• Project Title:
  • Assessing Postal Service Employee Morale
  • Start Date:
  • Wednesday, August 17, 2016
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • April 2017

The Postmaster General and the chief human resource officer have indicated that improving employee engagement is one of their top priorities. Morale is the collective drive of employees to help the organization meet its goals. Studies have shown when employees feel engaged there is a direct impact to morale. The FY 2015 Postal Pulse survey indicated that a majority of Postal Service managers felt disengaged.

In an effort to improve employee engagement, the Postal Service formed an engagement team, which implemented several initiatives over the past year. A primary initiative is the Employee Engagement Ambassador Program, which began in April 2016 and focuses on the 12 elements of engagement developed by Gallup. The Postal Service plans to provide the training to all managers and supervisors nationwide. The managers and supervisors will then be responsible for implementing the principles in the workplace.

We plan to assess the state of Postal Service employee morale and initiatives used to enhance employee engagement.

Please use the comment box below to answer our questions or provide input.

  • What are the main contributing factors to low morale at the Postal Service (overall or unit specific) and how can they be resolved?
  • Are you aware of current initiatives for improving employee engagement? If so, what is your opinion of the initiatives?
  • What is one additional engagement initiative that you believe would help improve morale?

 

Comments (92)

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  • anon

    My life really began for good when I walked out of the West Palm Beach General Mail Facility in June 1994, and never went back. In early 1986, I transferred from Western Nassau, N.Y., to West Palm Beach because I heard it was a high-growth area and thought there might be a chance for me to get into management. Like the posters here, some of them new hires, I was idealistic and believed all the stuff I was told in orientation. Boy, was I glad that I wasn't totally committed. I realized soon after arriving that the West Palm Beach GMF was a reverse MBA in how not to run a business. Indeed, the Postal Service is like a college of business, but in reverse. Just do the opposite of what the Postal Service does, and you will have a reasonable chance of business success. After the violence began and the publicity got intense, the Postal Service began running surveys and all sorts of things that appeared to be aimed at making things better. But most postal managers dismissed those efforts. There were surveys of the workforce, and some workers even went public with complaints, but the end result always was vague promises that things might improve in the distant future after authorization came down from Elephant Headquarters. (It never did.) When the EXFC started, West Palm began cheating almost immediately. I knew this because you had to be blind or a postal inspector to not see the long tables next to the OCR/BCS machine, where temporary workers were hired every so often to go through every piece of outgoing mail by hand to find the test mail. How did I know this? One of the women was in one of my classes at college. "It's a mail test," she said. I left before the U.S.P.S. OIG started up, but let me assure you that they make nice reports and all, but they really have no enforcement power. Look, read the latest report. They can't even find someone to run the operation. The current head is an "acting." Twenty-two years ago, me and my fellow postal workers asked for what many of the commenters are asking for: competent management, a fair chance to advance, a reasonable workload, a regular schedule and more. You're never going to get it. The OIG is designed to tell postal management that it's doing everything right, and even when it finds severe misconduct it can only make recommendations. I see reports where they find managers who had no idea that there were some jobs they were supposed to be doing. The response is the same: we'll run training when we get a chance. I gave up on the post office and found my future outside the hellhole. It's not a picnic, by any means, but I've never regretted quitting and moving on.

    Dec 16, 2016
  • anon

    Why is morale in the dumps at my office? A revolving door of incompetent managers who have no idea what it's like to work on the rural side of things. No steady stream of mail...Monday is 3-4 times what we get every other day. Filthy working conditions. Managers who sit in a chair all day and crank the heat up so that the people who are actually doing the work are sweating. Large parcels. Parcel volume quadruple what it was during mail count. Paid to deliver 40 parcels per day and the route is averaging 250 per day. How is that fair? Shall I go on? I could list things here all day that is wrong with this place. How about how I'm an RCA and have been working full time on a route for 2 years now. Regular has been working in other capacities for 12 years. How about I get paid holidays? How about I get treated like a regular a little more.

    Dec 16, 2016
  • anon

    Hold management accountable for the fact that this question is even being asked. The problem starts at the top. But USPS solution is always start at the bottom. There needs to be some way craft can ask questions or report problems that never get solved by going to management. I also think Management needs to carry a route one week a year (supervised) and let that be the standard.

