Four happy employees. Treat employees well for maximum performance.

Treat employees well and your company will benefit. Photo: Shutterstock

Most people don’t think too hard about the United States Postal Service unless they rely on that organization to pick up or deliver important packages on a daily basis. Those people might be forgiven for not realizing that the USPS is a huge, complex organization, and one that is fraught with problems.

But the USPS is also an object lesson on the importance of treating employees well.

Anyone who spends time in a post office has probably noticed that it’s not the most welcoming or pleasant environment. And why should it be? The USPS has staff morale problems because management keeps trying to cut corners and make employees pay for it.

While there are four different unions that represent USPS employees, they are largely powerless since they aren’t allowed to strike. If they can’t come to an agreement with management over a contract, it goes to arbitration, where the dispute gets settled by a third party. That’s what happened recently with a contract that will help secure permanent jobs for the organization’s postal support employees, who do the same jobs as permanent employees but with lower pay, worse benefits, and next to no job security.

So how does that impact you, the small business owner? Think about this: The USPS used to be well-run and efficient, and it offered good jobs. But cost-cutting methods have turned it into a third-string corporation when it should be a first-string public utility.

Management takes these problems out on employees, and the employees then perform badly, which drives customers to other services like UPS or FedEx, which are also paying their employees low wages with no security. Nobody is happy, and everybody hates having to deal with parcel services, regardless of who is handling those services, but we keep doing so because we need to ship stuff and get our mail.

Can you honestly say that about your business? If you treat your employees poorly and that harms your business, will customers keep coming to you because they have no choice, or will they move on to a better experience? Why take the chance? Take a lesson from the U.S. Postal Service’s problems and treat your employees well to begin with.