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Home News TWI – a method that changes job and problems solving approach

TWI – a method that changes job and problems solving approach

Published in Hospodářské noviny on June 15, 2011, author: Markéta Šimáková, Partner and Executive Director, DMC management consulting, s.r.o.

The latest meeting of DMC management consulting with managers of important production companies in the Czech Republic demonstrated increasing interest in employee development targeting improvement of productivity and quality of their work.

Today it is not anymore only interest of HR managers only but directly production or production site managers. The trend in education is practical training and coaching of lower, middle and top management employees. The manager is interested in achieving better and longer-term effect from the training that can be immediately implemented in practice. Continuously growing interest in implementing lean production methods, identifying reserves and using modern methods minimizing waste plays important role in this area.

A very relevant tool to implement lean production is TWI – Training Within Industry, a building block of TPS (Toyota Production System). The method originates from U.S.A. and DMC is TWI official partner for implementation in the Czech Republic. TWI is a tool for management and motivation of employees. The longer we use the method the bigger extent and impact we find in it. TWI teaches managers responsibility for their teams, teaches team leaders how to manage rolling problems, how to properly plan development of their subordinates and how to continuously improve processes.

Our clients often declare high fluctuation, dissatisfied employees doing mistakes and deteriorating atmosphere in their companies. They would like to organize a training of communication and motivation, if possible all in one day not to lose too much time...

Our experience is that the above mentioned problems often have other reasons which we can identify through mapping and TWI method, then propose a solution and further steps to eliminate them. Opposite to ordinary crash courses TWI is not only a training but mainly improvement method having longer-term outcomes. It changes the way employees think, eliminates waste and concentrates on standardized operations. It solves problem causes, does not fight the fire.

For the company it is important to know goals they want to achieve. Then the consultants concentrate on initial processes through mapping, most often in the form of mystery employee (consultant acting in the position of new employee comes to the company to go through the whole recruitment, starting and adaptation process).

Mapping „mystery employee"

Case study, client No. 1

Production company with 350 employees for several months suffers from high fluctuation (almost 50 %). Employees justified such situation by bad financial conditions and also region – supposedly it is normal there. After meeting the company director we agreed on analyzing four basic processes:

• Recruitment process – how it is run, who is responsible etc.

• Starting process – first training of the employee

• Further adaptation process (within the probation period)

• Exit process

To obtain relevant information about the whole process we selected mapping through mystery. A consultant in the role of employee such way could go through the whole process and got an insight (insufficient interviews and records keeping before the job start, chaotic organization of the job start, low quality input information and lack of professional training).

The director himself was surprised by the outcomes and started to understand how important these „secondary" processes are. After proposing particular steps we agreed to start working on the recruitment process. We involved in the project all employees participating on recruitment (not only HR but also team leaders and department managers). After process adaptation and rules set up the fluctuation decreased to 30 %. Currently new adaptation and training processes are being prepared to further decrease fluctuation and eliminate reject rate.

Help to new employees

Case study, client No. 2

A multinational fast developing production company continuously hiring employees contends with managing training of new employees fast and effective. New hires learn long time, do mistakes and their retraining is strenuous. To improve communication and make training more effective we decided to use TWI – Job Instruction module. The program included aside managers also team leaders and internal trainers. During practical exercises directly in the production they prepared on their own a training program they rehearsed during a three-day program. TWI includes also follow-up coaching directly on-site (so-called coaching on the job). The method already during the first two weeks brought faster training, higher productivity and quality.

How else benefit from TWI methodology?

Aside from better productivity and quality also:

• Motivation = employees satisfaction. The trained employees themselves praise attitude of „trainers – guarantors", information quality and higher confidence during their new job.

• Processes improvement – it often happens that thanks to particular steps practical exercisingthe employees discover mistakes in the process, useless steps and operations that are quickly eliminated and contribute to higher productivity.

Case study, client No. 3

During coaching-on-the-job the trainer together with employees identified only during one day many deviations, non-standard operations or even activities threatening quality. During one training session the employees published five improvement proposals.