    Dec 16, 2016
  • anon

    Sorry, but I doubt management will EVER be held accountable. It's all about "Who you know" in this business. Upper level positions appear to be given to friends who are unqualified to hold the position and are given "protection" rights when things go wrong. The blame is then placed on lower level employees who have already stopped caring about their job because of their past experiences with management.

    Dec 18, 2016
  • anon

    Have all upper decision makers actually run an route before making decisions that affect routes. Current MPOO doesn't want carriers to carry just packages to help out during Christmas. mail volume isn't the problem it's the 200% increase in packages. Routes normally split roughly 200 packages. Now this Christmas season we are averaging 300+ on an average day with spikes up to as much as nearly 800. MPOO sends out everyone has to be back by 5pm, um sure, that's going to improve morale. Here deliver 200% more and get back at the same time as usual. Also routes should be cut when a carrier request it. Really lowers morale knowing your route needs cut(in august) and isn't and you get to wrestle with it through Christmas too.

    Dec 16, 2016
  • anon

    Morale... morale... morale. Holy cow, where do I start? We just had a turnover in our station, lost a PM in the process (good riddance) and shuffled a bunch of the managers around. The route I've ran consistently is evaluated at 19 miles (it's 34....) and 678 houses (+1000), but the PM said he won't pay the excess mileage! Attitude and outright threats from management on a CONTINUAL basis too. A manager that ROUTINELY writes all RCA Amazon start times in, AFTER we have left to deliver! The RCAs are coming in at 6am for parcel runs, then coming back to case and run mail, and then getting sent out for more parcels. I hear long-timers (elsewhere) saying "Welcome to Christmas, you should expect 8-10 hour days". I'd be thrilled with 8-10, my reality is 7 days a week, 15-18 hour days. Add insult to injury, payroll issues. I pulled nearly 80 hours a week and my ePayroll shows less than $450 is going to be deposited tomorrow! A WEEK before Christmas! WHEN it gets fixed, because of the artificial overage, I'm going to get hammered on withholding! Merry Christmas, please fix this mess! I'm still new and already I hate this job. I applied to WORK, not be treated like trash and abused on a daily basis.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Management must embrace the idea that they need to strive to be leaders not bosses. I will follow a leader anywhere but a boss is just someone who has a job. Tremendous difference in my eyes! Rank and file workers want to believe that someone, somewhere believes in them and is truly concerned with them. Those people aren't there many times.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Well said anonymous! That's one of the biggest problems at our facility. Do as I say.....do. Management has showed their subordinates "the ropes" by their actions and taught them to stop having pride in their work. Where there was once loyalty to the company, there is no longer any! Lack of leadership has definitely been detrimental to this company.

    Dec 18, 2016
  • anon

    Not only are postal employees unhappy with their work environment, I have customers and other federal employees tell me how awful they heard it is to work at the post office. I personally have had enough abuse, can honestly say that this was the worst job I have ever had. Standards that cannot be attained, which according to federal law, standards must be attainable. How the post office gets away with continually breaking federal law, OSHA law amazes me. I smell a lot of corruption.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Have managers learn the contract of the craft they will be managing! Have management actually follow that contract Have management treat there employees with dignity and respect Remove bad mangers instead of "moving" them so they can torture more employees Help and encourage new employees and give them more time to learn there job

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Wouldn't it make sense... If management was trained about the contract of the craft they were managing BEFORE they manage... How much money would the usps save in grievances. If management would actually follow crafts contract? If new employees were treated with respect and given more time to learn the Route.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Hold management accountable for the fact that this question is even being asked. The problem starts at the top. But USPS solution is always start at the bottom. There needs to be some way craft can ask questions or report problems that never get solved by going to management. I also think Management needs to carry a route one week a year (supervised) and let that be the standard.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    hire enough people to get the job done , no more counts you want us to count right then give us the mail we always have all year ,don't hide it during count . its totally not fair to count

