Innovation at work

Chief Operating Officer David Williams views performance scores with Supervisor James Hopkins at the Suburban Maryland Processing and Distribution Center recently.

Chief Operating Officer Dave Williams has a message for USPS managers and employees: Innovation works.

Williams is visiting facilities across the nation to observe new approaches that are helping the Postal Service boost performance.

In Capital Metro Area recently, Williams highlighted three examples:

• Continuous improvement. The Suburban Maryland Processing and Distribution Center and Columbia, MD, Post Office use Lean Six Sigma principles to remove waste and improve service and customers’ experiences.

For example, Columbia has redesigned its workroom floor and made it more orderly.

Supervisors and safety captains also conduct “gemba walks,” a technique in which leaders move throughout a workroom to engage employees and improve processes.

• Employee engagement. Columbia has also created a “footsteps to engagement” walkway with floor decals imprinted with phrases that promote enthusiasm, involvement and commitment.

The office also uses this area to display photos of employees with outstanding safety records.

• #PostalProud. The Eastport, MD, Post Office prominently displays the new #PostalProud posters that highlight six retail moments that matter.”

Employees credit this focus on customer service with recent improvements, including strong passport sales.

“These facilities demonstrate that when employees come together to seek new solutions, they get results,” Williams said. “Their efforts are inspiring and serve as a model for others across the country.”