Ikaika Bright understands the importance of employee communications.
Bright, the Honolulu Processing and Distribution Center’s acting senior plant manager, sees stand-up talks as one of the Postal Service’s most valuable methods to deliver information.
Stand-up talks are brief presentations on a single topic that managers and supervisors deliver to groups of employees. During the coronavirus pandemic, stand-up talks are one of the organization’s primary vehicles to let employees know about policy updates, procedural changes and other important information.
“Employees are receiving information at every juncture, not only from us, but from the news, radio, social media,” Bright says. “At a time like this, it’s crucial that employees are getting the correct information, every day. Having that interaction face to face is priceless, and it is what the employees deserve.”
USPS wants managers and supervisors to follow Bright’s example and ensure employees receive stand-up talks on important topics.
To help his colleagues, Bright offers these tips:
• Make sure everyone hears stand-up talks. At Bright’s facility, operations managers and unit supervisors are required to attend the talks, along with the employees. This helps ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to organizational messaging.
• Use stand-up talks effectively. Bright has reduced the amount of large town-hall-style meetings at his facility, preferring instead to use stand-up talks to deliver key messages. “We’re talking to smaller and more intimate groups more often,” he says.
• When delivering a stand-up talk, be sincere. “If you’re just reading off a paper with no emotion or agreement, you’re not sending the right message,” Bright says. “Really listen to your employees and take into account what they have to say, validate their questions and follow up on their concerns.”
The bottom line, Bright says, is stand-up talks help employees feel more engaged and empowered.
“The message is this: We care about our employees, we are grateful for what they do and we are not successful without their efforts,” he says.