|Part of report obtained by InsideSources|
What makes the Postal Pulse survey results so meaningful is that the Gallup Organization compared the USPS data to those of other client organizations.
InsideSources, which obtained the survey results through a Freedom of Information Act request, estimates the comparison involved a pool of 400 companies. Even for those of us who’ve heard horror stories from hundreds of postal employees, the USPS’s numbers were stunningly awful.
How low can you go?
On nine of the 13 questions – from how supportive immediate supervisors are, to development opportunities, to fellow workers’ commitment to quality – the USPS scored in the bottom 1 percentile. In other words, for each of those nine questions, about 396 companies scored better than the USPS and only three, at most, scored the same or worse.
On job satisfaction, postal workers were in the 2nd percentile, while on “I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right” the USPS was in the 3rd percentile. By far, the Postal Service’s best question, in just the 16th percentile, was “I know what is expected of me at work.”
But a shift to using more non-career employees has been a major USPS cost-saving tactic the past few years. That, coupled with stabilizing mail volumes and high turnover among the non-career workers, has caused the USPS’s hiring needs to explode – to the tune of 117,000 new employees last year and a projection for 125,000 newbies this year. (See Postal Service Revs Up Its Hiring.)
And with other big employers like Walmart and McDonald’s recently boosting their minimum pay, the Postal Service faces stiffer competition for new employees willing to work for relatively low pay and limited benefits. It can’t afford to have a bad reputation, backed up by data, for being a lousy employer.
A USPS spokesperson told InsideSources that the agency has “assembled a dedicated, high-performing Employee Engagement team of employees who have begun the process of training all our postal leaders (tens of thousands) to translate” the survey’s results “into a Daily Mission. We will hold postal leaders accountable for actively identifying and correcting their work environment issues in order to achieve a more satisfied and productive workforce, ultimately resulting in more satisfied customers.”
The USPS didn’t become such a toxic workplace solely because supervisors don’t know how to lead, so training alone won’t fix what ails it. A mess this big requires massive culture change, which usually means a thorough overhaul of how an organization hires, promotes, evaluates employees, and communicates with them, among other things.
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