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United States Postal Service’s Understaffing and Overworking

Background of the Company

The history of the United States Postal Service starts in 1775 with the appointment of the first Postmaster General. Over 250 years history, the company has faced a significant number of organizational changes in order to stay relevant and up to date with the technical progress. Nowadays, the company counts more than four hundred thousand employees and is considered to be the world’s most extensive global system. In the last few years, the company has encountered an issue of understaffing, consequently overworking the current staff. The problem occurred as the current financial profit of the organization is heavily relied on delivering packages. As the postal officers are obliged to visit the households six days a week, the postal service became a quick and affordable option for companies like Amazon to deliver the goods to the customers’ doorsteps. The company currently faces a lack of funds to hire new employees and overworks the current staff to keep up with the workload.

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The importance of the problem

In the past presidential election, people were recommended to vote by mail to stay safe in the conditions of a pandemic, but the ballots needed to be mailed earlier to ensure that they would be counted. Despite the increase in the workload for postal service staff, the administration removed postal boxes, cut office hours, and eliminated overtime carries for mail carriers (Alani & Chilukuri, 2020). This example explains the importance of post services for the population’s daily life and major events in history.

Change initiative

Kottler’s eight-stage framework is frequently used to plan the organizational change initiative. In addressing the need for organizational changes in the work of USPS, one could utilize the six steps of Kottler’s framework, specifically establishing a sense of urgency and creating a guiding coalition (Caulfield & Brenner, 2020). Next, the framework recommends developing a vision and a strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering broad-based action, and generating short-term wins.

To create a sense of urgency, the management needs to be informed of the current situation with a shortage of revenue and financial funds. As pointed by Stouten et al. (2018), management is more attracted to financial metrics rather than health and safety metrics that are more important to employees. Perhaps addressing the financial situation rather than collecting complaints from employees would provide a more valuable perspective for the management.

First, to create a guiding coalition, the organization and the management need to organize small teams of postal workers that could take substitute shifts to provide adequate time for employees to rest and prevent the possibility of turnover (Hills, 2021). Next, the management could introduce more volunteers from the service employees to the table to provide perspective on plans and how they would affect regular employees in instant feedback. This step also focuses on building leadership qualities and skills in middle and upper-class management to ensure mutual understanding connections between employee teams and management.

The vision and strategy for the future should include significant changes to provide new sources of financial income. The postal service could focus more on essential tasks like shipping letters, bills, and pharmaceutical shipments and increase the shipping price for retailer companies that use the postal service as a cheap alternative to other shipping providers. The change of vision could be introduced to the employees in a detailed report on how it would affect their salary and working hours and be put on a vote for each team. The employees would be able to make an impact on the change by their vote. As there are many postal offices, some of them could be engaged in an experiment with renovating the functions according to the new strategy. The received data from the experiment could be used to improve working conditions until they would be reconciled as satisfactory by USPS employees throughout the organizations. The introduction of the experimental form of post offices and its’ progress could be viewed as short-term wins by the management.


Alani, H. & Chilukuri, S. (2020) Overworked, understaffed, sick with coronavirus: Chicago postal workers urge you to mail in ballots as early as possible. Block Club Chicago. Web.

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Caulfield, J. L., & Brenner, E. F. (2020). Resolving complex community problems: Applying collective leadership and Kotter’s change model to wicked problems within social system networks. Nonprofit Management and Leadership. 30, 509– 524. Web.

Hills, L. (2021). Managing overworked employees. Physician Leadership Journal, 8(2), 77-81.

Stouten, J., Rousseau, D. M., & De Cremer, D. (2018). Successful Organizational Change: Integrating the Management Practice and Scholarly Literatures. Academy of Management Annals, 12(2), 752-788. Web.

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