This is a follow-up to our Effectiveness of the Postal Service’s Efforts to Reduce Non-Career Employee Turnover audit issued February 12, 2020. The Postal Service relies on non-career employees to supplement its regular workforce. Non-career employees are temporary workers who do not receive the same employee benefits as career employees and are not always guaranteed a regular schedule. The Postal Service created its 511 National Initiative to address the two biggest reasons for turnover identified in the non-career exit surveys: challenges with schedule flexibility and supervisor relations.
What We Did
Our objective was to assess the Postal Service’s ongoing actions to reduce non-career employee turnover rates. For this audit, we reviewed non-career employee turnover and retention for fiscal years (FY) 2019 through 2022, nationwide. We conducted site visits to 26 judgmentally selected facilities where we held interviews to identify underlying causes of non-career employee turnover. In addition, we interviewed headquarters personnel regarding their responsibilities, processes, and procedures on non-career employee retention strategies and initiatives.
What We Found
The Postal Service’s 511 National Initiative established workhour guidance for the first 30 days of employment for non-career employees. In addition, to support the Initiative, the Postal Service developed specific retention programs for city carrier assistants. While the specific programs resulted in retention improvements at pilot sites, we found schedule flexibility and working too many hours continue to be the top challenges for non-career employees nationwide. Opportunities exist for the Postal Service to expand the pilot programs and develop specific retention programs for each non-career position. In addition, supervisor relations could be improved by providing meaningful performance feedback to all probationary non-career employees. Specifically, we found that facility management did not ensure performance evaluation forms were completed, and there was no official process to evaluate and document rural carrier associates’ performances during their probationary periods.
We recommended management (1) evaluate options for workhour and workday limits and develop specific retention programs for applicable non-career positions; (2) communicate management responsibilities and provide oversight to ensure compliance with performance evaluations for applicable employees; and (3) establish an official process that requires performance evaluations to be conducted and documented during rural carrier associates’ probationary periods.
USPS Proposed Resolution
Evaluate options for workhour and workday limits and develop specific retention programs for rural carrier associates, processing postal support employees, and mail handler assistants.
Communicate management responsibilities and provide oversight to ensure compliance with Postal Service Form 1750, Employee Evaluation and/or Probationary Report requirements for applicable non-career employees.
Establish an official process that requires performance evaluations to be conducted and documented during rural carrier associates' probationary periods.