What Enters The Room Stays In The Room

VELUX: TWI Job Relations

”The ‘squareness’ of the method creates some valuable challenges and possibilities in our conversations. It shuts down short-sighted views at exactly the right time. It allows you the opportunity to listen more – because it’s so systematic. Also, what enters the room, stays in the room. Confidenality is maintained by all managers,” says Production Manager at VELUX, Kim Diabelez, after having worked with TWI Job Relation in almost a year.

About VELUX

VELUX is an international company that produces and sells skylights, light tunnels and skylight domes as well as accessories for the same. The VELUX Group has 16 production companies in 9 countries and sales companies in 35 countries

Industry: Windows

Company Size: 10.000+ employees

Location: Global

Applied Services through the Enabling Process 

Job Relation

Date: 2 January 2024
By: Getajour.dk

All Good Management is a Group Effort

Newly-appointed production manager, Kim Diabelez, took a workshop on Job Relations suspecting it was a bunch of new age hocus pocus, but ended up learning that the ‘soft skills’ approach to management strengthens the opportunity for success. Designing company infrastructure for positive relations makes people less lonely, more productive and better team players overall.

In the spring of 2023, Kim Diabelez returned ’home’ to the Danish company VELUX after a short while working elsewhere. Prior to that, he had 13 years of experience in the old family-owned business, working various positions focused on optimization and leadership within one of the world’s leading manufacturers of quality roof top windows and skylights. He returned to the organization this time bearing the title and responsibility of ‘Production Manager’ as part of the newly-established management group.

“I had been in charge of production for a month when we were told to participate in a workshop called TWI Job Relations. We were 8 people, and at this point a good handful of us were new to the field. The group wasn’t gelling yet and the whole thing sounded a bit outside my comfort zone. Honestly, I couldn’t help thinking this was some kind of hippie dippie stuff,” Kim Diabelez says a year and a half later – and more than a little wiser.

”At this point in time the team was a bit ‘green’. We had neither enough experience in our jobs nor the necessary build-up of trust in one another. The lacking camaraderie made it hard to discuss personal issues, so being asked to suddenly do so in a workshop made us feel vulnerable. There were so many other places I’d rather be. I thought ‘working on relationships with others?’ No thank you!”

Lean versus Methodical

Thus far, Kim Diabelez’ career had consisted of working with LEAN and policy deployment for years. He had optimized and tuned production strings, coached and trained supervisors in problem-solving tools and definitely participated in KPI-driven company culture.

However, it was the Job Relations-workshop, lead by John Vellema from Business Through People, that made him realize that the ‘softer skills,’ the interpersonal relations and better understanding of communication concepts regarding speaking and listening, matter in creating better results through people. They matter more one might think.

“The Job Relations method really got to me. It was very systematic. You start reading from page 1 in the textbook, you rehearse and you answer questions. There’s a time and place for everything, you take turns taking center stage, while the whole structure is very firm,” he says.

It’s an incredibly effective method. Personally, it’s made me more reflective and self-aware. Whenever I feel wronged, I now consider that there might be another explanation or way to view the situation.

Anders Engkrog Laursen

Operational Exellence Expert, VELUX

“It pushed us to put ourselves out there and acknowledge that we all deal with personal things that might affect our ability to lead. That even the most alpha of us all still struggle at times, and that it’s wise to deal with issues head-on, while they are still small and manageable, before things snowball into bigger problems. This method proves we are so much better as a group than we are as individuals.”

Breaking down barriers – building trust

When Diabelez looks back on the five days he spent with his fellow managers, he’s thankful he stuck with it.

His initial hesitation and the group’s general skepticism vanished without a trace by dinnertime the second day. By this time everybody had shared relevant case stories, everyone had asked the group for help, and they all gained something in the process.

“It was as if we let down our guards, started loosening up and sharing problems as well as solutions – and we did it in an impossibly short time. The last couple of days were down right amazing,” Diabelez states, applauding the newfound sense of community, the common frame of reference and the very unique opportunity to view issues from multiple points of view.

This allowed a varied set of perspectives and solutions which could be applied to any given managerial problem.

“By the time we walked out of that conference room on the last day, everything had changed. We’d broken down barriers and built a new foundation of trust. We were able to be vulnerable in each other’s company, capable of asking difficult questions of one another, and dared to face difficult issues head on, together,” he says adding that the group has met up once a week since that summer. Still sharing day-to-day issues and true team spirit, thanks to the Job Relations framework.

When Diabelez looks back on the five days he spent with his fellow managers, he’s thankful he stuck with it.

There are many roads to good management, but VELUX has discovered a path that creates good relations, a sense of community and a safe space for sharing – and implemented it in record time.

Business Through People

No More Rash or Cock-Eyed Decisions

There are so many things I’ve become better at since embracing the method. I’m better at reconciling expectations, better at showing recognition, and I am able to have difficult conversations.

It can get lonely at the top, and all managers want to perform as well as possible. To succeed, you must find trustworthy sparring partners. It’s impossible to maintain a healthy career or work life without trusted colleagues by your sider.

Kim Diabelez

Operations Manager, VELUX

Find More Cases Here

Industrial method yields results

Industrial method yields results

Industrial method yields results Management of Professionals: The implementation of simple production management principles from the industry and systematic training of employees have resulted in reduced time consumption, superior case management and growing employee...

read more