The U.S. Postal Service uses Corporate Succession Planning to identify and develop top-performing employees to become future executives. In addition, a variety of leadership development programs align with competency models to develop upcoming leaders, including Managerial Leadership, Advanced Leadership, Executive Leadership, and Executive Foundations. The overarching program of employee knowledge development is referred to as the learning continuum. During fall 2020, the Postal Service initiated a series of phased organizational changes to improve its ability to implement strategies and drive success.
What We Did
Our objective was to determine whether the Postal Service ensured that it did not lose critical knowledge when employees transferred within or left the organization (due to retirement, resignation, reduction in force, or other reason). For this audit, we judgmentally sampled 14 Postal Service district and division sites nationwide to visit (both in person and virtually) based on both high and low turnover rates.
What We Found
Although the Postal Service had a corporate succession plan program in place for executives to ensure it did not lose critical knowledge when employees transferred within or left the organization, improvements are needed. Specifically, there is no standard knowledge continuity plan in place for non-executive functions.
Additionally, the Postal Service did not adequately measure the effectiveness of leadership development courses by tracking the success of graduates advancing into leadership positions and did not determine the impact of the course for employees’ daily responsibilities.
Finally, the guidance used for executives was outdated. This occurred because there was no requirement to have a standard knowledge continuity plan for non-executives and no requirement for measuring effectiveness.
Additionally, succession plan guidance for executives was outdated because management had other competing priorities.
Source: USPS Office of Inspector General