TWI JR Certified Trainer, Laura Lee Rose, at Missouri Enterprise asked:
“What coaching can be provided to clients who participate in Job Relations training? We have built in time to assist class participants with Job Instruction and Job Methods, but I'm always at a loss to understand what additional coaching can be provided in Job Relations. Can you help me with this?”
TWI Institute Senior Master Trainer Patrick Graupp responded:
“JR development is an ongoing, evolving process. Whereas with JI and JM you actively go out and “select” appropriate jobs to train and to improve, in JR you would not go out and “create a problem” in order to solve it. Yet, as we all know, there are always problems out there with people. The skill is to catch them in their early stages, before the general population recognizes something as “a problem,” and take action early when there are many “possible actions” still available to properly resolve it in a way that gets us to our objectives.
In this setting, it is hard to systematically “coach” people on JR because problems will come up ad hoc and, unless there is a revolution going on in the workplace or a pervasive case of poor morale, it’s difficult to go out and assign problems to coach on.
The best case of follow-up work I have heard is a company that had their JR graduates get together once a week for a short meeting where one (or maybe two) people in the group would volunteer to give their experiences using JR during that week. The trainer would go through the same process we use in the 10-hour class of outlining the problem on the board and examining the use of the JR 4-Step Method, letting other members participate just like in the class. They did this for several weeks, maybe a few months, until the group felt that they had mastered the use of the JR method and made it a regular part of their supervisory work.
TWI Institute Master Trainer Richard Abercrombie responded:
“ I agree with Pat that it’s a little awkward to say “Let’s go out on the shop floor and see if we can find a people problem,” whereas it’s much more likely to find a need for instruction or a need for improvement.
The best way to work through a question about how to coach is to think about what are the objectives of the coaching and what’s the best way to get those outcomes. Of course, for all of the TWI programs, the purpose of coaching is to find out where additional teaching, training or practice is required so that the supervisor actually develops the skill and doesn’t stop at the knowledge level. The other purpose is to stimulate continuing use.
Having a guided discussion about the various aspects of JR is an excellent way to probe for the person’s understanding of the JR method and, in particular, their understanding of the preventive emphasis. The process of the 10-hour delivery is an excellent format for doing this since it covers the 4 Steps and Foundations. But there are many other points of discussion that can be brought out such as how to get opinions and feelings, was the objective the correct objective, what was the real cause of the problem and were the actions directed at those causes, etc.
But keep this in mind. As a trainer coming in from the outside, your best target for coaching is “the boss.” In other words, whoever has the responsibility to get Job Relations used and to make it part of the regular routine of supervisors’ or team leaders’ daily job is the person that needs coaching on how to do that. This also applies to JI and JM, too. It’s only through the day-to-day interaction and coaching between levels of management in the line organization that TWI will become sustainable.
So if you organize, for example, a follow up coaching session like the example Pat describes, talk to “the boss” ahead of time about your plan, in the group meeting handle a volunteer’s problem yourself (model the process) and then have “the boss” handle a problem. During or afterwards you can give feedback about the coaching process.
And don’t forget the coaching opportunity with staff relationships. For example, is HR learning to coach supervisors and managers in how to work through their people problems using the foundations and method?”
Do you have any ideas for Laura Lee? If you do; post a comment or let us know.