Seasonal shipping

The Postal Service has recommended deadlines for the holiday mailing and shipping season.

The suggestions, released Oct. 8, are for expected delivery by Dec. 25 to domestic, Air/Army Post Office (APO), Fleet Post Office (FPO) and Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) addresses.

Here are the deadlines:

  • Nov. 6: APO, FPO and DPO addresses (all ZIP Codes), USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 9: APO, FPO and DPO addresses (ZIP Code 093 only), Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • Dec. 11: APO, FPO and DPO (all other ZIP Codes), Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services
  • Dec. 15: USPS Retail Ground service
  • Dec. 18: APO, FPO, DPO (except ZIP Code 093), USPS Priority Mail Express service
  • Dec. 18: First-Class Mail service, including greeting cards
  • Dec. 18: First-Class Mail packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • Dec. 19: Priority Mail service
  • Dec. 23: Priority Mail Express service

USPS expects customer traffic to increase during the week of Dec. 7, with the period of Dec. 14-21 predicted to be the season’s busiest for mailing, shipping and delivery.

More than 13 million customers are expected to use usps.com on Dec. 14, making it the Postal Service’s busiest day online this holiday season. Among these customers, almost 500,000 are expected to use the Click-N-Ship feature.

The Postal Service released additional deadlines for military shipping this week.

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

Keeping the lines open

The Postal Service is making it easier for managers and supervisors to keep the lines of communication open with employees who report to them.

Through the Next Level Connection program, managers and supervisors are encouraged to have regular conversations with employees about their engagement, including the 12 areas measured by the Postal Pulse employee survey. These topics include whether employees know what is expected of them and whether they have the tools needed to perform their work.

To ensure more managers and supervisors conduct these conversations, the Postal Service has added a Next Level Connection feature to the HERO learning portal.

Managers and supervisors can use the feature to document each Next Level Connection conversation. The feature will also allow managers and supervisors to track and schedule the conversations, which should occur every three months at a minimum.

“Next Level Connection conversations are critically important to every employee’s progress and professional development,” said Kelvin Williams, the Postal Service’s employee engagement executive director. “When managers and supervisors conduct these conversations with their direct reports, they can gauge how USPS is meeting the employee’s needs and opportunities for improvement. And now, thanks to this new feature on the HERO portal, the process is that much easier.”

The Next Level Connection program, which USPS introduced in 2018, is part of the organization’s broader efforts to boost engagement, which refers to employees’ overall approach to their work, including their involvement, enthusiasm and commitment.

The Postal Service has made engagement a core strategy because research shows that employees who feel engaged deliver better customer service, have better attendance rates and work safer.

For more information on the Next Level Connection form in HERO or how to access it, refer to the Next Level Connection Quick Reference Guide.

The Employee Engagement Blue page has more information about the program.

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

World Post Day

World Post Day, which is held annually to raise awareness of the role of postal services globally in our daily lives, is Oct. 9.

The commemoration also celebrates the evolution of postal services, which can be traced to 255 B.C., the date of the first known mailpiece, found in Egypt.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, countries established agreements to govern the sending and receiving of mail across international borders.

During the 1800s, Rowland Hill, an English educator, helped develop the basic concepts of the modern postal service, including the invention of the postage stamp.

Today, nations around the world operate postal organizations that offer a variety of services. The U.S. Postal Service is one of the largest operators, handling 48 percent of the world’s mail volume.

International Postal Affairs, a USPS department, manages the organization’s global relations and policy development with the Universal Postal Union (UPU), an international agency that coordinates postal policies among its 192 member nations.

The department’s Blue page has more information.

World Post Day is held Oct. 9 because it marks the anniversary of the founding of the UPU, which offers more information about the commemoration on its website.

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

Time’s up

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

1. Which website will replace the Safety Toolkit, beginning in early 2021?

a) Informed Mobility Safety Observation Tool
b) Resources for Safety and Health
c) Safety and Health Management Tool
d) Safety Blue page

2. Which Postal Customer Council recently received the PCC of the Year Award for a large market?

a) Fort Worth PCC
b) Greater Wilmington Area PCC
c) South Jersey PCC
d) None of the above

3. True or false: USPS is testing a feature that allows companies that ship products to Informed Delivery subscribers to include extra content to help promote related services.

a) True
b) False

4. USPS recently began distributing new face coverings to employees. How many coverings will each employee receive?

a) One
b) Two
c) Three
d) Four

5. Fill in the blank: From 2015-2020, Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michael Egel, general and artistic director of the Des Moines Metro Opera in Iowa, exchanged (blank) letters.

a) Three
b) Five
c) Seven
d) Nine

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

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