Pitney Bowes: Driving Development Through Certification

In the services industry, a company’s success hinges on its employees’ ability to deliver. Having the best trained and certified employees serving clients offers a decisive marketplace advantage.

In March of 2011, PBMS introduced a certification program for its full- and part-time hourly employees called PB Drive!, an acronym for the program’s mission to develop, reward, inspire, value and empower employees to advance through progressively higher levels of certification. PB Drive! was designed to establish a cross-functional, flexible workforce and develop subject matter experts throughout Pitney Bowes’ service delivery team. Longer term, these efforts will translate to increased customer and employee satisfaction, reduced implementation costs and improved operational efficiencies.

PB Drive! is a voluntary program that offers development and certification opportunities for non-exempt service employees in document management, litigation and document services, managed print services and mail management.

“PB Drive! was designed to ensure our employees are the best trained in our industry and it requires a significant commitment,” said Bryan Bonnici, regional service leader, Pitney Bowes Management Services. “In fact, it can take a minimum of three years to earn masters certification.”

PB Drive! takes employees through four certification levels:

1. Bronze certification includes a mastery test to confirm candidates have a solid working knowledge of their platform. Annual recertification is required. Recognition includes a certificate, announcement in company newsletters, a congratulatory letter and a bronze certified medal.

2. Silver certification examines how candidates apply their bronze-level knowledge in the customer environment. There are interviews, a written assignment, and annual recertification is required. Recognition includes announcement in company newsletters, plaques at the Pitney Bowes headquarters and the customer site, business cards with the specialist designation and emblem, a congratulatory letter and a monetary bonus.

3. Gold certification validates the candidate’s work on a customer project. Candidates attend an internal workshop, then join an implementation, operations assessment or new business analysis team. The candidate completes a work product from the team or a knowledge presentation and interview. Ongoing participation is expected to maintain certification. Recognition includes an announcement in company newsletters, plaques at headquarters and the customer site, a congratulatory letter, identification as a trainer for silver certification, special designation on business cards and an hourly rate increase.

4. Masters certification requires the candidate to participate in a work project while obtaining a recognized industry certification. Candidates must also join a local industry group. Recognition includes coverage in company newsletters, including profile with photo, plaques at company headquarters and the customer site, nomination for the PB Impact Award, a congratulatory letter, identification as a trainer for gold certification, serving as a speaker in discussions and another hourly rate increase.

More than 350 employees took part in the company’s first round of bronze certification training. There is strong interest in the next round.

“The early results are very impressive,” said Rose Velez-Smith, vice president, human resources, Pitney Bowes Management Services. “Today, we have employees across our service delivery team who are highly trained and certified in their respective service area thanks to PB Drive! Not only are we providing development and enhanced career opportunities for our front-line employees, our customers are benefiting from improved service levels and seeing our commitment to continuous improvement firsthand. The program has also helped our retention among high-performing employees and in recruiting.”

Michelle Tierney is vice president North American service delivery, Pitney Bowes Management Services. She can be reached at editor@talentmgt.com.