5 Tips for Becoming a Better Mailroom Manager in 2021

By: Manny Mangat


Mailroom Management

time to read article5 minutes

article date Dec 21, 2020

In your career, you’ve probably had some managers that you’d like to forget and then some powerhouse managers who fostered workplace synergy and motivated you to greater achievements. While there are some people who are born with strong leadership traits, most of us have to develop them through experience. We can grow and improve and learn from our mistakes.

Everyone manages in a different way. In fact, if you try to copy someone else’s brand of leadership, you’ll probably find yourself faltering. You need to leverage your own strengths and style to create your unique brand of leadership.

That said, there are some basic tenants that are critical to good management. Read on to learn more—and decide how you can put these tips to work in your own way.

  1. Know your employees. How much do you know about your employees? Their past work experience? Their career goals? Their hobbies? Their family? People want to be known and understood, and there are several ways you can make this happen in the coming year.

First, hold regular interviews with employees. (Lock them in on your calendar at the start of the year so you don’t get busy and forget to schedule them.) These interviews help you know what makes your workers tick and assess their job satisfaction. Ask your employees if they are happy on the job and what the company could do to make their job more fulfilling. Regular and open communication about successes and barriers in your workplace can help you know how to keep employee morale high.

You should also make sure to acknowledge employees’ special days. That might mean a handwritten note on their desk when they hit their one year anniversary in your mailroom or a gift certificate on their birthday.

  1. Offer adequate training. Employees work best when they are empowered with the right knowledge. Take time to assess your current training for new employees . Does it more closely resemble a hodgepodge of information? Or a well-oiled presentation easily replicated for each new employee? Could any of your training be automated to save your staff time and ensure greater consistency?

Depending on the size of your organization, there are sophisticated workflow platforms that create training modules and alert you about employees’ progress. And if that’s more than you want to invest in, programs like Loom allow you to instantly record training videos and get a shareable link. Editing software like Camtasia can take those videos to the next level with editing, animation, and more if you want to get fancy.

Poor training will lower morale. Employees may not feel like they are able to contribute without the right knowledge, and that will make them feel stifled. In addition, they’ll be more likely to make errors that could cost your organization time and money.

Training could also include continuing education for individual employees. Would your supervisors benefit from taking proficiency courses for a certain software suite? Or attending a communication or leadership seminar? No one likes to stay stagnant on the job. You can be a more effective manager when you facilitate opportunities for growth and enrichment.

  1. Give employees “buy-in.” Engaged employees are the best employees. According to a Gallup poll, engaged employees are 17% more productive and 41% less likely to miss work. One of the best ways to engage employees is to encourage them to buy into your company’s mission and success. You can do this by setting departmental goals and offering incentives when employees reach these goals. This could include anything from reducing package loss over time to improving ratings on customers satisfaction surveys.

In addition, as you meet with employees, find out what their career goals are. Help them know how they can meet these goals by advancing within your company. Give them opportunities to oversee projects or lead meetings. As employees take on increased responsibility, they will feel more engaged in the success of the company.

And finally, buy-in can also come in the form of morale-building activities, such as potluck lunches, morning coffees, family picnics, or community service projects. These activities allow employees to bond with each other in a more relaxed setting and feel a stronger tie to their work community.

  1. Update your technology. A report by the research firm Enterprise Strategy Group shows that 27% of employees want newer computing devices, and 30% want more tech training. Every mailroom has different setups when it comes to technology, but the results from this report make clear that people want workplaces that leverage the latest tech for their benefit.

Consider these scenarios:

  • You currently use a handheld scanner that is unresponsive and error-prone. Your employees are wasting time with this unreliable piece of hardware, having to scan and rescan packages.
  • Your employees have no way to verify that a package was picked up other than a paper log at the front desk. More than once, a client has complained that they never received their package. Your employee swears they remember handing the package off to someone, but the paper log wasn’t signed so they can’t prove it. This leaves your employee looking incompetent with no way to resolve the problem.
  • Your employees spend hours each week trying to contact people to pick up their packages. If they don’t come, they have to keep generating emails to remind them. The process feels stressful and disorganized.

All of these problems can be addressed with better technology in the form of mailroom management software. If you haven’t incorporated a cloud-based package tracking system into your mailroom, let 2021 be the year.

Even if you’re a small organization, there are mailroom apps that are cost-effective, easy to incorporate, and will yield a strong return on investment. Look for features like:

  • Digital scanning from any device
  • Optical character recognition for “reading” shipping labels
  • Machine vision technology that can photograph packages at delivery or pickup to prove receipt
  • Auto-generation of text/email notifications to package recipients

And if you want to see if our PackageX mailroom software is a good investment for your company, check out our ROI calculator.

  1. Lead by example. Employees can sniff out hypocrisy very quickly. If you enact certain safety protocols, live by them. If you are asking employees to work more during the holidays, put in extra time yourself. If you have certain procedures in place for releasing packages to recipients, don’t cut corners. If you hold a company service project, show up and stay. And if you want a culture of respect in your mailroom, treat every person with dignity.

This year has been a doozy, and we’re all hoping for better in 2021. Many mailrooms have been taxed to the limit, given the COVID-19-driven surge in incoming mail. Pat yourself—and your workforce—on the back.

As we head into the new year, take time to evaluate things you’ve done well and things you’d like to improve as you lead your staff into a happy and productive (and hopefully less eventful) 2021.

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