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Setting an example

Best practices: Inspiring quality work

Woman in shirt stands in front of postal truck
Oviedo, FL, Postmaster Karen Hebert says she strives to inspire her employees to do good work.

Karen Hebert believes good leadership is about inspiring people to always do their best.

The Oviedo, FL, Postmaster says showing employees you care is one way to achieve this.

“I try to foster a sense of commitment among my employees by demonstrating my commitment to them. That builds trust, and employee commitment follows,” Hebert says.

This approach is helping USPS strengthen workforce dedication, according to Employee Engagement Executive Director Kelvin Williams.

“You can’t force people to do a good job. You have to inspire them to do good work,” Williams says. “The best managers help employees understand each other’s work and show respect for each other’s efforts.”

Hebert has three tips for her fellow managers:

• Start small. Select a few employees with sunny dispositions and ask for their ideas on how to engage their co-workers.

• Communicate. Make sure all employees know what’s expected of them.

• Be patient. When things don’t go well, go back to the beginning and see what went wrong.

“If something does not meet our quality standards, we look for the reason why and often it is the result of simply not understanding,” Hebert says. “We clear up the confusion with additional instruction and advice and we are back in business.”

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

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