Elaine Lane is always learning something new.
The Somerville, NJ, letter carrier began her postal career in 1968 — but if you think she knows everything after a half-century on the job, think again.
Lane listens closely when managers and supervisors at the Somerville Post Office hold their weekly talks on new products, services and procedures.
“Sometimes I even have a question because things are changing so rapidly,” Lane says.
The Postal Service encourages this kind of behavior.
The organization has made empowering workers one of its core business strategies. One way to achieve this goal is by encouraging a free flow of information among managers, supervisors and employees.
Lane herself is often a source of knowledge for co-workers.
“I’m the oldest carrier here. They call me ‘Mom,’” she says. “If someone needs a Band-Aid, they come and see me. Or if they don’t know where something goes, they ask me simple questions. … I think everybody is willing to help everybody out.”
“Best practices,” a series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, appears regularly in Link.