A Postal Service program designed to encourage employees to engage more with customers as a way of generating more business has yielded successes but is falling short of its potential in part because of a lack of feedback and recognition for participating employees, an IG audit has found.
As part of a study of how small businesses use USPS, auditors examined the Postal Service’s “employee engagement programs” in which employees who are in regular contact with businesses submit suggestions for additional services those businesses could use. That program had generated more than $880 million in business in 2018, but “interviews with employees participating in the EEPs revealed challenges and inefficiencies,” the report said.
“Some employees described limited coordination and communication between a lead qualification sales team — called the customer retention team — and district-level business development specialists. They believe this has caused delayed outreach to promising leads,” the report said. “Employees also described a lack of adequate incentives to encourage further participation in the EEPs.”
The report recommended giving employees more feedback on the outcome of leads they submit, saying that more than half of those interviews said they never received such feedback. That “can discourage employees, as they may wonder if anybody is acting on their efforts,” it said.
The IG also found that the Postal Service similarly is not always following its own policies for publicly recognizing employees who generate leads. While many employees participate out of a desire to support and grow the Postal Service rather than for personal recognition, “even seemingly little tokens of appreciation could go a long way toward acknowledging their deep commitment. Employees said that simply hearing congratulations and receiving some acknowledgement are greatly appreciated,” it said.