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The Training Gap
By Bobby Bock
President of Central Florida Branch 406
As we try to get past COVID and back to the new normal, the Postal Service has announced it is going to actively seek to fill all current EAS vacancies in the field. Our training centers will be operating at full capacity, bringing new supervisors up to speed to manage a multi-generational-based workforce.
I foresee problems with providing training to our newest supervisors because the workforce we manage has changed in the past several years. The mix of Genera-tion-X, -Z and soon to come -Alpha employees we now are managing means our employees cannot all be managed the same way.
I recently reviewed my HERO profile and realized I have not had much training lately in how to manage the different types of employees we have on the workroom floor. As a Vehicle Maintenance acting manager, I’ve attended classroom training, online training and manufacturer training, but none of my recent training has been on the dynamics of human relations.
We desperately need training on how to interact with our employees. Here’s a quick example that occurred over Christmas. I had a younger employee who has nonscheduled days of Saturday and Sunday; he was forced to work on Christmas Eve as our facility had to support Operations by keeping vehicles on the street, moving the mail.
My technician felt that, because he was not in delivery, he should not have been forced to work Christmas Eve. On the other hand, as an older employee, I understood that I would have to work on Christmas Eve. I explained to the younger technician that, even though I had 39 years in the Postal Service, I was going to work on Christmas Eve. And my boss didn’t even have to tell me to report. I came to work because I knew I had to.
I know many of my fellow supervisors are experiencing this same situation as newer employees have different ideas about how to approach their jobs. I am of the belief that a person’s commitment to their job is commensurate with their level in the Postal Service. A one-size-fits-all management style no longer is effective in today’s Postal Service.
Those of us in leadership positions need to enhance our skills in the dynamics of managing a complex and diverse workforce. And the Postal Service needs to identify training for all supervisors and managers to equip them with the skillsets they need to engage employees, regardless if they are the most senior or the newest noncareer employee.
NAPS should urge the Postal Service to consider developing training to better equip our supervisors and managers to get better results in managing a multi-generational Postal Service. Alternatively, NAPS needs to step up and provide this training to our members.
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