Postal Service first-line supervisors oversee the day-to-day execution of operations that drive services and delivery of mail to the public. As such, they significantly contribute to ensuring customers receive quality service and receive mail and parcels on time and in good condition.
Factors that contribute to the success of first-line supervisors include having a strong organizational structure, a clear understanding of job responsibilities, the right qualifications, an optimal span of control, and adequate training opportunities.
For the purposes of our work, we define a first-line supervisor as the first layer of management directly above the craft employee, specifically customer service supervisors at retail facilities, and distribution, transportation, and maintenance operation supervisors at processing facilities. Our objective is to assess whether Postal Service first-line supervisors are adequately prepared and positioned to meet operational goals and objectives.
- Are first-line supervisors provided with job descriptions (or a detailed list of job responsibilities) when they are promoted? Are the job descriptions adequate and do they align with actual duties performed?
- Do first-line supervisors have the right qualifications to ensure execution of responsibilities?
- Do first-line supervisors oversee an appropriate number of employees (i.e., span of control) to effectively execute their supervisory responsibilities? If not, how many employees should a supervisor oversee at a retail facility? A processing facility?
- Are first-line supervisors (permanent and acting 204b) provided with adequate training? If not, what additional training would you recommend? Does the lack of training negatively impact their ability to execute supervisory tasks?