Here’s part two of a correspondence with Jordan Colletta, Vice President, Customer Technology Marketing at UPS. Colletta is responsible for the marketing activities of e-Commerce solutions. Under Colletta’s guidance, UPS is delivering new solutions through the development of Internet-based technologies, applications and wireless access. He has the responsibility for UPS shipping systems, information solutions and the family of UPS.com Web sites, including content, functionality and language for more than 100 individual country sites. What I wanted to find out is how this company manages to deliver lots and lots of packages by people who seem truly happy to be handing them over.
Q: How does UPS train its employees to understand the different needs between small and large businesses?
A: Training at UPS is very customer-focused. Drivers feel a tremendous sense of responsibility for their customers and their routes, and strive to understand the individual business needs of all their customers – whether large, small, or somewhere in between. Drivers are trained to be attuned to customers’ needs and how they may change over time, and to tap their knowledge of UPS products and services to best help the customer achieve business objectives.
Q: How does UPS demonstrate its commitment to valuing not just its customers but the people who get those boxes to the right people?
A: Since its establishment in 1907, UPS has become an employer of rewards, opportunity and achievement – an employer of choice. For two consecutive years, UPS has been ranked highly in MONEY magazine’s annual survey of America’s best benefits packages – the company currently ranks 8th out of 200 companies surveyed.
UPS offers its management employees a complete menu of benefit options in which to create programs that fit their personal and family needs. UPS offers highly competitive hourly wages, salaries and total compensation plans. From its drivers to its IT professionals, UPS employees are among the best paid in the industry. In addition, nationally recognized UPS human resources initiatives like as Welfare to Work, School to Work, Earn and Learn, and the Community Internship Program help the company maintain one of the world’s largest and most talented workforces.
Consider safety training, as an example: UPS invests more than $38 million a year in safety training alone, with employees receiving nearly 1.3 million hours of personal and vehicle safety training every year through hands-on, experiential training. Today, more than 4,200 UPS drivers are part of UPS’s Circle of Honor, which recognizes and rewards drivers who have steered clear of accidents for 25 years or more. The company invests $5 million a year in awards to recognize safe driving.
UPS attributes the extremely low turnover rate among its drivers to its three key “people” principles – be the boss, promote from within, and create meaningful change. Guided by these principles, UPS strives to foster a sense of ownership in its employees, giving them financial stake in the company as well as giving employees rewards solely based on performance. UPS has a strong promote-from-within policy that also encourages employees to stick around and move up the ranks. Former CEO, Jim Kelly, for example, started his career at UPS as package driver. Also, every year, UPS distributes employee surveys and makes improvements based on employees’ feedback (more than 300,000 UPS employees participate in the survey each year).
Next time: part three of my interview with Jordan Colletta. In the meantime, check this cool UPS site.