Engagement runs in the family of JeVonda Gilbert-Faust and Rodrick Cole.
Gilbert-Faust, Mid-Carolinas District’s customer services manager, and Cole, Dallas District’s customer services manager, are both honorees this year in the Postal Service’s Engagement Leader of the Year Awards competition.
They’re also cousins.
“We are really like a brother and sister. When JeVonda got her award, I was ecstatic for her. At the time, I had no idea I was nominated for one, too. Now she calls me ‘Number 2’ because she got her award first,” Cole said with a laugh.
Receiving the honor was particularly special, each said, because it’s based on employee nominations.
“I try to remember something special about each of my employees and just ask how they’re doing. You’ll be surprised how that will make someone feel,” Gilbert-Faust said.
Added Cole: “When your employees know you are truly engaged, they will respond to you.”
The Engagement Leader of the Year Awards recognize leaders who foster employee involvement, enthusiasm and commitment. The competition is part of the Postal Service’s broader efforts to engage, equip and empower employees, a core strategy.
Gilbert-Faust and Cole said growing up within a close-knit family — their mothers are retired postal employees — has helped them learn how to create supportive work environments.
“Engagement is simple for us because it’s all we know,” Cole said.