Highly Effective Manager Spotlight: Tomasz Rzepka

By Claire Carlson

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Highly Effective Manager Spotlight: 

Tomasz Rzepka
Senior Manager, Professional Services
Commerce Services

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Tomasz joined Pitney Bowes in 2012 as a Software Engineer and was quickly tasked with building the first Professional Services team in Poland– from scratch–recruiting, interviewing and building the team of 11 within 12 months! On the heels of this success, Tomasz was promoted into a manager role within Commerce Services, where he is today, managing a team of 5 and looking to hire a few more in the coming weeks.

What is the biggest challenge for you as a manager?

The job market is very competitive here in Poland.  There are many options for skilled IT people to choose from. The success of our team relies on keeping everyone engaged and motivated both as individuals and as a team. Strong team spirit and feeling of ownership is also a key success driver.

What are some of the best ways to keep a team engaged?

Appreciation. It’s about proper recognition, but it is also about having fun together as a team, building bonds. While it is important to say thank you and to recognize people for their accomplishments throughout the year, at least every quarter we try to do something fun as a team, to celebrate wins both big and small.

Feedback. Providing timely feedback along the way is important as well–whether things are going well or not. This is foundational to the innovation required and essential to succeeding in the marketplace. I encourage everyone to give me constructive feedback as well when I am doing something wrong and am quick to admit when I make a mistake. Timely feedback can be a valuable chance to course correct and work together to achieve even better results. This helps keep everyone motivated.

How do you support the career growth of your team without losing your top talent?

Holding on to top talent can be shortsighted.  It’s important to think about what is best for your people and support them with a clear career path; inside or outside of the department. Managers must know their people and empower them to apply for other positions. Investing in their career development helps them but it also helps keep everyone motivated and helps build trust. It is also good for Pitney Bowes helping us retain our top talent. Some of my team members have moved on to other roles. To minimize any disruption this might cause, we try to make sure that everyone knows how to do everything. None of us focus on just one slice of the cake.  We work like a shared service supporting all Commerce Services LOBs.

How did you learn to become a manager?

I started with Harvard ManageMentor courses and attended local courses prepared by American Management Association exclusively for PB. But the most helpful was learning on the job. I moved quickly into a manager role but had the advantage of having worked for HD Rhee who modeled what it meant to be an effective manager. Every manager I reported to has had an impact on growing my management skills but, HD was the first to notice my capabilities and I look forward to paying it forward. When we were building that initial Professional Services team in Poland, HD invested a lot of his time to make sure I would succeed, at some point leaving me and saying, “now it’s your turn.”  And over time, I am learning what works and what doesn’t; well actually I am learning it every day. Believing in your people is key, leaving space for them to do their job. It’s all about trust.

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