Show of loyalty

The Postal Service will begin an initiative next month to help small-business customers grow.

The USPS Loyalty Program, the first of its kind in the organization’s history, will allow businesses to earn credits for using Click-N-Ship to purchase Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express services. Additionally, the program will establish “loyalty tiers” that reward customers for using these products throughout the year.

“The Postal Service offers businesses world-class service and the largest delivery network in the nation,” said Customer Experience Vice President Kelly Sigmon. “Through the USPS Loyalty Program, we want to help businesses — especially small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy — to use our products and services to attract new customers and generate revenue.”

The USPS Loyalty Program will offer credits to registered Click-N-Ship business customers to use for future shipping product purchases. Customers will earn $40 in credits for every $500 spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express postage through Click-N-Ship.

New business users will receive an additional $40 “welcome bonus” credit for the first $500 spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express postage, and any registered Click-N-Ship user will receive a $20 “introductory bonus” if they purchase postage between August and September and meet the $500 spending level.

The program will establish tiers that provide increasing levels of benefits based on how much a customer spends each year on their shipping needs.

For example, customers who spend $10,000 on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express shipping will be moved from the base tier to the silver tier, and those who spend $20,000 will be moved to the gold tier.

The USPS Loyalty Program launches Aug. 1. More information is available at usps.com/loyalty.

The new program is part of the Postal Service’s broader strategy to attract and support small-business customers.

The organization also encourages employees to submit sales leads for businesses that could benefit from postal products and services, and Post Offices across the nation regularly hold Grow Your Business Day events in their communities.

Additionally, USPS plans to roll out a program that will offer a 10 percent postage discount for all Every Door Direct Mail retail mailings, including flats, postcards and flyers.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

Fill ’er up

It’s only July, but California has already been hit by at least three heat waves.

As temperatures rise, Pacific Area — which includes the Golden State — is conducting stand-up talks and taking other measures to educate employees on the importance of protecting themselves from heat-related illnesses.

To further raise awareness, Pacific also encouraged Post Offices and other facilities to participate in a recent “hydration station challenge.”

The goal: to promote the stations, central locations inside facilities where employees can obtain cooling supplies, information about heat-related illnesses, local weather updates and more.

“We asked districts to be creative and involve all employees in designing their hydration stations,” said Pacific Area Safety Manager Mary Valdez.

Safety engagement leaders in each of the area’s eight districts helped drive the initiative, which quickly caught on. More than 500 Pacific Area postal facilities entered the competition.

Vallejo, CA, Post Office employees offered several design ideas, including making their station mobile and adding various fruits, non-caffeine beverages and frozen treats.

“Once employees got engaged, they start making suggestions. It was incredible,” said Vallejo Postmaster Manuel Hinojosa.

Vallejo was one of the three winners of the competition, which has established the stations as important reminders to stay hydrated.

“The hydration station looks good. Carriers see it right away and remember, ‘I have to get some water.’ So it’s a good way to start the day,” said Mike Wilkinson, a letter carrier who serves as the Vallejo office’s safety captain.

Another Vallejo letter carrier, Royce Quilala, said the hydration stations are particularly useful this summer because many businesses that sell or provided water remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“So it’s even more important to have water,” he said.

Valdez, who helped spearhead the challenge, hopes to have a similar competition next year.

“It will continue to evolve with the assistance of our employees and will help prevent heat-related illnesses,” she said.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

No place for politics

USPS wants employees to follow the Hatch Act’s rules on politicking in the workplace.

The Hatch Act is a law that prohibits Postal Service and other federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, while wearing a uniform, while on federal property or while inside a federal vehicle.

These rules apply to activities on behalf of all political candidates, including sitting U.S. presidents and other incumbents who have officially declared their intent to seek re-election.

For example, under the Hatch Act, a postal employee cannot wear a shirt or campaign button that promotes any candidate seeking re-election while the employee is on USPS property or on the clock.

Similarly, postal employees cannot place a bumper sticker or sign promoting a political candidate on a USPS vehicle.

Employees who misuse government property or don’t uphold safety regulations could be disciplined. Additionally, the Postal Service could refer potential Hatch Act violations to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel for investigation.

The Ethics Blue page has more Hatch Act resources, including a Let’s Talk Politics! fact sheet. Employees who have questions can contact their local field law office or send an email to ethics.help@usps.gov.

Succession story

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. When Benjamin Franklin stepped down as the nation’s first Postmaster General in November 1776, who succeeded him?

a) Richard Bache
b) Samuel Osgood
c) Benedict Anton Osnis
d) None of the above

2. True or false: Under a recent policy change, USPS employees should no longer contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to place orders for the Burial Flag Program.

a) True
b) False

3. USPS recently began surveying users of which application?

a) Informed Visibility Employee Scheduler
b) Intelligent Mail Barcode Generator
c) Mail Condition Visualization
d) Single Package Lookup Tool

4. Fill in the blank: Sales leads submitted by USPS customer care employees have brought in more than (blank) in new revenue for the current fiscal year.

a) $137 million
b) $138 million
c) $139 million
d) $140 million

5. John Lewis, the recently deceased civil rights leader and U.S. representative from Georgia, participated in a video tribute that was part of which stamp’s dedication ceremony?

a) Black Heritage: Dorothy Height
b) Harvey Milk
c) Maya Angelou
d) To Form a More Perfect Union

Answers: 1) a. 2) a. 3) d. 4) a. 5) c.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.