The United States Postal Services is a constitutionally recognized mail carrier in the United States. It has operational offices in the entire country, and according to statistics, it is the second largest employer in the United States for civilians. Its main activity is to ensure that mail that is sent by Americans within American and beyond is delivered to the right place on a timely basis. At the same time it ensures that mail that is sent to Americans from other parts of the world as well as from within the boundaries of the United States (United States Postal Services 2007,pp.12-15).In this research paper, a summary of the structure of the organization is given followed by a brief operational background. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the problems the organization is facing as well as the impact of the problems, the measures that can be taken to deal with the problem and the way the measures can be implemented. This is followed by a brief conclusion that marks the end of the paper. The entire paper is presented in simple and clear language.
The Organization: A summary
The United States Postal Services has a constitutional mandate to be the official mail carrier for the nation. For a long time, it operated as a monopoly. But currently the climate is different given the entry of competitors such as the United Parcel Services and DHL. Despite the entry of these competitors to the mail drop business, it is the United Postal Services that has the monopoly of access to the mail boxes of families around the United States. The competitors mentioned above can only deliver mail to the door of the recipients. In terms of management, the United Postal Services is headed by a board of directors. The board is made up of eleven members, nine of whom are nominated by the president. These nominees are then confirmed by the senate. The two additional members of the eleven member board of directors are the chief executive officer and the chief operational officer. These two officials are appointees of the board. They are answerable to the board and run the affairs of the organization as per the rules and regulations put in place by both the United Nations Constitution and the Board of directors (United States Postal Services 2007,pp.3-6).
Operational Background and Existing Problems
The United States postal services used to be a beneficiary of taxpayer dollars. But this is no longer the case. The organization gets taxpayer dollars when it is in dire financial problems. But most of its operations are funded by the income generating undertakings that it engages in. The organization has realized much success from its organizational structure, but it has had problems too. This means that its performance would much better were it not for these problems. Most of the problems the organization is facing have to do with the advancement in technology. The four main problems the organization is facing are the lack of modernization of its services, competition from electronic communication, declining morale among the employees of the organization, and loss of manpower or personnel to other organizations (Thomas 2009,pp.78-81). Below is a detailed discussion of these problems.
Loss of Manpower
This has happened due to the quitting of trained and experienced employees from the organization. The end result is that the organization has faced the difficult choice of recruiting new employees and staring to train them from scratch. The employees who quit normally go to the competitors such as UPS ns DHL who are able to pay more competitive salaries.
The Impact of Loss of Manpower
The quitting employees have made the organization spend millions of money in hiring and training new employees. This has affected the overall financial standing of the organization. Then there is the obvious interruption of service delivery that results from the absence of trained and experienced workers.
Measures to Deal with the Loss of Personnel
The best measure to employ in dealing with the loss of personnel is to find out the reason for their quitting and dealing with it. For example in poor pay has been cited as one of the reasons for the quitting. Therefore proper renumeration of the workers can make a huge difference in retaining these workers.
Mode of Implementation
The strategy for implementing the measure will involve the assessment of the workforce to determine the service time and level of qualification of each employee and then recommending a certain amount of pay rise. This must however be done within the financial ability of the organization.
Low Morale among Employees
Lack of motivation among the workers of an organization is a serious human resource management issue that can lead to reduced efficiency. In the case Of the United States Postal Services, the workers are poorly motivated to the level that some report to work when it already too late. This means they no longer care about the job anymore. This is not however affecting all the employees of the organization.
Poor employee morale is a prerequisite for poor service delivery. Poor handling of mail is a direct consequence of lack of motivation among workers.
The first measure in dealing with reduced motivation is to find the reason for the reduced or lack of motivation (Silverstein 2007, pp.37-38).This is then followed by a plan to deal with the reason. For example the poor pay is a big issue among the employees of the United States Postal Services who have shown lack of motivation in their work
Upon the identification of the reason for low motivation, the reason should then be dealt with. If it is poor pay, a well thought out plan for a pay hike can solve the problem.
