Wednesday, March 4, 2009


PICTURES OF THE DAY- Facilities Administration and Famous Blogger Jeff F

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The annual celebration and competition will be put on hold this year, but will return in the future.

3/4/09 Taking a break from the Ro(a)deo

Stephen R. Banta, Executive Director Operations

Yesterday our general manager wrote to employees about the importance of celebrating our achievements while keeping in mind the financial challenges facing our agency. The changes to Employee Recognition Week reflect this reality, and we have been charged to find new and creative ways to recognize excellent performance in balance with our financial situation.

The most meaningful way of recognizing an employee is to tell them that they did a good job, that their work is important to the success of our agency. This isn't a new or radical concept; it is, however, something that is all too easy to forget when we are knee deep in alligators, as we are so often in Operations. I am committed to making sure that we do not forget to thank and recognize employees despite the difficult times.

There is no one at TriMet who believes more strongly than I in the value of the Ro(a)deo. This event provides an opportunity for us to celebrate and recognize excellence together. It is also an important event where families and retirees come out to mingle and engage in friendly competition. The winners of last year's event will still represent TriMet at the national competitions this year. However, we have decided to cancel the Ro(a)deo this fall, and we will not be sending anyone to national competitions next year. When the financial tides turn towards the better, I promise you that this event will be one of the first things to return. I appreciate your support and understanding of this difficult decision.

The upside of this is that the extra time will allow me get more practice in for next year's competition!


Recognizing performance still important

March 3, 2009

By General Manager Fred Hansen

This year is one of challenges and triumphs. In February, we opened WES and in May, buses will be back on a revitalized Mall. Green Line will open in September and on December 1, TriMet will celebrate its 40th anniversary. We also look forward to receiving federal stimulus money for infrastructure and capital projects that will help put Oregonians back to work.

We balance this good news with the reality of what is happening in our region, our state and our country. FY10 must reflect 5 percent across-the-board cuts and reductions in bus and MAX service. This not only has a serious effect on our employees and riders, but on the entire region. And as we know, if the economy continues to deteriorate, even a 5% cut will not be sufficient.

Recognizing outstanding performance becomes even more important in tough economic times when staff is being asked to do more with less. With this in mind, it was time to rethink our formal employee recognition activities. After much reflection, it seemed that a series of smaller celebrations throughout the year would be more appropriate than one large Employee Recognition Week event.

Formal recognition events will reflect the times

We will begin these smaller celebrations on April 29 when I announce, and we all celebrate, the new Operators of the Year. At that time, we will acknowledge National Safety Award recipients. In May, we will celebrate buses returning to the Mall and in September, the Green Line opening. We will have a ceremony to announce General Manager Award recipients in October and will end the year recognizing TriMet's 40th anniversary. Along with these agency-wide celebrations, each executive director is being asked to find the best way to acknowledge their division's accomplishments.

Steve Banta and I also made the difficult decision not to have the bus and rail Ro(a)deo this fall. The time, coordination and people it takes to make this event successful is a lot to ask of our Operations staff who will have had an extremely busy year, and at a time when resources will be limited. I enjoy the Ro(a)deo for the opportunity it offers both maintenance and transportation employees to demonstrate their skill and professionalism, and I have no doubt we will hold this event again in the future.

Informal recognition always the most important

I have long felt, and continue to believe, the most meaningful recognition an employee can receive does not involve celebrations, meals and awards. It is when a manager or supervisor tells an employee specifically how he or she has performed well. I have shared this belief with you on many occasions and have consistently encouraged staff to find more informal and personal ways to thank employees.

It is critical to acknowledge each employee's unique contribution to the agency. TriMet's strength is its employees. It is no different this year. None of the changes described above alters the mandate to say what our coworkers value the most - a simple thank you for a job well done.

It is also important for us to celebrate together. Individual performance creates strong teamwork and strong teamwork results in extraordinary achievements.

I look forward to expressing my appreciation for your outstanding work as we celebrate our accomplishments throughout the year.

Portland city officials enter COMEDY CENTRAL


Bill provision may help keep the buses rolling
Statesman Journal - Salem,OR,USA
Tualatin finds cheaper way to keep WES trains quiet, safe
The Oregonian - - Portland,OR,USA
TriMet plans cuts in neighborhood bus service
The Bee - Portland,OR,USA
The Commuting Chronicles: Wheres the new bus's at? 1764


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