My name is Al Tariq Franklin, but as Paul Simon would say, you can call me Al. I’m one of three employee engagement ambassadors for Northeast Area in Edison, NJ.
In that role, I travel to 10 districts to lead two classes: “Creating an Engaging Workplace,” for Executive and Administrative Schedule employees, and “Engagement Matters,” for craft employees. I also speak at safety symposiums, give presentations at orientations, and coach managers and supervisors about the engagement challenges they face.
I start the conversation with district managers and work down, to create a cascading effect that ensures the benefits of engagement are felt by everyone. I love having discussions about the culture of each team and exploring ways to strengthen them.
I joined the Postal Service 18 years ago as a letter carrier, and I was tapped for the engagement team last year. At the time, I was a Postmaster and had implemented a “Freshman Friday” program to address concerns of new employees, which has since expanded to other locations in Northeast Area. That was a door opener for me.
I love the endless opportunities there are with the Postal Service. Promoting from within is the greatest thing an organization can do. You’re empowering employees by letting them know they can grow in their careers if they want to.
I have respect for the organization, and that’s helped me earn respect from others along the way. That’s one reason I started collecting postal lapel pins. They’re my spin on promoting the brand and showing pride in USPS.
Speaking of engagement, I’m newly engaged to be married. I have three kids, and my fiancée has one — ranging from 9 to 17. On weekends, you’ll often find us having breakfast on the waterfront in Hoboken, NJ, taking in the view of the Manhattan skyline, and we regularly go into the city for street festivals and other fun activities. We also enjoy biking and camping.
With my engagement job, I feel like a new employee. It’s been a breath of fresh air that’s given me a new perspective on the Postal Service and a new level energy to help the organization prosper. Even with nearly two decades of service behind me, I have a whole other career ahead of me, and I want to do something special.