Not every change has to involve a major project with capital expenditures. Consistently making small enhancements leads to lasting improvements. Here are 20 tips for your operation:
1. Managers of multiple-shift operations need to regularly come in early and leave later in order to maintain contact with your employees.
2. Partner with adjunct departments to develop cross-training programs. Mail operations, document services and shipping/receiving employees share similar skill sets. A joint training program helps everyone.
3. Develop a succession plan for all positions. You need to prepare for both planned and unexpected departures. Including your own.
4. Merge the print and mail organizations. All printed documents need to be delivered or mailed. One group focused on the entire process will improve results.
5. Reward your employees as a team. Build unity through joint recognition of successes. Throw pizza parties, always have small incentive items to hand out, or give bonuses to the entire department.
6. Write down good/bad employee experiences when they happen and file them for future reference. Don't rely on your memory at review time.
7. Have your shop open before the company opens and close after the company closes. People are always looking for deliveries early in the day or are sending out mail at the last minute.
8. Establish written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). People should have clear directions on what to do. Whether you are present or not. SOPs are also the best training tools for new employees or for cross-training staff.
9. Have senior management review your shop's SOPs. Having your bosses see your procedures lets them know everything your department does.
10. Create a production report to track activity in your shop. The information will tell you what you're doing and how well you're doing it. And, it will help justify more employees or new equipment.
11. Review the production report with your manager to ensure that he/she understands it. Not everyone knows mail as well as you do. Make sure your message is getting through.
12. Write a complete disaster recovery plan. Address all threats – internal, external and natural disasters. Have short-term and long-term contingency plans.
13. Develop a communications plan for any disaster. You need to know who to call, and what to say in the event of a disaster.
14. Track your inbound mail volumes by classes and categories. In the words of Peter Drucker, "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it."
15. Use automated systems to track accountable mail. If your shop signs for something, get a signature from the final recipient.
16. Use automated systems to collect postage information. This information needs to be 100% accurate.
17. Keep your employee database up to date by linking with the phone system. People can move without notifying mail services, but they need to get their phone turned on.
18. Investigate voice-activated or automated sorting systems. This technology is improving rapidly, and is very helpful with high turnover – both in the mail center and in the departments you service.
19. Implement a work order or job tracking system. Managers and employees are more efficient when they know what work needs to be completed and where jobs are in the process.
20. Talk to your staff before you buy equipment. Don't assume you know what your staff needs. Involving your employees in the process will ensure their buy-in later.
Do you have a tip to share? Please join the conversation and leave a tip in the comments section below.