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Big on recognition

Best practices: Improving engagement

Smiling man stands near flag
Larry Mc Clain, a Western Pennsylvania District Post Office operations manager, enjoys recognizing employees for their efforts.

If there’s a Postal Service employee in Western Pennsylvania District being recognized for something, chances are good you’ll find Larry Mc Clain there, handing over the award and posing for a photo.

Mc Clain, a Post Office operations manager for the district, is a big believer in recognizing employees for their work.

“I’ve always been big on recognition,” he says. “I go to anything I’m asked to go to. We make a big deal about it.”

And Mc Clain has earned some recognition of sorts, too. The latest Postal Pulse employee survey results show engagement has increased among the 96 postmasters who report to him.

He credits the monthly newsletters that Kane, PA, Postmaster Lori Luchini puts together for the district’s Postmasters for helping to increase engagement.

“Our group looks forward to getting those newsletters. They hang in all the offices. The Postmasters know that when I come visit, I’ll be looking to see if the newsletter is hung up,” Mc Clain says.

To help improve engagement, he offers three tips:

• Recognize employees. Point out when they go above and beyond their regular job. “When you recognize employees, that ties them all together,” Mc Clain says.

• Pictures matter. Showcase employees with photos. Hang those photos on walls and send them out by email. “People like pictures — pictures mean a lot to them,” he says.

• Keep communicating. Newsletters and teleconferences tie people together. “It is hard to get people to talk, but I try to engage everyone. Everyone has something to offer,” Mc Clain says.

He continues: “You are only as good as the people around you. I learned that early in my management career from a Postmaster who is retired now that I came up under. I never forgot that.”

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

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