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Explain and train

Best practices: Employee development is ‘vital’

USPS manager
Syracuse, NY, Distribution Operations Manager Gary Holland emphasizes professional development in his workplace.

Gary Holland’s actions speak as loudly as his words.

Holland, distribution operations manager at the Syracuse, NY, Processing and Distribution Center, has made the professional development of his employees a priority.

“When employees receive effective training, it helps them feel more engaged and productive,” he says.

Among his other duties, Holland oversees a mail handler academy where newcomers receive on-the-job training on proper techniques, equipment and more.

Managers like Holland are helping USPS become more responsive to employees’ needs, according to Employee Engagement Executive Director Kelvin Williams.

“Encouraging the professional development of your employees is vital. It’s one of the best ways to show them that you care about them and want them to succeed,” Williams says.

Holland has two tips for his fellow managers:

• Listen to your employees. Be available and hear what they have to say. For example, Holland regularly uses drills and service talks to interact with employees and address their concerns.

• Use peer-to-peer training. Holland says one of the keys to the success of the mail handler academy has been its use of experienced employees to serve as instructors.

“They help guide new employees to continue to work safely at their operations,” he says.

“Best practices,” a new series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, appears regularly in Link.

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