Leading by example

Leading by example

Managing FedEx Express' famed couriers may not give him royal status, but "purple blood" runs through Mr Mohamed Sali's veins.

The Operations Manager said: "Purple is the main colour of FedEx, and we're so much like a family here that we often joke that we share the same blood colour."

As the man behind the men of FedEx Express, one of the world's most famous cargo airlines, he monitors the workflow of the couriers while managing staffing requirements.

Mr Mohamed, 38, who oversees about 20 couriers, said: "FedEx doesn't sell anything tangible, so it's very much a 'people business' - our employees are our products, so to speak.

"We take care of our people and make sure that they're happy in their job, which always translates to great job performance."

Mr Mohamed is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and lead by example if the need arises.

He said: "My job is not wholly a 'shirt-and-tie' one. If there's a shortage of staff for some reason, I'll simply go down and make the delivery myself.

"It's happened occasionally, and being in a courier's shoes helps me understand their experiences and challenges better."

Mr Mohamed described how one courier had requested a reassignment of his workload as he was not able to meet his targets. He said: "This was because some of the courier's customers were situated in high-security buildings, where (different) security passes were required to access each level.

"We resolved this by speaking directly to the building's manager and obtaining more direct access for our couriers, which really helped to speed things up.

"As an Operations Manager, it's important that I communicate well with my couriers."

Striking Gold

He said working at FedEx Express is like "striking gold".

He added: "Not only is the management very compassionate and understanding, the work culture is also quite informal and very impartial.

"In fact, job vacancies in FedEx are usually posted internally first, because every position is open for application and we like to promote from within."

Mr Mohamed's 14-year stint with FedEx Express started with him sorting parcels as an Operations Agent.

He said: "Having been on both sides of the fence, I've become more mature and empathetic towards the couriers who work on the frontlines.

"Sometimes they may be resistant to change, whether in the form of additional training or (the adoption of) new technology."

Applicants for the post of Operations Manager in FedEx Express should have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent, at least five years' work experience, preferably in transportation, air cargo, or management, a valid driver's license, and an excellent command of written and spoken English.

At local and international levels, Operations Managers can advance to become senior management.

Some have also become Human Resource or Finance Managers within the organisation.

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