Deep diving

NV shark tank

Alex Gegax wanted to make it easier for letter carriers and others to learn about new loading and delivery procedures when USPS implements them.

“Whenever the Post Office rolls out a new procedure, supervisors aren’t always given the tools to communicate the change,” said Gegax, a Las Vegas carrier technician. “They sometimes have minimal understanding of the new procedures, making the interaction challenging.”

To help fix the problem, Gegax came up with an idea: Require the Postal Service’s carrier academy training instructors to visit delivery units to explain process changes.

He recently pitched the idea at a Nevada-Sierra District event that was patterned after “Shark Tank,” the ABC television series in which entrepreneurs woo investors with their business proposals.

Gegax’s idea was a hit with district leaders, who plan to implement it, along with safety and training proposals that other employees offered at the event.

Nevada-Sierra’s “Shark Tank”-style program is part of the Postal Service’s broader efforts to engage, equip and empower employees, a core business strategy.

USPS also is seeking employee proposals through IdeaSMART, an online platform that allows workers to offer suggestions on a variety of topics.

Nevada-Sierra plans to hold more “Shark Tank”-like events, which also allow employees to tap their creative energies. Like the TV show’s contestants, participants can incorporate props, music, videos and costumes into their pitches.

“We are encouraging people to use their best creativity,” said Angie Bush, the district’s learning development and diversity manager.

Most importantly, Gegax said the program helps employees feel like they matter.

“The concept gives employees the opportunity to have a voice in their workplace,” he said.