Human Capital Management at the United States Postal Service
With more than 800,000 employees, the US Postal Service (USPS) has the second largest workforce in the country. The 230 + year old post service has an operating budget of $65 billion and has been under increased competitive pressure from organizations such as Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and Internet service providers, all of whom have eroded market share and offered alternatives to the traditional monopoly enjoyed by USPS. Current projections are that 85 percent of its executives, 74 percent of its managers and supervisors, and 50 percent of its career workforce will be eligible to retire in the next few years.
The postal service has developed a strategy to ensure that it attracts the right people and then deploys them effectively to where they are most needed. To ensure that the best employees are retained, performance management and leadership development programs have been created to motivate and reward them. At the center of its human capital management plan are four key strategies: 1. Aggressive recruitment of future leaders; 2. Building of an effective, motivated workforce in which individuals and teams are recognized through a performance-based pay system; 3. Establishment and maintenance of a good work environment, based on cooperative working relationships between unionized employees and management; 4. Creation of a flexible workforce that can be readily adjusted as conditions change and new needs arise.
To facilitate these goals, back office functions have been reorganized and consolidated into 85 separate “performance clusters”. Each cluster has its own HR staff that applied reengineering principles and technology tools to repetitive transactional service work to create more self-service transactions for employees and managers. Performance management is being integrated into virtually every organizational initiative to ensure that rewards are commensurate with productivity. Succession planning and corresponding training and development have been established to ensure that vital skills are identified and transferred to up and coming employees. The Advanced Leadership Program has been developed as a premier program for high potential future executives, which trains them to understand the strategic challenges being faced by the organization and to develop the skills that allow participants to creativity address those challenges.
Source: Mello, Jeffrey A. (2015). Strategic Human Resource Management. 4e. Cengage Learning, United States.
Considering the above scenario and using extensive research evidence, write a report addressing the following task:
Critically analyze the importance of strategic HR planning to organizations and evaluate how it might impact their ability to gain sustainable competitive advantage.
- It is permissible to make assumptions by adding to the scenario provided its essence is neither changed nor undermined in any way by what is added.
- The students are encouraged to cite examples of successful firms to support their arguments.