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It’s Time for Everyone in Management to Begin Working Together
By Dee Perez
NAPS New York Area Vice President
If the Postal Service is to be successful, EAS employees must adapt and manage a decreasing workload correctly. Supervisors currently have an abundance of analytics and statistical reports to digest daily. I understand how mind-blowing it has become to absorb all the statistical data while managing your employees.
You are on roller skates while leadership sits comfortably in their offices, oblivious to what you deal with daily. Meanwhile, they think you are giving away the shop and second-guess you every day.
The adjustment needed is how management treats management. This starts and ends with area managers, MPOOs, postmasters and MDOs who are currently issuing excessive corrective action—not to craft, but to their own EAS employees. Yet Labor and HR allow it.
Those two departments are supposed to be the ethical guardrails monitoring excessive discipline. They are supposed to be the police officers on watch, informing leaders of excessive corrective action being issued. But they don’t! It’s a huge problem.
In each district, there are a lot of petty adverse actions being issued to EAS employees with no consideration for “just cause” or adherence to progressive discipline. The action goes from previously no action on file to a 14-day letter of warning or removal.
How is this corrective in nature and not punitive? All that is gained are resentment and intense dislike toward the issuing manager for their actions. Leaders: You need to cultivate loyalty and engagement the right way, not by threatening corrective action, embarrassing someone in a Zoom meeting or approving an excessive action.
Unfortunately, the leaders who issue excessive corrective actions don’t understand the consequences the Postal Service incurs from this type of leadership style. Management by fear and intimidation and acting as if they are the “Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz” no longer cuts it. Little do these leaders realize that EAS employees do know who’s behind the curtain and what they have done to achieve their leadership levels.
These types of leaders are no longer welcome in the new generational makeup of today’s EAS employees. These leaders are not mentoring and providing guidance. All they are doing is reading data and issuing corrective, harmful actions to a person whom they are supposed to mentor and develop.
Instead, how about local management tries something different this year? Make November and December noncorrective action months against any EAS employees, short of a violent act or stealing postal funds? This would foster working together and getting along with each other during peak season.
It’s only a crazy idea if you don’t try it. If you try it and it works, you are perceived as a bridge builder, not a wrecking ball.
Recently, the Postal Service held symposiums in Atlanta and National Harbor, MD, for Customer Service supervisors from around the country. The objective was to hear the Postal Service Headquarters message and make everyone aware what is expected of them.
I have received positive feedback from supervisors who attended. They heard directly from USPS area vice presidents and the Headquarters leadership chain of command, including Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. By all accounts, the PMG was his usual, entertaining self.
He informed attendees of the business side of the agency and the reality we face as a service in the market in which we compete. He was very positive and confident regarding his vision for the Postal Service and how it can survive.
Always with dignity and respect!