You hear a lot about employee engagement these days. Seems every organization will tell you it’s important, including the U.S. Postal Service.

But what exactly is employee engagement? Is it just a fancy name for morale? Partially it’s about morale. But engagement also encompasses professionalism, dedication, and pride in the mission. The idea is to have employees who are committed and motivated to do their best work.

USPS made employee engagement a top priority a couple of years ago and used the Postal Pulse survey as a way to evaluate it. In early 2016, a Human Resources team created eight engagement activities that included continuation of the Postal Pulse employee survey, action planning, training for managers and supervisors, employee engagement website and publications, and an awards program for those who contribute to an engaging workplace.

We recently assessed the Postal Service’s employee engagement activities. While we recognized that USPS has activities in progress and there can be lag time before they take effect, we identified opportunities to improve the execution of three specific activities: action planning; assessing employee comments on social media; and correlating employee engagement with business outcomes.

Our audit report noted that the number of managers and supervisors developing action plans for employees had declined from year to year, despite proof that development of an action plan generally doubled employee engagement. We recommended management make action plans mandatory ― not voluntary, as they are today.

We also found USPS did not monitor or respond to comments on employee-focused social media sites. We noted that best practices would have employers respond to comments to demonstrate that employees’ opinions matter.

Finally, we noted that strong employee engagement correlates with business outcomes, notably in some key areas for the Postal Service:

  • Timeliness of Standard Mail delivery, indicating districts with highly engaged employees delivered Standard Mail on-time at a greater percentage than those districts with low engagement.
  • Low staffing ratios (number of carriers assigned per route) and unscheduled leave occurrences, indicating districts with highly engaged employees accomplished work using fewer carriers per route and experienced less unscheduled leave.

What other improvements do you think could result from better employee engagement? What are the best ways to engage employees, in your opinion?

Comments (8)

  • anon

    With all due respect this is one of many viewpoints and opinions I would like to offer the engagement team . Therefore to create a better business environment it is essential for management to take part in the necessary training to accomplish the knowledge of coping skills , knowledge of productivity skills , knowledge of leader ship and project execution skills , and should have some what of knowledge in emotional intelligence skills . Furthermore management should treat employees with dignity and respect instead of creating a hostile environment workplace . It is imperative for management to ”Cease and Desist”,Engaging with the “Course Of Conduct”, and unfair labor practices , these unfair labor practices and violations are taking part at the Channelview post office at 5:31 Shelden Road Channelview TX 77530 . Therefore , to undergo , through this unlawful treatment by Postmaster Johnetta Fergasen and supervisor Lanetta Scurry . Management retribution , has caused me too endure, so much distress , to the point where I have only worked approximately 280 hours during the last seven months . I am very proud and extremely confident by the revenue and lucrative the United States Postal Service would be enduring if I could go back to work . It is so devastating for me not being able to go to work , under those conditions of unlawful acts . Unfair labor practices and disparate treatment is occurring substantially throughout the United States postal monopoly service . These types of immoral acts are unjustified . Unfortunately employees will not stand up for their civil rights or for the unlawful acts enduring by management . Employees would rather be subjected to go through that animosity , then being retaliated against , that can cause them disciplinary actions being taken against them up to and including their removal from the United States Postal Service . With all due respect , I would like to emphasize that my optimistic view points and opinions were lucrative the potential of value , by creating astonishing revenue results for the United States postal monopoly service . My name is Paul Martinez , my national origin is of the Hispanic , latino , cuban , Mexican Puerto Rican , South or central American or other Spanish culture origin , regardless of race , Hispanic and Latinos can be of any ancestery any ethnicities ,” having said that “, my credentials or of a great value as a Sales and Service associate for the United States Postal Service. Some of our duties are to sell products and services using selling techniques to meet customer needs . I have astonishing , selling techniques that will lucrative the postal service revenue . We cannot create revenue if we only have two choices of stamps in which customers have to choose from . I have been working in the Channelview post office approximately seven years and this is a ongoing issue . Customers get upset , especially after having to wait online for several minutes and they’re requesting to buy wedding stamps , Love stamps , commemorative stamps or any other kind of stamps besides the two choices we have for sale . They also get upset because some of the clerks don’t have any money orders to sell , we don’t have any pens that our customers can use and our equipment is not working properly . Supervisor Scurry tells us we have to sell whatever stamps we have available before she can give us anymore . There has been occasions in which we are completely out of stamps to sell . Therefore we have to weight every envelope and place a PVI label on each envelope , and that takes too much time and customers get upset . Supervisor Scurry states , that the more variety of stamps she gives us to sell the more inventory she has to count .We also lose revenue and when the postmaster Johnetta Ferguson Tells the next customer in line after they have waited for several minutes, and they would rather wait on me to serve them because of their natural origin , they cannot speak or understand English that well . She tells the customers in a peremptory tone, that they cannot wait on me and I do not have to speak Spanish and they need to learn how to speak English . I know the customers feel embarrassed and very humiliated . I feel the same way especially because she’s being racist and I am not giving the opportunity to perform my duties appropriately we are constantly losing revenue because of her “ Course Of Conduct “ she is causing our customers to endure.I have too much veiwpoints and opinions I would like to share with the engagement team . Your correspondence is greatly appreciated. I thank you in advance!

