Friday, July 21, 2006

Even The US Postal Service Doesn't Train Managers

As I read this article about the latest postmaster at the Apple Valley post office, I think about my current problems with the downtown Seattle post office which are too frustrating to waste time mentioning.

Leadership makes the difference in performance, yet few organizations see the value in investing in management training or having a successful management system in place at all locations.

Petras and other employees at the Apple Valley post office say it’s no secret that the town’s postal delivery service has been lackluster over the past few years, plagued with late deliveries and high employee turnover. But Petras — who started in January but was sworn in Tuesday— said changes are coming.

Apple Valley postal workers couldn’t put a precise number on management’s turnover rate the past few years, but they offered a guess.“It’d take me a while to count ’em,” said Dave Schloer, a postal worker and vice president of the local postal union. “Definitely in the dozens.”

In the dozens!!!

Just as most new frontline sales and customer service leaders receive minimal training-if any-before their first leading and managing opportunity, the government doesn't see the need for a leadertship model and a management system in the nation's post offices.

“I think it was just a lack of communication,” Petras said. “And a matter of putting some new rules in place.”

The postal service finally got lucky and stumbled across somebody to stop the waste of taxpayers dollars, but how long will this last? With leadership that allowed continual management the turnover to exist, what will they do next? If Mr. Petras is truly effiecient, do they cut the size of his staff?

I wonder how many frontline staff were blamed, through the years, for poor performance by their underperforming (untrained) postmasters? How many had a miserable employment experience? Day after day...

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