Relationship building initiatives

The objective of a relationship building initiative is to identify problem areas in the working relationship and to agree on mutually acceptable solutions.  A commonly used process used to build relationships is the Relationship by Objectives (RBO) which is a structured process to build the relationship between unions and management.


Tokiso is able to design a relationship building initiative suitable for your company.

Guideline on a relationship by objectives (RBO) under the auspices of Tokiso

What is an RBO: An RBO is a structured process between management and union/s facilitated by one or more Tokiso panellists which produces an action plan aimed to address the relationship.

Objective: To identify problem areas in the working relationships and to agree on mutually acceptable solutions.

Process outline: The process is based on a joint problem-solving model. There is sufficient flexibility to allow the parties to adjust the process to suit their circumstances, as they may consider appropriate.  It is advisable that a preliminary meeting is held between the representatives and the facilitator to finalise the programme. A draft outline of the process is set out in the flow chart for your convenience.

Timeframe: The relationship building process is usually conducted over three consecutive days.  However, it depends on the size of the group and the objectives of the process.

Outcome: An action plan is usually completed in a tabular form, including the problem, the agreed solution, who will be responsible for the solution and the timeframe for delivery of the solution.

Benefits: The benefits of the process may be summarised as follows:

  • The use of a neutral facilitator helps to identify the real problems in the relationship and the underlying causes.
  • The process gives all parties an equal opportunity to express their views in a controlled manner – this helps the parties to understand and accommodate each other’s needs.
  • By encouraging creativity, the process helps parties to shift from fixed positions to the consideration of new options and patterns of behaviour.
  • The process produces clear, practical action plans and implementation of agreed solutions. The action plans typically include measures to improve employee satisfaction and operational efficiencies.
  • The experience of the process and the action plan lays a solid foundation for the establishment of trust between the parties. This in turn paves the way for co-operative, rather than confrontational relationships.

Costs: The facilitators’ daily fees depend on the seniority of the chosen facilitator.  The costs of the venue, travel, accommodation, meals and refreshments would be for the client’s account.

Assistant facilitator: It is recommended that an assistant facilitator be appointed to support the facilitator and to record the proceedings in an action plan on a screen as the process unfolds.

Venue: It is recommended that an external venue be used.  This prevents distractions and encourages teamwork.