Lack of Modernization
The United States postal Service is a powerful organization in its own right. It is therefore not proper to call it outdated or inefficient. When compared with the rest of the world’s national mail carriers, the United States Postal Service stands out as one of the best. But still the organization has not been fast enough in modernizing its operations. This has led to a situation where the services delivered are not as satisfying as the clientele would want them to be. Modernization of the service has can take so many dimensions. The top dimension of modernization that the United States Postal Services has been slow in integrating into its operations is the intelligent barcode which facilitates the tracking of mail. The benefit of this type of enhancement is that it enables the organization to keep track of all mail that it delivers so that lost or misplaced mail can be easily traced. Customers will be more appreciative of the ability to track their lost mail and retrieve it for them. What has been the impact of this problem for the United States Postal Services?
The Impact of Slow Modernization of Operations in the United States Postal Services
The impact of the slow pace of modernization in United States Postal Services has led to the shift of patronage to private mail delivery services such as DHL Limited and United Parcel Services. This has been by far the greatest impact of the slow process of modernization in the organization. Other effects of the slow modernization include the frequent disappearance of mail and the inability of the organization to track the lost mail. What are the measures that can be taken to deal with this problem?
Measures To Be Taken To Deal with the Problem
The best way to deal with the problem of slow modernization is to hasten the integration of modern technology into its operations. This is the only way to enable the organization deal with competition from the other organization that have entered into the mail delivery industry such as DHL and United Parcel Services that have already been mentioned elsewhere in this research paper.
Mode of Implementation
The integration of modern technology into the United States Postal Services is not easy due to the size of the organization. This means that a clear strategy has to be adopted in the acquisition of the required funds to pay for the technological uplift. The strategy to use is to come up with a financial plan for technology integration followed by aggressive fundraising to pay for the technology. Also, a thorough survey has to be done so as to determine the appropriate and most recent technology to adopt so as to avoid implementing an idea that will become obsolete within a short time.
Threat from Electronic Communication
The threat from electronic communication is one of the toughest problems the organization is facing. This is due to the fact that there seems to be little that can be done so as to counter the flow of clients from regular mail to electronic communication. This is partially due to the advantages that come with electronic communication. What are the major forms of electronic communication that have reduced the volume of mail that the United States Postal Service handles? The form of electronic communication that has dealt a deadly blow to the parcel system is email. The number of people who prefer to communicate through email in the modern world is extremely high. The fact that an email is received immediately has made almost everyone to prefer sending urgent messages through email. The security that is attached with email is also important in that the danger of misplacement is not a remote possibility. The acceptance of email communication as a potential source of evidence o communication by the courts has been the biggest booster to email communication. What has been the impact of this issue and how can it be deal with? What will be the mode of implementation?
Impact of Electronic Communication, Measures To Deal with It and Mode of Implementation
Electronic communication has reduced the number of people patronizing United States Postal Services. This has led to reduced revenue resulting reduction of the number of workers and the reduction of the amount of money paid to workers. The best way to deal with this threat is to improve the efficiency of the organization so that mail is delivered faster and safely (Rawles 2009, pp.21-24).The best way to do this is to better the fleet of cars and planes that are used for delivery so that their speed is reliably high. Modernization of equipment and utilization of technology is also important.
The four major problems facing United Sates Postal Services are loss of personnel, low motivation among workers, threat from electronic communication, and slow modernization. Dealing with these problems will make the organization more competitive.
Rawles, J., (2009). How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It (Kindle Edition), New York: Plume.
Silverstein, B., (2007). Best Practices: Motivating Employees: Bringing Out the Best in Your People. New York: Harper Paperbacks.
Thomas, K., (2009). Intrinsic Motivation at Work: What Really Drives Employee Engagement (2nd ed.).New York: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
United States Postal Services., (2007).The 2007 Commemorative Stamp Yearbook. New York: Collins.