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    What's the point in all of this? You're not going to listen to a single thing we say, nor are you going to change a single thing we suggest needs changing. You, upper management, are going to continue to run the Postal Service into the ground by your incompetence and inanity. All you care about is taking care of management...at all costs. The customers, the employees, mean nothing to you just as long as you make your numbers and get your promotions and bonuses. Ronald Reagan liked to quote a Russian proverb that says "The fish rots from the head first." Meaning, if there's a problem with an organization, it starts at the top.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    If an employee raises concerns about management creating a hostile work environment, how about doing an honest assessment of the complaint without a pre-determined conclusion. Unfortunately this is not the experience of many. Raising concerns without an honest assessment of the situation ultimately leads to a more hostile, vindictive work environment.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Hello - Thank you for your feedback, we will take your comment into consideration as we continue with our project. We encourage you to report waste, fraud, and abuse to the OIG Hotline. Complaints can be filed online www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint or mailed to ATTN: HOTLINE USPS OIG 1735 North Lynn Street Arlington, VA 22209-2020 Other suggestions/comments can be directed to the Employee Engagement team at engagement@usps.gov or 1.844.303.6424 (response time is typically 24-48 hours).

    Jan 26, 2017
  • anon

    Hostile and vindictive, that's our site. Why? I believe upper management doesn't want to admit they made the wrong choice for the position because it's a bad reflection on them. So bring in your helmets and be ready to"duck" when necessary!

    Dec 18, 2016
  • anon

    The biggest complaint at our Post Office is the lack of a schedule. Can't make plans with family because we dont know when we are working. First place i have ever worked that I didn't know two weeks in advance when i wiuld be expected to work. 25+ years in Government work.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    It's called doing the Right Thing,How ? Hold Management Accountable, Plain and Simple! From front line supervisors, post masters, pooms, district managers, area managers, all the way to the top, just like they do for craft employees. No Double Standards. If management does not follow the contracts and have grievances against them no PFP Bonuses take it out of their pay. If they falsify documents, clock rings remove them. If they create a hostile work environment and cannot treat people with dignity and respect remove them. They should be held to the highest standards. Leaders? Honorable? Track their every movement to make sure they are being productive 8 hours a day. Quit using unrealistic time projections while violating the contract, it takes time to be safe, make 100 plus scans a day and to be professional and give good customer service. We are not robots. Stop the harassment. Don't waste billions of dollars on meaningless surveys! Please forward to PMG. Thanks

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Listen and act on ideas employees have to improve safety, processing the mail and customer service.. it is very discouraging to suggest and have it be knocked down before even trying.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Hi Rene' - Thank you so much for your feedback. We encourage you to keep making suggestions. The HQ Employee Engagement team has been taking suggestions from employees, typically responding within 24-48 hours, engagement@usps.gov or 1.844.303.6424. If you have specific issues regarding fraud, waste or misconduct, please contact the OIG Hotline. Complaints can be filed online at www.uspsoig.gov/form/file-online-complaint or mailed to ATTN: HOTLINE USPS OIG 1735 North Lynn Street Arlington, VA 22209-2020

    Jan 26, 2017
  • anon

    So true, Rene. We had a guest speaker come to the office and tell us that it would be great for business if we would advertise the company's services. I told him that some of us couldn't sell what they new nothing about. He agreed. Later, he returned to the office and told me that he had spoken to his manager because he thought I had a valid point. He said his manager told him the Usps had neither the time or the money to do any training.

