Chapter II      Postal Operations go to the 2001 Comprehensive Statement on Postal Operations front page go to the table of contents go to the previous page go to the next page
P. Operations Planning

    1. Staffing and Scheduling
Our future success as an organization will be significantly influenced by our ability to use work hours efficiently and to maintain stability in our staffing relative to workload. In a joint effort with Human Resources, the Integrated Resource Management (IRM) program was successfully implemented in 133 sites covering 370,000 employees. This success builds on the 19 pilot sites implemented in FY 2000.

A major component of the IRM initiative is Resources Management (RM), an automated system used to assist supervisors and managers in plants and post offices to record, track and manage the leave administration process. During fiscal 2001, sites implementing RM have achieved a reduction of more than 960,000 hours of sick leave and corresponding reductions in leave without pay and overtime, saving nearly $73 million in direct costs. Plans are underway to convert RM to eRMS, a Web-based application, and expand the reach of the system nationwide. Thus far, over 500 users have been trained to use RM.

A second significant component of the IRM initiative is the Coaching for Performance and Accountability (CFPA) training. Through this training, supervisors learn to sit with each of their employees and explain what is expected of them, not only in terms of attendance, but everyday work performance, as well. As part of this process, the rewards for success and consequences for failure are also discussed. So far, in the sites that have implemented the CFPA training, productivity is higher than in non-IRM sites, and processing costs are lower.

An outgrowth of the RM effort is a more intense focus on ensuring uniformity and consistency in staffing at the plant and post office level, and in maintaining flexibility to adjust staffing as workloads shift. Many current staffing authorizations are outgrowths of organizations that no longer exist and do not accurately reflect the work performed. Where this occurs, new staffing guidelines will be developed or existing guidelines revised. These staffing criteria reviews will follow a three step process.

First, to determine the role and range of responsibilities to be carried out within various jobs and organizations. This is accomplished by analyzing the work content of functional area managers along with objective decisions regarding how this work fits into the overall mission of the Postal Service. Second, the factors that determine workload, and methods to link duties to specific factors that predict workload, are identified. Finally, a method for measuring the workload and linking the process of allocating positions nationwide without increasing overall staffing unless justified form a workload standpoint is developed and implemented. Labor Relations staff, as well as knowledgeable representatives from Area and field offices will perform these analyses.

Coupling an increased emphasis on attendance with a systematic approach to staffing should provide the basis for more effective work hour use, and ultimately, reduced costs.

Greetings from New York

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