Respect and appreciation

Special lanyards and badges

The following message is from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan:

This Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the milestone that established Nov. 11 as the day set aside to honor those who have served in the American armed forces.

The Postal Service is proud to be one of the largest civilian employers of veterans; there are more than 100,000 current or former service members contributing to the success of this organization. This year, I am honored to pay tribute to our veterans with special badges and lanyards. Distribution of these items is underway, and military veteran employees will be recognized at local events.

The lanyard is red and features the words “Thank you for your service” and “#PostalProud” in white letters. The badges have a front and back side identifying the wearer as a veteran and includes Postal Service and American flag imagery.

Just as our nation came together a century ago to commend American troops for their bravery in the trenches, we strive to show today’s veterans the same respect and appreciation for their sacrifices. It is an honor to salute them for all they have done.

On behalf of all 640,000 employees of the U.S. Postal Service, I thank our veterans for their dedication to public service and for upholding our nation’s values. Their contributions to the country and to the Postal Service make us proud.

Delivering magic

“Santa Counts on You" mailer

The Postal Service is using the mail to help employees get in the holiday spirit.

The organization is sending employees a direct mailpiece that highlights the important role they play during the holiday season.

“You help Santa deliver to millions of homes. He may get all the credit, but he couldn’t do it without you,” the piece states.

The “Santa Counts on You” mailer includes factoids about this year’s holiday efforts, such as the number of packages USPS expects to deliver, as well as tips on how employees can show their postal pride and deliver excellent customer experiences.

The piece also features a QR code that employees can use to access the USPS Holiday 2018 site, where they can preview upcoming TV and radio ads, social media posts, retail signage and more.

USPS will send the mailer during the week of Nov. 5.

All’s fair

Online benefits fair

Postal Service employees can participate in an online virtual benefits fair throughout this year’s open season, which runs from Nov. 12-Dec. 10.

The fair offers information about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), as well as flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

Employees can log into the fair site 24/7 during open season to visit virtual booths, watch instructional videos and participate in educational seminars.

Additionally, employees can participate in live chats with experts on two dates: Tuesday, Nov. 13, and Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. EST each day.

Long Term Care Partners, the company that manages the FLTCIP, is organizing the fair.

Participation is voluntary and off-the-clock. Employees can register at the FLTCIP site.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has additional information about this year’s enrollment period.

Print power

Catalogs still matter

Print catalogs are still important in the age of online shopping, the news site Digiday reported recently.

Catalogs offer “an incredible opportunity to deliver a rich, tactile shopping experience to our customers,” Bob Sherwin, a marketing executive for Wayfair, an online furniture retailer, told the site.

Wayfair uses sales data and other information to send catalogs to “high-value target customers,” Sherwin said.

Other fast-growing online retailers such as Everlane and Bonobos have also found they can drive more online sales by mailing print catalogs to consumers.

“It sounds kind of counterintuitive that we’re finding return on … mail, but that’s how crowded digital has become,” said Ryan Babenzien, founder of Greats, a shoe retailer. “[Online has] become so noisy, it doesn’t have the efficacy that it used to.”

Need to know

Scanning

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.75 percent during the week ending Nov. 2, up from one week earlier.

Dakotas (99.07 percent) topped the districts, while Western (97.9 percent) led the areas.

Scanning allows customers to track their packages and mail, and it helps USPS improve efficiency and network management.

To see the latest results, go to the Informed Visibility site and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Flag notice. Reminder: Sunday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, one of six days each year that Postal Service facilities are required to fly the POW-MIA flag.

Because Veterans Day is a designated USPS holiday, facilities should raise the POW-MIA flag on the last business day before the holiday.

The POW-MIA flag must fly below the U.S. flag.

For more information, refer to the Postal Service’s online guidelines on U.S. flag display and maintenance, as well as the requirements for displaying the POW-MIA flag.

Holiday tools. The Postal Communicator’s Toolbox has new resources for the holidays.

The Toolbox is a Blue page that managers can use to help them discuss USPS with employees, customers, journalists and others.

The new “Holiday Information” section features a link to the online Holiday Newsroom, fact sheets on Informed Delivery and shipping services, and more.

Other fact sheets and resources will be added to the Toolbox throughout the peak delivery season.

Got news for “Need to know”? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.