Chapter 3 Our Workforce
While the postal workforce is undoubtedly the Postal Service’s most important asset, it also represents the largest source of cost. Achieving an optimal staffing mix is essential to continuing to achieve its mission. Complement management is an important tool for adjusting to fluctuations in mail volume and mail mix and helps ensure that the organization is able to continue meeting service commitments as customer demand evolves and new mailing technologies are introduced.
The Postal Service monitors complement and workforce-related indicators through the Web-based Complement Information System (webCOINS) program. The number of active webCOINS users has grown to over 17,500, and updates to the database are made daily.
Incremental Complement Management helps manage complement in plants, by day of the week, and by function. It was used in 2007 to identify scheduling inefficiencies, reduce unnecessary overtime, and curtail hiring by reassigning employees in overstaffed plants.
In 2007 the Business Management Guide was improved to plan and right-size the workforce within budgeted workhours and projected workload. The Guide combines tracking with complement-correlation trends to analyze the success of current staffing efforts with core business processes.
The Southwest Area’s best-practice program, webTRAC, was made available nationally for tracking the hiring of casuals and for maintaining compliance with contractual obligations.
The Web-based Corporate Complement Management (webCCM) system was launched in 2007 to help local management address events that impact their workforce. CCM moves the expertise concerning bargaining unit employee reassignment from the top of the organization to the field level. The process guides the user to compliance with collective bargaining agreements and directs the reallocation of employees to where their skill sets are required in the future.
Fundamentals of Leave Control is a back-to-the-basics 8-hour training course for managers and supervisors. It addresses communication, best practices, and the use of consistent follow-up with employees concerning their leave use. The course, validated in the Southwest Area, is now scheduled for national rollout.
In 2007 total complement decreased by 10,270. At the end of the year, 785,929 career and noncareer employees were on the rolls. Total career complement decreased by 11,376. There were 684,762 career employees on the rolls. Complement mix changed with decreases of 440 casual employees, 829 carrier transitional employees, and 1,042 part-time regular mail handlers. The overall complement reductions correlated favorably with increased service scores and productivity improvements. Overtime, higher-level, and standby hours were reduced.