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United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent body of the federal government that is mandated with the responsibility of providing postal service in America. The agency was known as the U.S. Post Office Department in 1971 when it was totally managed by the United States government. In addition to be referred to as Post Office, Postal Service or U.S. Mail, USPS is one of the few agencies of the government that are clearly authorized by the U.S. Constitution. Since its inception, the United States Postal Service has developed to an extent that it is the largest post in the world since it provides more mail to more addresses in a bigger geographical region. The success of this organization can partly be attributed to its strategy to fulfill or realize its mission, organization design and structure, and its organizational culture and its cultural values.
USPS Mission and Strategy
The United States Postal Service (USPS) was established to offer prompt, dependable, and efficient services to all patrons and communities across all geographical regions in the United States (Matsch, 2013). Therefore, the mission of USPS is to offer the American public with affordable, reliable, universal service. The mission of the independent agency was established by the U.S. Congress and the President following recognition of the crucial role played by USPS in commerce and promoting the unity of the nation. Moreover, the basic role of USPS is to offer postal services to unite the country through personal, academic, literary, and business correspondence of the public.
Even though the universal service obligation of the organization is not explicitly defined, it is widely outlined in several statutes and entails varying dimensions like delivery frequency, geographic scope, product range, service quality, affordable and uniform pricing, and security of the mail. Nonetheless, while other couriers may provide delivery on a universal basis, USPS remains the only courier mandated with the responsibility of providing every aspect of universal service at reasonable prices.
The strategy USPS employs in accomplishing its mission involves the establishment and maintenance of postal facilities with the ability to support the delivery of timely, reliable, and efficient services. Furthermore, this organization ensures that such facilities are established and maintained in locations where postal patrons and communities across the country will have ready access to fundamental postal services. In order to support these strategies, the United States Congress empowered the U.S. Postmaster General to stipulate rules that are necessary to safeguard property owned or occupied by the agency and people on the property. These stipulations should also entail reasonable penalties for any breach or infringements.
USPS Organizational Design
The organizational design of the United States Postal Service operates on the premise of standard organizational structures and staffing criteria (United States Postal Service, 2014). The organization's postal service managers should recognize the various concepts that are applied in assessing organizational change requests in order to accomplish various factors. These factors include making informed decisions during organization change requests, provide suitable documentation to support proposed changes, and understand the basis for review and evaluation of requests. The organizational design of USPS entails various levels of managers and criteria for staffing. The Human Resources Department at the organization's headquarters has the general responsibility or task of controlling the organizational structures and staffing for this independent agency. In contrast, all levels of managers in USPS are mandated with planning and enforcing administrative and operating measures based on organizational structures and policies for staffing as well evaluating these structures and staffing and making recommendations for any necessary changes.
USPS Organizational Structure
The basic organizational structure of the United States Postal Service is made of various units and areas that are critical in promoting smooth operations toward accomplishing its goals or mission. These units include Headquarters, areas, districts, P&DCs, and Post Offices ("Organizational Structures," 2014). Some of these organizational units are distinctively developed due to their specialized nature while units that seemingly carry out fundamental identical functions are ordinarily standardized. Headquarters is the executive and senior management unit of this organization whereas area offices are organizational entities within certain geographical areas for major diverse functions that have area-wide impact. District offices are subordinate entities to area offices with functions like supervision of subordinate Post Offices and delivery distribution centers. Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) is responsible for processing and dispensing mail for a geographic region while Post Office provides customer services, managing local delivery, and receiving and dispatching all mail.
Hierarchy or Flow of Authority in USPS
As a bureaucratic agency, USPS is a hierarchical organization in which authority flows from the top downward and decisions are made on the basis of logic and data. The organization has a lean management structure that is consistent with modern best practice to lessen bureaucratic decision-making while improving flexibility and responsiveness. Major decisions and authority flows from the Headquarters unit, which is the executive management entity that exercises managerial control and direct control over the other organizational units. However, information is shared throughout all levels and boundaries of management based on entrenched relationships and clear roles. The other management levels in the organization are responsible for implementing decisions from the Headquarters unit while exercising control over minor decisions or issues affecting subordinate areas and functions.
USPS Organizational Culture and Cultural Values
The United States Postal Service has a strong organizational culture and cultural values that is managed from the top downward. One of the major aspects of the organization's culture is an open-door policy that enables employees to have access to the top management levels including the Postmaster (United States Postal Service, n.d.). However, the organization ensures that all its workers are firmly trained on ethics and ethical issues and their respective work roles and responsibilities. This helps in the creation of a working environment characterized by trust and integrity. Secondly, the strong organizational culture of USPS is evident in its customer relations, which is based on excellent customer service that contributes to trust and integrity.
USPS's Employee Motivation and Creativity
In line with its strong organizational culture that ensures employees work in an environment of trust and integrity, the United States Postal Service motivates its employees and encourages them to be creative. One of the ways through which the organization encourages its employees is by providing quality benefits, which is important in any employment. Employees in the organization have security in several premium benefits like health and retirement benefits. Secondly, USPS motivates its employees by providing competitive salaries that enhance job satisfaction among employees. Third, the organization provides employee fitness centers, a commuter program, and parking privileges in some of its countrywide locations. In relation to encouraging creativity, USPS persuades its employees to engage in all areas of business operations and provides a learning environment based on several training initiatives.
Size and Scope of USPS
Since the inception of the United States Postal Service, the organization has experienced tremendous growth and development to an extent that it handles most of the mail services in the United States. It can be argued that USPS is literally and figuratively in every city, town, region, and state since it delivers its services to over 153 million homes and businesses in addition to having Post Office boxes in all places in the United States. Furthermore, USPS provides its services abroad through its global business strategy.
Challenge Facing USPS
One of the major challenges that USPS currently experiences is the rapid increase and growth of alternative correspondence measures due to rapid technological developments ("Executive Summary," n.d.). As the American population has continued to increase, there has been acceleration in the use of electronic channels for correspondence. The current population is increasingly sending personal correspondence through the Internet and other electronic means. The United States Postal Service has responded to this challenge by improving its efficiency unlike other posts. The…[continue]
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