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Making a Better Workplace
By Tony Dallojacono
NAPS Mideast Area Vice President
Why are we the only company that competes against itself? It seems every office, district, area and plant wants to compete and be better than the other. That would be great if each were their own company.
No one wants to ask the other how they are doing this or that. We are not proactive, but, rather, reactive. If someone is struggling, shouldn’t we show them how we succeed? If I have the ability and knowledge to succeed in something, I want to teach someone else how I do it. That is being a good mentor.
Does it mean I am a good teacher? No. But to give someone else the knowledge to better themselves or at least succeed is being a good mentor. We all are part of the postal family; if anyone in my family needs help, I will be there for them. Not only do we have to teach and mentor each other, but we also need to teach and mentor our employees.
When employees are aware and understand why we do the things we do, it may help change their mindset. Can we change everyone to make them better? No. But we can change enough to make a difference. We need to enlighten everyone as to why we do the things we do.
Explain to our employees that we want them to get home to their families every night the same way they came to work—in one piece. We do not want to see them get in any accident—and not just because of the paperwork. We must show our employees we care for them and the company.
We need to explain to our new employees that this is a career, not a job. We, as leaders, need to coach and mentor—not through punitive action, but through example and guidance in the right direction.
During peak season, an EAS employee from another area, whom I respect as a future executive in our company, called and asked how we were making the numbers we were making in a certain area. I told him exactly what was told to me and what we were doing. I have reached out to him to ask the same regarding other issues. Reaching out and asking—that’s good leadership.
Nobody knows it all, which is why we have developed networks over the years. Times have changed in the Postal Service; things are not the same as they were five or even two years ago. We must remember to treat all employees as we would want to be treated. When you scream and yell at someone, all they hear is, “Blah, blah, blah.” When you explain why, then things can change. Following are examples of respect in the workplace:
If we all practiced these examples, we could make every day at work a better place. The challenge is getting everyone to buy into the process for respect. As Albert Einstein said: “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”