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United States Postal Service: Delivering Workforce Development
--Inscription on the General Post Office, New York City
The United States Postal Service has no official motto, but if it did, that oft-quoted saying would probably be it. At the very least, it’s a mission to live up to, and carries with it the weight of great responsibility. At the USPS, learning and development leaders know they have a huge workforce with a lot to live up to, and they’re providing the education to make that possible.
“One of the stated missions of employee development is to add value to the Postal Service,” said Bill Stefl, manager of employee development for the USPS. “We think the best way to do that is training and development initiatives that improve performance. In our transformation plan, which was presented to Congress three or four months ago, one of the key lines in there talks about having the right people at the right place with the right skills at the right time. Certainly we are part of having prepared them with the right skills and a lot of just-in-time training. We feel we definitely impact the bottom line of the Postal Service’s operational efficiencies by continuing to do training for every employee.”
According to Stefl, the Postal Service’s goal is to provide some training opportunity for every employee, every year. With about 770,000 employees–the second-largest workforce in the world after Wal-Mart–that’s no small mission. That workforce includes the craft employees (the clerks and letter carriers themselves), managers and about 800 executives. Craft employees are mandated to receive at least eight hours of training per year, with managers targeted for at least 20 hours per year. Since that goal was implemented several years ago, the Postal Service education team has lived up to the challenge.
But don’t expect Stefl to crow about it. The mandated hours of training came about through negotiations with USPS officers, and Stefl originally pushed for 16 hours for craft workers and 40 hours for managers. The final hours, Stefl said, may be low for some industries, but they are realistic given the size of the workforce.
The Next Generation of HR: Whatâ€™s Wrong? Whatâ€™s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
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