    Dec 19, 2016
  • anon

    The tone of any organization starts at the top. So PMG sets the tone. Stop moving abusive supervisors around rather then hold them accountable. Why are craft held to a much higher standard than management? Quit pretending that an huge increase in parcels should not take any longer. Quit rewarding management who harass employees. Put safety first instead of speed. Good supervisors get harassed by their higher ups.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Stop the bullying. You have regulars that continually bully subs and management that stands (or sits in the office) and allows for it to go on. Harassment by regulars that is totally ignored. The regulars run some offices. Management that cannot figure out how to do payroll correctly and doesn't care when or if you get paid correctly. It takes months to get paid if they owe you money, but if you owe money you get a letter of demand wanting the money immediately. Stop cheating employees out of money they earn. Fair counts, etc...I am getting paid for around 40 packages a day, but I carry 100+ every day. Deadend job because there is no way for an RCA to promote unless they wait, sometimes decades, for someone to retire. Cannot cross over to another craft without reapplying. Cannot be management even if you have a degree. Forcing RCAs and CCAs to carry Amazon in other towns. All due to poor management that harass and bully their employees in larger offices until they quit leaving them short staffed. Not the small offices fault that management cannot and will not do their job. Forcing RCAs and CCAs to work Sundays and holidays period. The new ones do not know any better, but those of us that have been working for 5 plus years feel like the postal service does not care. We are angry. Many of us are anyway. Then when you go to the larger office they seem to want to manage by fear, harassment, and bullying. They yell at employees. Treat them like two year olds. Who wants to be treated that way? You are going to lose ARC, RCA, and CCA new hires if this continues. Abuse by management seems to be rampant.. Put us in safer vehicles. We should have vehicles that do not catch fire. That do not throw carbon monoxide fumes into the vehicle. That are sturdy and have at least minimal safety standards. The LLVs are scary to drive. And, getting things fixed is near impossible. Making sure we are getting adequate attention when the heat index is above 95. Because of it is, then in the LLV it is much higher. Heat strokes and death are real things. Supply handcarts to all carriers, so that the new Amazon parcels that are bulky and heavier than what we have carried are somewhat easier to handle. This is not the same post office my mom retired from. It has become a horrible working environment. A job where there is no appreciation and no basic decency.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    I think supervisors need to quit bad-mouthing upper management & start buying into the Team spirit. I try to do little things for my coworkers every couple of months (like homemade cookies, brownies, etc) just to thank them for a job well done; I recently brought in doughnuts & bought coffee for all the dock workers (including our new Christmas hires) & they loved it - small rewards like this really do mean alot & help to keep everyone working together towards the same goal.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Have to agree with comment on telecoms. They are out of control. Managers don't have time to manage because they are always on a telecom. It can be difficult to have a discussion with your manager because - you guessed it - they are on a telecom. Do Area and Headquarters people have any idea what it's like nowadays out in the field?

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    "Do Area and Headquarters people have any idea what it's like nowadays out in the field?" No. The area and district offices are full of people that are nothing more than deadwood freeloaders, who have nothing else to do with their time but harass the people below them. Get rid of 75% of them and nobody would ever notice they're gone.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    There is no communication. The postmaster only has standups to let us know that we suck at everything. . If employees offer ideas and suggestion they get yelled at. If employee ask question she has to check with her team, Which is all 204B that have less then 1 year of experience. She has 6 supervisor position with 3 of the members of management that had over 20 years of experience but they choose to retire early as to not have to deal with her. We have a large office, 14 city routes and 50 rural routes, and they hired 1 seasonal clerk to help with distributing the mail in AM. We have 5 to 7 clerk working 15 plus hours daily. Rural carrier are not getting all mail up and released until noon, on a good day, and as late as 3:00 pm on bad days. But be off the street by 5;00Pm. So the PM solution to carriers waiting on mail was to push our start time from 7am to 8am. My official street leaving time is 11:45 with 5 hours of street time which is based on 7am start time, the math is not there. I do except much from a postmaster but I would like to be given the tools and support to be successful at my job. I have been with the post office for 18 years and for the first time I hate my job and don't want to come to work because I have been setup to fail. Now because of christmas volumes and more than a few days with carriers out til 10pm, even had one night out passed midnight, She has decided to let us start at 6am, But that does no good if you have no mail to work at 6am. For example, I started at 6am on second tuesday of the month I had one foot of presort and 2nd class mail and 1 unaddressed full coverage. There were 12 large parcel available. It took 10 minutes to work that mail I then waited 45 minutes for the ad mail coverage which comes every week. I finally got all mail and was able to go out and delivery the mail at 9:30 AM, Just mail and the 12 parcel and then come back to the station to get parcels which were ready at 12;15. I am making 2 trips every day to deliver route, first I time have every had to do this on daily basis. In past you would have a couple days each xmas season that you could not fit everything in one trip. The year I am make 2 trips daily because I would be waiting for hours at the office for parcels or mail.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    It's become a numbers based operation, with no emphasis on customer service. All new CCAs are lied to and threatened so that supervisors and managers can meet their numbers. Also management should get the employees what they need to do the job done properly and safely instead of scrimping to get themselves more of a bonus by spending less.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Find supervisors and managers that know how to respect their people, listen to their people, and trust their people. Enforce the rules fairly and consistently. We are all the same team, we need to work together. The management vs union bickering, disagreements, and out right lying has to end.

