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UPS 37 Principles for Managing People

May 2, 2005
Related Topics: Corporate Culture, Featured Article, HR & Business Administration
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The guidelines below spell out UPS’ vision for managing its workforce. They’re part of a larger "policy book" given to the company’s management team, which also includes principles for handling customers and shareholders.

We Build Our Organization Around People
    The strength of our company is its people, working together with a common purpose. Although methods, equipment, and procedures are important, and we constantly strive to improve them, our most valuable assets are loyal and capable people.

    We seek, through the use of our impartial employment and promotion practices, to have a diverse workforce. Our organization is strengthened by capable individuals with diverse backgrounds.

    We assign responsibilities and duties to secure the full benefit of an individual’s talents and abilities and to provide each person with an opportunity to develop further.

    All our people, and the jobs they perform, can make important contributions to our company. We maintain an environment that enables them to obtain personal satisfaction from their work.

We Place Great Value on Diversity
    We value the diversity that exists within our workforce, our customers, those who provide goods and services to our company, and the communities in which we do business.

    Managers are responsible for creating a workplace of fairness, dignity, and respect for all employees--an environment of inclusion, encouraging participation, and the best effort of everyone. The diversity of our workforce results from a sincere effort to hire and retain dedicated people from the communities in which we operate.

    We strive to enhance our reputation as an organization that values diverse customers as well as suppliers and vendors. In addition, we support and work closely with organizations that believe fair employment practices are integral to a successful business.

We Treat Our People Fairly and Without Favoritism
   
We believe that impartiality is the foundation of a loyal, cooperative work group.

    We want to treat our people as individuals, without causing the perception of special treatment.

    We have the responsibility to avoid any relationship that may result in actual or perceived favoritism.

We Maintain an Environment Free of Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
   
All UPS employees have the right to work in an environment free of any type of harassment and discrimination. Sexual harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated.

    Managers and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that they and their employees understand and comply with UPS guidelines and maintain a professional work environment. That responsibility includes reporting incidents to the appropriate management people.

We Insist Upon Integrity in Our People
   
We understand that integrity is fundamental to how we run our business and essential to maintain compliance with our policies and legal requirements. Operating with integrity means we provide an atmosphere in which our people can perform their jobs in an ethical manner. We present our company honestly to employees and, in turn, expect them to be honest with us.

    We expect honesty from our people in all their duties, including their handling of money, merchandise, and property with which they are entrusted. We insist on integrity in the preparation and approval of all reports.

    We also expect our people to be honest in their assessment of themselves, such as the time and commitment they give to their job performance, the fairness they seek in their dealings with others, or the objectivity they use in evaluating their own contributions.

    The great majority of our people are of high moral character. However, when we do discover a dishonest person in our organization, we deal with that individual quickly and firmly. For our company to be known for its integrity, each one of us must meet high standards.

We Promote From Within
    Generally, we fill management positions from within our organization. In doing so we take care to include for consideration and not overlook qualified people whose present jobs may make them less noticeable than other employees. We fill a vacancy from the outside when we cannot locate one of our own people who has the professional or technical skills required for a particular assignment.

    Advancement is based on individual merit and performance. All who perform their tasks capably and have the capacity to assume greater responsibility are eligible. Observing equal opportunity guidelines, we select those who seem best fitted to the position.

    All managers and supervisors are responsible for encouraging and developing capable people, not only for their own groups but also for openings elsewhere within our organization. We actively search for such capable people and give them opportunities to succeed.

We Maintain a Spirit of Teamwork
    Throughout our organization, we capitalize on the advantages of working together in an informal manner. Although defined responsibilities are assigned to specific individuals in our company, we act as a cooperative team. Combined efforts, which help any part of our organization, serve to strengthen our entire organization.

