Team fit

Postal employee Marrinico Vanessa Geter

Getting into shape can be fun, especially when you do it with others.

Asset Management employees across the nation are walking, participating in weight loss challenges and taking other steps to help improve their health.

“It’s about getting people moving,” said Asset Management Manager Tamie Hollar, who supervises more than 430 employees in Atlanta; Washington, DC; Topeka, KS; and the seven asset accountability service centers across the nation.

Hollar launched the wellness initiative last year after forming a committee to develop ideas to help address employees’ needs.

“I wanted to know how we could help with their overall wellness,” she said.

The committee produces publications, hosts events and creates activities that focus on five wellness pillars: health, finances, social connections, career enrichment and safety.

For example, more than 130 Asset Management employees recently completed a nine-week step challenge, recording more than 68.7 million steps.

Marlan Torrens, a Topeka building equipment mechanic who took 2.3 million steps, was the grand prize winner.

“My legs are stronger and my heart is stronger,” said Torrens. “I had to increase my calorie intake, but I focused on eating more healthy food.”

In Atlanta, Mail Recovery Clerk Marrinico Vanessa Geter took 2.1 million steps during the challenge, earning first place in the women’s category.

“When the challenge came up, my son encouraged me to participate,” she said.  “I walked seven days a week. I started out in my neighborhood and then went to the gym once it started getting dark.”

Other wellness initiatives include a six-month weight loss challenge that ends May 1.

The Postal Service encourages managers and supervisors to offer these kinds of programs, part of the organization’s broader focus on engaging employees, a core strategy.

Employees interested in hosting a wellness program in their workplace should send an email to the Health and Wellness team at healthandwellness@usps.gov.

Hollar’s advice: “Make sure your employees know you care. Focus on providing tools and techniques to help them develop a quality work/life balance.”

GITT ready

Chief Sustainability Officer Tom Day at his computer

The Postal Service has improved its Green Initiative Tracking Tool (GITT) to provide users with real-time data on sustainability performance metrics at the national, area, district and facility levels.

The tool also helps users plan and track facility-level sustainability projects.

For instance, GITT ranks districts based on recycling revenue, as well as costs for trash removal, facility energy, vehicle fuel, consumables and water. Lean green teams can also use GITT to analyze facility-level data to improve local performance.

GITT is one part of the Postal Service’s overall sustainability efforts, which aim to improve the organization’s operations while protecting the environment.

The Sustainability Blue page has more information about GITT, including tutorials and sample reports, as well as a list of contacts who can help employees learn more about the tool.

Additionally, the latest edition of the Sustainable Facility Update newsletter has a feature article about GITT.

Helpful reminder

Folder with an 'audit' label

If your department is being audited by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) or the Government Accountability Office (GAO), you should contact the USPS Corporate Audit and Response Management (CARM) team.

The Postal Service cooperates with OIG and GAO, two independent agencies that review federal spending and performance. However, CARM must coordinate the postal response to all audits, as well as OIG and GAO inquiries on operations, policies and procedures.

You should copy CARM on all email correspondence with OIG and GAO. You also should ensure the vice president or senior executive who oversees your department is aware of the audit and has an opportunity to review any responses deemed necessary.

OIG also conducts investigations into possible legal, regulatory and policy violations. CARM isn’t involved in this process, so you shouldn’t contact the CARM team unless an OIG investigator instructs you to do so.

When contacted by an investigator, you should promptly provide any information requested. If you’re unsure if the inquiry relates to an audit or an investigation, you should ask.

If you have questions or concerns, email them to CARMManager@usps.gov and a team member will respond.

Honorable mentions

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday that marks the civil rights leader’s birthday, will be observed Monday, Jan. 21. Here are five things you may not have known about his life.

1. King’s birth name wasn’t “Martin.” He was named Michael at birth, but his father later changed his name to Martin, possibly to honor 16th-century theologian Martin Luther.

2. He began college at age 15. King was admitted to Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1944, following his junior year of high school. His early college admission was due in part to declining college enrollment due to the wartime draft. He received a degree in sociology.

3. King won the Nobel Peace Prize. He received the prize in 1964 at age 35, becoming the youngest man to be honored with the award. King turned over the $54,123 prize money to leading civil rights groups.

4. He was inspired by Gandhi. Indian activist Mohandas Gandhi’s philosophies influenced King’s belief in non-violent protests. In 1959, King traveled to India and visited with Ghandi’s family and followers, as well as Indian officials. Later that year, King preached on Gandhi’s use of peaceful protests to end discrimination.

5. King’s iconic speech lasted longer than expected. In 1963, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech before more than 250,000 people at the March on Washington. His remarks lasted 16 minutes, though he was only scheduled to speak for four.

Got ideas for future editions of “The List”? Email them to uspslink@usps.gov.