Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009 - (Page 8)

Real Life Management The recession has impacted us all — our companies, our teams and our personal lives have all felt the hit (anybody brave enough to look at your 401k balance lately?). How can we be more effective managers in the tough times we live in? Here are some tools and techniques that may prove useful. 1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Our employees want to hear both the positive and negative news from us. If we fail to communicate, a vacuum is created — and that vacuum is filled by the “rumor mill, which invariably is ” negative and destructive to morale and motivation. Give your people hope. Napoleon said, “Great leaders are dealers in hope. We don’t want to sugarcoat current realities, ” but we can share the strategies in motion to make the future brighter. We can also remind people that every prior recession has been followed by several years of growth and prosperity. Dole out “hugs” and practice “random acts of kindness.” As leaders, we can generously give out verbal, written and even physical “hugs” to our team members. What the great philosopher Plato said years ago is especially relevant today: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Put” ting our emotional intelligence to work will help build camaraderie and ease a bit of the pain that people are feeling. Manage your costs. Everybody is feeling the pressure to hold the line on costs or even lower costs. One key to manage costs is to invite your employees into the process. It’s surprising the good ideas that employees come up with if you are candid with them and invite their participation. For example, my company (Portland General Electric) needed to cut our 2009 Operating Budget by $25 million. We shared the need with employees, brainstormed and came up with the budget cuts without any employee layoffs. Here are a few cost-saving ideas my teams have implemented: reduction of overtime by process improvements and awareness of need to cut back; reduced employee business expenses by scaling back purchased food and outside meals With Wes Friesen Managing Operations in Tough Economic Times — in some cases, food has been eliminated, and in other cases, employees have brought in food items on their own dime. We are also saving on training and development costs by focusing on the most value-added uses of our training dollars — such as PCC events and resources. One team eliminated a recently vacated position by coming up with process improvements and unanimously agreed to fill in the gap. Consider in-sourcing or outsourcing. In-sourcing involves bringing in work from another company. If you have a wellmanaged operation and have available capacity, bringing in external work can leverage your assets and provide a means to subsidize your costs. Another alternative to consider is outsourcing. Ask the following questions: Do we have a high quality and low cost in-plant operation? Is our company committed to the in-plant operation and keeping up with best practices and industry trends? Is our company willing to invest in vintage replacement of equipment? If you have any “no” answers, outsourcing the operation to a vendor or another in-plant may be the best choice. 6. Build up morale and productivity through recognition. Research over the years has led to the development of what some have called the “Greatest Management Principle in the World”: you get what you reward. Sincere, regular and positive recognition and rewarding of desired behaviors is common sense — but not common practice. 5. 2. 3. 4. Our economic tough times will eventually come to an end. Meanwhile, we have the opportunity to make a positive difference within our organization. Let me close with a favorite quote from Vince Lombardi. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Now is the time for managers to get going! a ” Wes Friesen is the Manager of Revenue Collection & Community Offices for Portland General Electric. He can be contacted at wes. Recognition Is Key Ongoing recognition and praise make a person feel appreciated, important and stimulates the intrinsic motivation to excel. Recent Gallup research found that individuals who receive regular recognition and praise: · Increase their individual productivity · Increase engagement among their colleagues · Are more likely to stay with their organization · Receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers · Have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job Fact: Sadly, over 65% of respondents have received no recognition from management in the past year! 08 MAY - JUNE 2009 a

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009

Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009
Editor’s Note
Real Life Management
Software Byte
Employing Technology
Everything IMB
Ship It
Best Practices
What You Think
From the Source
The Key to Approval
Practical Insights
Mail.XML and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Implementing the Intelligent Mail Barcode
Internet-Powered Postal Mail
Using Personalization Technology
Reality Check
Pushing the Envelope

Mailing Systems Technology - May/June 2009