The Postal Service has developed an excellent safety program and has achieved remarkable improvement over time. Work-related injury rates have been reduced by almost 50 percent over the last 10 years. However, safety is an issue that requires constant vigilance and continuous improvement. The Injury and Illness rate is calculated using an industry-wide formula required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Total number of OSHA injuries and illnesses (multiplied) by 200,000 hours (divided) by the number of exposure hours worked by all employees. The 200,000 hours represents 100 employees working 2,000 hours per year. It provides the standard base for calculating incidence rates. The Postal Service is also subject to audits and inspections.

As important as safety is, it is only a part of the total workplace environment. USPS tracks employee engagement and workplace concerns with one of the largest employee surveys in the nation. It is conducted by an independent third-party, and allows confidential, voluntary, on-the-clock responses to a series of relevant questions. We use best practices from current research and focus on issues that can be addressed at the local level. Every quarter, one fourth of all employees receive the survey. It is an important diagnostic tool, assessing a broad range of issues.

The performance indicator is an index consisting of employee responses to key questions. The score is the average of favorable responses.


Voice of the Employee Survey Index Questions


Survey Question

Strategic Direction

I am aware of current business conditions facing the Postal Service.


I am confident in the ability of senior management to make the decisions necessary to ensure the future success of the Postal Service.

Contribution to USPS Growth

Rate the quality of the service provided by your office/facility to your customers.


Rate your immediate supervisor on communicating regularly to keep you informed.

Diversity and Respect

The Postal Service values diversity of backgrounds, talents and perspectives.*


I feel personally responsible for helping the Postal Service succeed as a business.

Personal Safety

I receive information to perform my job safely.**

Work Effort and Quality

I understand how the work I do impacts the service the Postal Service provides.

*In FY2011 the wording of this survey question was changed from “The Postal Service promotes diversity of backgrounds, talents and perspectives” to “The Postal Service values diversity of backgrounds, talents and perspectives.”

**In FY2011 this question replaced “Rate the physical working conditions in your work unit” which was used in FY2010.

Survey responses have remained remarkably positive despite the challenges faced by the Postal Service and its employees. A dramatic reduction in the number of employees over the past few years has altered the workplace, and the scope, scale and pace of change affects employee attitudes. As the Postal Service continues to make substantial operating changes in FY2012, the quarterly Voice of the Employee surveys will be a key means of monitoring employee attitudes about their work environment and engagement with the organization.