Leadership Development and Talent Management

The Postal Service uses four leadership competency models which outline desired behaviors at the supervisor, manager, executive, and officer levels. Leadership development programs at each level use assessment tools to provide feedback on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses on the applicable competencies. Training provides development against these competencies and is delivered using a blend of online self-study, classroom training, team projects, simulations, and coaching. This “learning continuum” is paired with formal succession planning and individual development planning processes to identify and prepare high-potential leadership talent.

Essential Foundations for Supervisors provides 90-day training for newly appointed supervisors. It incorporates classroom, eLearning, self study, and on-the-job experience. Training is tailored to the employee’s experience and responsibilities. 1,249 new supervisors completed this training in 2010.

EAS Leadership Development (ELD) is the approach to identifying and developing future leaders for key managerial positions in each district. More than 2,900 field EAS employees applied for the program during open season. Field leaders serving on resource boards reviewed the applications through late summer and employees were notified if they were accepted in October. Those accepted into ELD receive development through virtual learning, on-the-job development, and coaching. Employees accepted into ELD also will be invited to participate in a pilot study of Managerial Assessment of Excellence, an online tool which measures an employee’s skills against the managerial competency model.

The 2-week Managerial Leadership Program is designed to enhance the leadership skills and professional growth of high potential mid-level Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) managers. It is based on the Managerial Competency Model that identifies essential management skills relevant to the postal workplace.

The Postal Service continues to develop a highly motivated, competent group of managers to fill key Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) positions. There were 681 PCES in 2010, including 43 officers and 60 newly-appointed executives. Over 100 executives participated in one or more of the executive course offerings.

Future PCES are identified through the Corporate Succession Planning (CSP) process. CSP generally operates on a 2-year cycle, during which EAS level 22 and higher employees request to be considered as potential successors. If selected, they develop and pursue personalized individual development plans to prepare for the additional responsibilities of an executive. CSP for headquarters executive positions took place this year.

The Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) is for non-PCES employees who have been identified as potential successors for PCES executive positions through CSP. ALP includes classroom, eLearning, and business simulation in a 3-week curriculum. The ongoing development of ALP graduates is customized by their executive sponsors using an individual development plan. Since the ALP program was redesigned in 2007, 38 graduates have been promoted to executive positions.

Employees who are not currently potential successors in CSP or EAS Leadership Development processes are encouraged to complete an electronic individual development plan (eIDP). This online system provides employees an assessment of their competencies by their manager and suggests on-the-job and course-work training to increase skills in competencies as indicated by the assessment.

The Executive Leadership program is for all PCES executives who have been in their positions for at least 18 months. It is designed to increase knowledge and skills for managing the human aspects of organizational change and for leading others through large scale transformation. The program includes classroom training, coaching, “360 degree” assessments, and participation in an organizational culture inventory.

New in 2010 is a formal development program for high potential executives who demonstrate the ability to move into senior management positions. Candidates are identified, accepted into the Performing at the Peak program, and provided with an assessment and individualized development.