WASHINGTON — Enhancing human resource functions to serve 588,000 career employees supporting a network of 34,000 Post Offices while developing future leaders is no easy task. The Postal Service continues to invest in its employees and cultivate tomorrow’s leaders by applying state-of-the-art technology to save more than $150 million annually.
“To help solidify the Postal Service’s future, it’s important now more than ever to invest in our most valued asset — our people,” said Anthony Vegliante, Postal Service Chief Human Resources Officer and executive vice president.
Vegliante’s vision of transforming the Postal Service’s HR functions mirrors the transformation the organization experienced when it developed the world’s most efficient mail system — it leverages technology to work smarter while minimizing labor intensive tasks.
The downturn in the economy and increased use of the Internet resulted in mail volume plummeting 20 percent since 2007. Annually through 2020, about 50 percent of Postal Service employees, nearly 300,000, will be eligible and are expected to retire. Today, nearly seven of 10 executives are eligible.
“Our goal of eliminating transactions and expanding 24/7 access to our human resource functions was achieved through Web-based business solutions,” he added.
The Postal Service was recognized in 2009 with an “Excellence in Practice” citation from the American Society for Training and Development, the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning. But it’s not resting on its laurels. Just as it used the Internet to automate day-to-day HR transactions, the Postal Service applied similar strategies to enhancing its training and development functions.
“We are leveraging world-class learning technology to provide employees with easy access to individualized training and scheduling flexibility,” said Susan LaChance, Employee Development and Diversity vice president, who oversees training. “This technology, and a learning approach that blends classroom, online, video and on-the-job training also places more information into our managers’ hands in real time for identifying developmental opportunities.”
Streamlining the business process and centralizing training product purchases saves up to $18 million annually. The Learning Management System, implemented just last year, manages all training administration and delivery processes within a single technology to save $10 million annually.
Developed just a few years ago, the Postal Service’s Human Capital Enterprise System (HCES) — the world’s largest and most comprehensive — automates numerous processes that occur during an employee’s career to save $130 million annually. Eliminating paper transactions while increasing efficiency, the HCES provides 24/7 access to all employee data ranging from applying for job vacancies to planning for retirement. This frees HR professionals from repetitive, manual processes to focus on strategies to place the right people in the right job at the right time.
An integral aspect of HCES is the Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC), based in Greensboro, NC.
“This is the centerpiece for processing HR transactions,” said Deborah Giannoni-Jackson, Employee Resource Management vice president. “It leverages technology to process hiring, promotion and day-to-day HR transactions.”
Employees can access the center online through self-service or by voice-prompted phone. On a monthly basis, HRSSC handles 145,000 employee transactions. The center’s staff provides personal assistance on complex personnel issues requiring clarification, research or immediate attention.