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    Amen

    Dec 15, 2016
  • anon

    I do have an engagement initiative which would improve morale and give you good feedback...Ditch the touchy-feeley canned postal pulse....The only good it does in the trenches is bring a lot of laughs. Use a site like this to ask real employees what questions they would like to answer so management understands the mood of the troops....Start with...Do you trust your manager?, Your manager's manager? All the way up to the PMG....If there is no trust, there is no leadership. Without good leadership all you have is a lousy martinette, ineffective organization. If you truly value your people, you have to be brave enough to hear what you don't want to hear but need to hear.

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    Hi Charlie - Thank you for your feedback. We will certainly take your suggestion into consideration as we move forward with our audit.

    Jan 18, 2017
  • anon

    Ditto! My feelings exactly and I bet a few hundred others if u were to ask them

    Jan 01, 2017
  • anon

    Main contributing factors......lack of leadership and integrity throughout management ranks. You see it in every audit you do. Initiatives? Like Dr Deming said....If everyone up and down the line does not buy in, you are doomed to fail....see comment above for reasons for failure.... One additional engagement initiative? If management merely did their jobs correctly and led by example, looked out for their people, didn't punch their own tickets, etc, etc. There would be no need for you to look into this.

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    Accountability for trying to make goals on carriers backs. Stop giving bonuses to supervisors for unrealistic goals. Instead create new incentives for craft employees that do the work endure outdoor climates , and are the face the customer sees daily. Invest in the labor force and see the difference

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    I have been a city carrier for 16 years. I also spent a few years as 204b years ago. During that time I spent 14 straight months filling in the supervisor role while our supervisor was under investigation. I tell you this to let you know that I've seen both sides in the Post Office. I have always believed that micromanagement has been the source of 90% of problems between employees and local management. Too many times upper management instructs local management to manage in a way that ultimately violates labor contacts. This frustrates the employee. It also leads to grievances, which often end up adding more fuel to the fire. In addition, it takes away the Supervisor's ability to manage. All employees know the commands come from an MPOO or District Manager, not the supervisor.

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    Main contributing factor is carriers are viewed like worthless lazy trash, and sometimes are told as much. I have never worked in an environment this awful, and am astounded it's allowed and encouraged. This organization is run top down instead of bottom up, and supervisor and postmaster merit increases should directly correlate to Gallup scores from the employees. My postmaster has bosses that have bosses that are making decisions for a route they've never seen, and it seems this is all being done to run the postal service into the ground. There are no current engagement initiatives, the Gallup poll was a joke because nobody will do anything to improve the working conditions, and it seems this is some half baked effort to give the illusion that somebody somewhere wants things to improve. We get it, management wants mail delivery to be privatized because they're dumb enough to think they will retain some role in a new organization when in fact in a privatized mail system structure they have a fraction of the management positions we do. An initiative to make things better? Study Japanese efficiency concepts and implement them into the postal service including the waste concept - we don't need 52 bosses that don't deliver mail. We need more worker bees and less Queens.

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    Quit promoting, and start demoting managers and supervisors with multiple EEO cases. Invest in carriers, clerks, mail handlers, and other workers who actually work to move the mail. Get rid of useless micromanaging by allowing us to do the job we were trained to do. It's very wastful paying people to not only tell us how to do a job we already know how to do, but to also watch us do a job we already know how to do. Promote trust in the employees. Treat us like people instead of a number. Fire supervisors who change clock rings, create hostile work enviroments, or get into physical altercations with employees.

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    employee engagement? what's that? my post master could care less about anything but herself. find post masters that actually care about their employees and their customers. just because a post master is familiar with a certain location or is from that location, does NOT mean they know what's best for the area. I have had several customers complain about my post master being rude to them, and to top it off, she's like night and day with her employees. one minute she loves us, and the next, she wants to fire us. I've even been told that if I cant get the job done in a simple half an hour, she'll just find someone who can, I am constantly looking over my shoulder and worried about whether or not I will have a job the next day. I thought this job was supposed to be beneficial and have high standards?

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    Telecon,telecon,telecon,meeting, meeting , meeting, telecon meeting, lss project, kaizen, meeting, meeting telecon . Redundant meetings telecon projects

    Dec 14, 2016
  • anon

    Hire Stupidvisors that have some sort of education and send them all to interaction skill courses.

    Dec 14, 2016

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