We Compensate Our People Fairly
    Our compensation programs keep pace with today's changing business needs and compare favorably with those programs in other companies. Our employees’ compensation includes more than salary alone. When considering pay ranges and negotiating wage agreements, we weigh the value of the total compensation package. We also consider plans that give participants a stake in the financial success of the company and offer ways to enhance savings.

We Promote the Good Health of Our People
    We provide a benefits package and other programs that help promote good health and well-being among employees and their families. Attention to employee health increases the safety of our operations and reduces the costs of injuries and illnesses.

We Transfer Management People to Meet Our Company's Needs as Well as to Broaden Their Experience
    One of our long-standing strengths is the willingness of our people to take job assignments where needed. Moves intended to strengthen our organization may involve promotions, lateral assignments, transfers or relocations. Assignment changes should be considered with the view of enhancing career opportunities.

    Because we realize that transfers have profound effects on individuals and their families as well as the company, we carefully consider all transfers and never undertake them lightly.

We Look for People Who Have Potential for Development
    We know that most of our future management people will come from within our organization. For that reason, we look for applicants who can progress beyond the immediate job. We also need people who can qualify and become skilled at their work without necessarily aspiring to more responsible jobs.

We Help People to Develop Themselves
    One of the most important responsibilities of managers and supervisors is the development of people. We are responsible for seeing that all people in our immediate organization are fully prepared to perform their jobs well.

    Through our support, coaching, counseling and example, we expect people to develop the knowledge and skills that are necessary for success in their current jobs and which can help them assume positions of greater responsibility. We expect them to take advantage of the training available to them from the company and from outside sources. In turn, we provide people with assignments and opportunities that allow them to demonstrate their skills and develop their capabilities.

    We seek to give people assignments for which they are well-suited.

We Expect Our Managers and Supervisors to Train Their People
    We conduct training schools, workshops, and other programs in order to meet the needs of our people. However, it is the responsibility of our management team to ensure that their people receive all the necessary training and that it is effective. We review training regularly to see that it is relevant to our current needs.

We Hold Frequent Evaluations With Our Employees About Their Performance
    Reviews of each person's performance enable us to arrive at a mutual understanding about progress toward meeting goals and objectives.

    We hold formal evaluations periodically. However, there is no substitute for daily and weekly feedback on each person's performance.

    We follow up on the results of all evaluations to ensure the continued development of our people.

We Have Meaningful Discussions With Our People
    Cooperation and teamwork among all our people are necessary for the continued success of our business. To foster this spirit, we seek to develop meaningful businesslike relationships and better communications by having regular and frequent planned individual and group discussions.

We Recognize Accomplishments
    Our people deserve recognition for accomplishments in their regular jobs and for contributions made to other departments and operations. They also deserve recognition for the extra effort they make to satisfy customers and for their participation in efforts that benefit their communities.

    All managers and supervisors are responsible for recognizing the accomplishments of people in their own groups. Our established programs are intended to ensure that deserving employees are recognized appropriately for their accomplishments. These programs, however, do not replace the important role of the manager or supervisor in employee recognition.

We Promote an Open-door Approach to Managing People
    Every person should feel free to discuss matters with management people in our company. Accessibility, however, does not relieve anyone of the obligation to respect delegated lines of authority. Employees are encouraged to discuss their ideas or try to resolve a disputed matter with their immediate supervisor before seeking the counsel of others. One of our company's strengths is the development of professional relationships among everyone, regardless of authority or responsibility level.

We Give Each Employee Complaint Prompt, Sincere Attention
    If overlooked or neglected, even minor misunderstandings can escalate into major dissatisfactions.

    We try to anticipate and eliminate causes of complaints. When a question exists, we give the employee the benefit of the doubt. The immediate supervisor has the initial responsibility for resolving a complaint. When necessary, we involve the next level of management and, if appropriate, the human resources manager.

    We keep the employee informed about the status of his or her complaint. In the process of making a decision, we do our best to take action that is fair to both the employee and the company.

We Respect Each Employee's Point of View
    We listen with an open mind to suggestions and are attentive to problems.

