Job Relations Training (JR) is the third program of the Training within Industry group. It teaches supervisors how to evaluate and take proper actions to handle and to prevent people’s problems. The focus is to train workers to solve personal problems with other coworkers. The process seeks to be analytical minus emotions. Also, the emphasis is on treating people as individuals and understanding people on all levels. This class is divided into two parts, the foundation for good relations and how to handle a problem. The outline below is taken from the JR card.
Foundation for Good Job Relations
People must be treated as individuals
- Let each employee know how he is getting along
- Find out and communicate the expectations you have.
- Point out ways to improve.
- Give credit when due
- Recognize extra or unusual performance, as soon as possible, while it is still fresh.
- Tell an employee in advance about changes that will affect him.
- If it is possible, start explaining WHY.
- Get people to accept the change.
- Make the best use of each person’s ability
- Look for ability not now being used.
- Never stand in an employee’s way.
How to Handle a Problem
- Get the facts – Be sure you have the whole story!
- Review the record
- Find out what rules and plant policies apply
- Talk with individuals concerned
- Get opinions and feelings
- Weigh and Decide – Do not jump at conclusions!
- Fit the facts together
- Consider their bearing on each other
- What possible actions are there?
- Consider objective and effect on individuals,
- Take Action – Do not pass the buck!
- Are you going to handle this yourself?
- Do you need help? Should you refer this to your supervisor?
- Watch the timing of your action and how will affect production, attitudes and relations.
- Check Results – Did your action help production?
- How soon will you do a follow-up?
- How often do you need to check?
- Watch for changes in output, attitudes, and relationships.
The objective of this program is to build positive relationships between employees. It does so by resolving conflicts that arise in the workplace following a standard procedure. The foundation is the principle of treating each person as individuals. Also, it seeks to prevent problems from happening as a way to maintain a positive environment.
This module was the precursor of one of the continuous improvement or lean tenets, respect the people. It presents honest, on-time, and effective communication as a way to prevent problems. Other ideas that we know today as part of lean thinking are team development, making decisions based on facts, and reflecting on the result of your actions. Let me remind you that this was written in the US in the early ’40s by the War Manpower Commission. It is time that we put these ideas into practice again. You can read the original reference materials with this link.