Russ Herrick strives to show his employees that he cares about them with his go-to tool of choice: communication.
“There’s no secret to communicating — either you do it or you don’t,” says Herrick, plant manager in Trenton, NJ.
“I have an open-door policy and enjoy meeting with employees throughout my day. I enjoy direct communication with all the employees.”
Herrick, who has worked for USPS for 37 years, oversees approximately 900 workers at the Trenton Processing and Distribution Center. His leadership team is one of more than 460 that have received “certified engaged team” status after demonstrating their success in creating positive workplace environments.
“Relationships are the glue that hold great workplaces together,” says Employee Engagement Executive Director Kelvin Williams. “When managers show employees that they care about them, it leads to improved engagement, safety and productivity.”
Herrick has three tips for managers who want to show support for their employees:
• Be honest. Celebrate employees’ successes, seek their feedback and follow up on their requests.
• Be open. Use “gemba walks,” a Japanese leadership technique that encourages managers to move through a workroom, observing employees and talking with them about their jobs.
• Be friendly. Make an effort to learn more about employees’ personal interests and events happening in their lives.
“I often get feedback — both negative and positive — directly from employees. This is due to the level of confidence and discreteness I provide,” Herrick says.
“Best practices,” a new series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, appears regularly in Link.