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Accentuating the positive

This delivery support specialist nurtures careers

A man standing in a Post Office lobby
Kevin Terry, a delivery support specialist, stands in the lobby at the Mooringsport, LA, Post Office.

My name is Kevin Terry and I’m a delivery support specialist — arguably the best position in the Postal Service — for Louisiana District. I coach, mentor and develop front-line supervisors and other employees.

I love helping others with their careers because, as a former rural carrier associate, I know how important it is to have a path to advancement. When I became a career employee, I immediately began applying for customer services supervisor positions because I wanted to make positive changes for my peers and help improve our organization.

What motivates people? How do we modify behavior? My own approach is to stay positive.

I start my day by looking over reports to see if there are any process issues. Since data doesn’t tell the whole story, I also visit units to observe and conduct Gemba assessments, a technique in which managers move through a workroom to discuss process improvements with employees.

A lot of the time in the field, we have this attitude of numbers first, people second. The most important thing is caring. You have to care about your people. I want to see people succeed.

Mentoring is the single most important ingredient in success, in my view.

My experience as an infantry squad leader in the Marine Corps had a big influence on how I approach my job. We need to grab hearts and minds — it’s about continuous improvement and engagement.

At the local level, we must establish mutual trust, actively listen to the front line and empower employees to make good decisions.

I am part of a postal family — both my mom, Jeanie, and my wife, Jen, are retired rural carriers in Mooringsport, where I began my career.

My dad, Wayne, was a mechanic who kept all three of our cars running so we could make deliveries. Without him, none of us would have had a job — and the town of Mooringsport wouldn’t have had mail.

I am truly blessed to have the support of my family. I now live in Shreveport with Jen and our daughter, Kalie, who I’m so proud of — she has a 4.7 grade point average at the No. 1 high school in Louisiana!

“On the Job,” a column on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.