    Aug 31, 2018
  • anon

    something is very wrong at the ridgewood post office 11385 regular mail and carriers is fine dont know what is going on with the package delivery part all packages showing up late some by a week i know alot of that department retired but whom ever is in charge should be fired and dont go to the post office in ridgewood and try to talk to anyone in this department they are nasty unhelpful and dont care this is the worst representation of a federal orginazation in my lifetime its like pulling teeth trying to get any help something is very wrong in the ridgewood post office and all you get is a runaround it is sad for a service that you are paying for cant get any help from the usps time to go to the news channels i guess either that or start a petition and get signatures from anyone that lives in the 11385 zip code and bring it to the news channels maybe this would light the fire so that something is done about the disaster and disrespect to the american public it is very sad that there is no accountability for these actions sincerely a very annoyed and angry us citzen that happens to live in the 11385 zip code thanks for nothing usps

    Jan 22, 2018
  • anon

    I think improvements in safety could result from safety captains having more access to training and being encouraged to be involved in any way that they can. Having more meaningful conversations revolving around safety could improve morale and potentially reduce on-the-job injuries by promoting more safety conscious employees.

    Nov 02, 2017
  • anon

    All prior comments are good....Now...If management would actually have working IOP's and MAPs, follow them and get the mail to its destination properly and timely, then employee engagement would go up...It's hard to feel engaged when you are daily scrambling to get the mail to our customers. Like the old saying goes...When you're up to your butt in alligators, it's hard to remember your primary mission was to drain the swamp. If it looks like middle management doesn't care, why would people below them care. OIG has done audit after audit across the U.S and cited problems getting mail to post offices timely and properly. Yet it appears nothing is ever done to rectify this. Silly questions do not improve engagement....results do.

    Oct 31, 2017
  • anon

    Organize activities at break and lunch time. not only employees can show their talent but also can improve productivities.

    Oct 25, 2017
  • anon

    I think their is a huge disconnect between what HQ wants and what actually happens in the local office. Management and the supervisor I have had contact with have no training on how to manage staff, yelling isn't going to make better workers. Their is little to none teamwork, it's all I have this much time left, or I don't want to have to be on a conference call. It's all me me me, and not how can we make this better as a team.

    Oct 23, 2017
  • anon

    Step 1. Regularly scheduled Service Talks. Step 2. At minimum one days notice of subject(s) of Service Talk.

    Oct 23, 2017
  • anon

    The best way to engage employees is actually listen to them. The workers know the work, so ask them how to make it better and more efficient. Harrassment is not the way to get the best out of workers. More work with less people never makes for efficient work.

    Oct 23, 2017

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