Count on it

For more than two centuries, postal workers have helped the government complete the once-a-decade national census.

It’s no wonder: USPS has a duty to deliver to every household in the nation, so helping to count everyone who lives here is a natural fit.

For the first survey in 1790, U.S. marshals did the counting, but the results helped then-Postmaster General Timothy Pickering evaluate requests for new mail routes for the country’s 15-year-old mail delivery system.

When trained enumerators took over census duties in 1880, Postmasters in some rural areas received temporary census appointments. They were considered trusted federal employees with good record-keeping skills who were familiar with their communities.

In 1960, the Census Bureau relied heavily on the Post Office Department to execute the census. That year, the bureau mailed every U.S. household a preliminary census questionnaire, which enumerators later collected.

In 1980, the Postal Service delivered mail-back census forms to about 90 percent of U.S. households — more than 100 million questionnaires — with a return rate of 83 percent.

In preparation for the 1990 census, letter carriers verified each address on their routes — 88.5 million in total. To speed up delivery of mailed-back returns, USPS assigned a unique ZIP+4 Code for each Census Bureau office and assigned liaisons at each sorting facility.

Under a 1994 law, the Postal Service shared all of its delivery point addresses with the Census Bureau. This let information be shared with local and state governments, enabling a continuously updated list of addresses that could take part in census surveys.

In 2020, USPS delivered more than 590 million census-related mailpieces — one of the largest First-Class Mail mailings in a 90-day period in postal history.

The spirit of innovative cooperation between the Census Bureau and USPS has continued: This year, for the first time, respondents had the option to complete the survey online — a method made easier by the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery feature.

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

Team effort

A group of Postal Service employees in Chicago recently worked together on a deal that will bring in more than $350,000 in estimated revenue.

It began when Michele Robinson, a senior sales executive, responded to a political campaign’s request for help with a mailing.

“[The] candidate was looking to reach voters with direct mail, outdoor campaigns and public forums, but also needed to reach voters that have trouble reaching the polls,” Robinson said.

With requests for vote-by-mail ballots growing rapidly, she suggested that the customer add Informed Delivery to the campaign strategy.

This would send applications to targeted voters via direct mail and implement a courtesy return process for elections using Business Reply Mail for simplified returned ballot applications.

Acting Address Management Manager Willis Williams Jr. and AMS Systems Technician Phyllis Vaughan quickly provided a unique ZIP+4 Code. Business Mail Entry Clerk Brenda Johnson generated the permit number for the Business Reply Mail account.

“I was very willing to help with this,” said Vaughan. “It made me feel good to be part of helping bring in revenue.”

The deal is expected to bring in $358,400.

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

Getting results

USPS wants all managers to share the results of each Postal Pulse survey with the employees who report to them.

Why is this important?

Here’s what you should know:

• Every manager has access to the survey results. If five or more team members from any work group responds to the survey, a team report will be available.

If fewer than five team members respond, then their team responses are included in the next level up in the organizational reporting structure.

For example, if four employees on a 10-person team submit completed surveys, the team’s results are included in the department’s overall results, as well as the facility, district and area results.

• Managers can use the results to guide their engagement efforts. By design, the Postal Pulse’s 12 questions offer a starting point to determine if employees’ needs are being met.

Gallup, the organization that administers the survey on the Postal Service’s behalf, transforms survey response data into usable patterns of strengths and opportunities that managers can use to promote positive and productive team interactions.

• The results show USPS is improving. Last year’s survey results showed 26 percent of respondents feel engaged, up from 17 percent during the first survey in 2015.

This is the fourth of five articles on the Postal Pulse employee survey, which is being administered from Aug. 4-Sept. 4. Tomorrow: How USPS uses the survey for other programs.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 96.76 percent during the week ending July 31, down from the 96.83 percent score one week earlier.

Among the seven areas, Western (97.13 percent) ranked first and Capital Metro (96.43 percent) ranked last.

Among the 67 districts, the leader was Dakotas (98.62 percent) while Caribbean (87.38 percent) brought up the rear.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

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

New poster. USPS is mailing Post Offices Premium Forwarding Service Commercial (PFSC) best practices posters that can be hung in back offices near the Function 4 clerk operations area or MyPO application login computers.

Businesses have increasingly used PFSC during the coronavirus pandemic.

The service allows business customers with an active PO Box or street address to temporarily forward all mail to their domestic business address using Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail.

Offices can order additional posters (SKU number 20PFSCPOS / PSN 7690180006961) from the Material Distribution Center.

The Product Management Special Services 2020 Blue page has additional information.

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s July 30 edition features information about Election Mail and Political Mail.

The latest updates to USPS forms, policies and procedures are also included.

Eastern efforts. The Postal Service recently mailed Eastern Area Update’s latest issue to employees in the area.

This edition, which is also available on Blue and LiteBlue, features stories about the area’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and other topics.

New contact. The USPS Mailing & Shipping Solutions Center has a new email address: MSSC@usps.gov. The center’s toll-free phone number remains 877-672-0007.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.