Employment Files – Toyota Motor Manufacturing – Ken Anderson – Importance of Job Fit


So job fit is very interesting. It’s
so simple that you would think we would be doing it years before. But
what it is, the idea is, that we look at the requirements of the job – the physical
requirements of any job – if it’s typing all the way to building a car. But we
look at the requirements that come with that job, reach, bend, twist, push, pull.
We understand all those job requirements. And then, we learn about you. So we learn
your height, how far you can bend and push and pull and lift, and your reach. We
understand all about you and we match you to a job that fits you, as opposed to
putting – you know, let’s say we have someone come in that’s five feet tall. We
wouldn’t want to put them on a job where they have to reach six feet, you know,
over their head all day long. That’s not going to be a good job for them. So we
understand your reach and and your physical abilities and we match you to a
job that works for you. Because the secret is, if that job works for you, it
works for the employer. And that’s a beautiful thing. We need that match
because we want to hire someone and keep them. That’s our goal and as an employee
you want to be hired and kept, right? You want to get a job and keep it. So the
idea about job fit was to simply get the best match possible and put that
person in a place where they’re most likely to be successful. What’s very
interesting about the job fit and that approach, is that for years Toyota hired
people, and we wanted to make sure they could physically do the work. But then
once we hired them we placed them out on the line. What we noticed was sometimes
people would be very successful and sometimes they would not be. What we later
learned is that if we tested you based on your capabilities, and match that
to the job requirements, we could make you very successful. And very
few people would not make it if we matched you to your abilities. That was a
big learning point for us. Toyota has tried to partner with all
communities and hire veterans, hire folks with disabilities. We want to hire from
our communities; we’re committed to that. Obviously it’s very clear that building
automobiles is, you know, difficult work. It’s physical work, so you have to
understand that job fit becomes critical in matching people to work that
they can do. All the data says that folks with disabilities are very dependable
employees, and they come to work, they do a great job. The trick is matching them
to a job that fits them. Now one of the problems for us in finding jobs for
everyone is that we don’t do a good job matching them to the to the business or
to the need. And companies don’t know how to do that. Neither did Toyota; we had to
learn. But what we found was, once you know that and you can say, hey I have
this employee that matches your need, and they just happen to have a disability. Who cares? That’s a perfect match. The company gets the job done;
the employee gets a job. That’s the that’s the goal. What we have begun to do
is further look at jobs that we can carve out that match better, and we’ve
found ways to to get folks with disabilities into jobs that normally
people would say they might not be able to do. We have several completely deaf
team members working here now. We have folks with only one arm or one leg
working here, all over. And that’s been a beautiful relationship. It’s very
successful – they’re happy and we get to build cars so that makes us happy.

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