?
  • Talk with individuals concerned and get opinions and feelings.

Be sure you have the whole story.

Step 2 – Weigh and Decide

  • Fit the facts together and consider their bearing on each other.
  • What possible actions are there?
  • Check each action against objectives weighing effect on individual, group, and production.
  • Select the best actions.

Don’t jump to conclusions.

Step 3 – Take Action

  • Should I handle this myself?
  • Who can help in handling?
  • Should I refer this to my supervisor?
  • Consider proper time and place.
  • Explain and get acceptance.

Don’t pass the buck.

Step 4 – Check Results

  • How soon and how often will I check?
  • Watch for changes in output, attitudes, and relationships.

Did my actions help production?

Were my objectives accomplished?

Job Relations training teaches the leader how to handle his “people problems,” and more importantly, how to establish the conditions that prevent problems from occurring in the first place.  When we speak of problems, a problem is anything on which the leader must to take action.  Using a standard four-step method outlined on the JR Pocket Card, the leader first determines his objective – what does he want to achieve in this situation.  He then follows the four-step method for handling a problem, a simple process that will lead to powerful results.

Many times senior leaders perceive the JR 4-step method as too simple.  However, its simplicity is its strength.  Being simple but effective leads to its greater use, especially with issues that seem minor, but that often turn into major problems if not addressed.  In Step 1, gathering the facts, all the facts including opinions and feelings are gathered and the leader builds a strong foundation of understanding of the problem.  This foundation then makes it possible in Step 2 to develop multiple courses of action, and then, weigh and decide on which ones to implement.  In Step 3, the leader takes action and follows up in Step 4 by checking the results.  The bottom line is did the leader achieve his objective.  If not, he will need to cycle back through the four steps.

Careful review of the four steps will show a close similarity to the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, only adapted to dealing with people problems.  JR can help extend the problem solving process to your human systems or you can start with JR and solving problems with people, and then, adapt it to solving quality, machine and materials problems.

Foundations For Good Relations

Foundations for Good Relations
  • Let Each Employee Know How He or She is Getting Along
    • Figure out and tell the person what you expect.
    • Point out ways to improve.
  • Give Credit When Due
    • Recognize extra or unusual performance.
    • Tell the person while it’s fresh.
  • Tell an Employee About Changes that Will Affect Him or Her
    • Tell the person WHY if possible.
    • Get the person to accept the change.
  • Make Best Use of Each Person’s Ability
    • Look for ability not now being used.
    • Never stand in an employee’s way.

People Must Be Treated As Individuals

On the flip side of the JR Pocket Card are the Foundations for Good Relations.  The foundations will help prevent problems from occurring in the first place.  Letting each employee know how they are doing is critical to the employee’s success and the operation’s.   Providing expectations and telling them ways to improve will help them do their jobs as they continue to learn and grow.  Giving credit when due, recognizing in a timely manner that extra effort someone has provided or the fact that day in and day out they perform their job without complaint, helps build the person’s morale and that of the whole team.  A key foundation is letting people know about changes before they are implemented.  And telling what is going to happen is not enough; try to tell them why the change is necessary and get the person to accept the change.  The last foundation is making best use of the person’s abilities.  Everyone wants to contribute.  Many people have skills they use daily outside the workplace that can significantly help the operation if the leader only asked them to use those skills.  These foundations, when used in conjunction with sound judgment and good common sense, can help avoid many problems we now see in the workplace.  And as is the case in most instances, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Benefits of JR

Often organizations already have leadership and interpersonal skills training; JR is the tool that brings all those skills together for action.  It will help you get the most out of your human skills training.  Some of the benefits you can expect are:

  • Better attendance
  • Less turnover
  • Less interpersonal conflict
  • Better communication
  • Better teamwork
  • Improved morale
  • Greater productivity

Job Relations training can help you develop your leaders, and improve the productivity of your people.  And it’s your people who can create and sustain the competitive advantage required to survive in today’s global business markets.