    By talking with and listening to employees, we can often help them in doing their jobs and, at the same time, learn things that benefit the company.

    We train our managers in the skills necessary for talking with and listening to their employees and in translating what they learn into action.

We Encourage Participation and Suggestions
    Managers and supervisors should invite help and encourage suggestions for improvement. In working together this way, we create an environment of teamwork that benefits our company and our employees.

    We consider carefully any suggestion that might be of value. If we adopt a suggestion, we give full credit; if we reject it, we explain the reasons. We also encourage feedback on plans that have been implemented, knowing that the people involved can contribute to further improvements.

We Keep Employees Informed About Company Activities and Plans That May Affect Them or Their Work
    Keeping our people informed helps them to understand the company's objectives and to perform their jobs more efficiently.

    To accomplish this, we hold prework and other periodic meetings. We supplement our face-to-face communications through a variety of media. Besides disseminating information to our people and their families, these communications give public recognition to employee achievements and encourage teamwork and cooperation.

We Address Each Other on a First-name Basis
    Using first names helps to generate a friendly and informal atmosphere. We use corporate titles only when necessary. Within our company, use of a title is usually not necessary to define a person's job and responsibilities. Knowledge, performance, and capabilities should be adequate evidence of a person's position and leadership.

    If it becomes necessary to use a title, we should select one that accurately describes our job and reflects our level of responsibility in commonly understood business terms.

We Are Considerate and Professional With All Applicants
    We want applicants to think well of us, whether or not we hire them. We are careful not to misrepresent or make any unwarranted promises.

    We welcome referrals from employees, customers and others who know us well, and we consider them along with everyone else. But the ultimate decision to hire is made impartially based on the applicant's qualifications.

    We look for people whose personal objectives are compatible with our company's objectives and whose attitudes toward performing a job are consistent with our company's ideals.

    We select new employees on the basis of qualifications that will help them work capably and successfully within our organization. We are an equal opportunity employer and comply with all laws governing fair employment practices.

We Limit the Employment of Relatives
    In order to help maintain equal opportunity of employment for the general public and equal opportunity of promotion for our employees, we limit the hiring of relatives. Relatives of current employees up to and including the level of center manager are eligible only for part-time employment in operations. Relatives of current employees at the level of division manager or above are ineligible for employment. Also, we do not hire relatives of former district managers or managers with equivalent or higher levels of responsibility.

    This policy helps us avoid misunderstandings, acts of favoritism, or the perception of favoritism that could arise were an employee in a position to influence the hiring, work, or advancement of a relative.

    For similar reasons, we discourage continuation of the full-time or part-time employment of any employee who marries another employee while either person holds a management position.

We Do Not Rehire Former Employees, Except Under Special Circumstances
    We should not rehire former employees, especially those who left because they had become discontented or with whom we had become dissatisfied. Employees who left to further their education or for other valid reasons should be given the same consideration as new applicants. The decision to rehire a former employee should only be made with appropriate approvals.

We Try to Retain the Good Will of Former Employees
    We are considerate of employees who are leaving us for whatever reason. We know that the good will and respect of former employees can be beneficial in future relationships.

    At the time of an employee's separation from the company, we seek an opportunity to conduct a friendly discussion regarding both the individual’s and the company's views. Such discussions may point out ways in which we could improve our working environment or the company in general.

We Develop and Maintain Professional Relations With Labor Union Representatives
    Many of our employees are represented by labor unions. We know that our people can be effective and loyal employees and, at the same time, be good union members. We consider the point of view of unions along with the interests of our customers, our people, and our company as a whole.

    We negotiate fairly with labor unions for reasonable wage rates and working conditions. These negotiations should give due consideration to our unique operations and enable us to maintain the operating flexibility and efficiency needed to remain competitive.

    We respect and fulfill the terms of our labor agreements. We also expect union leaders and members to cooperate in fulfilling the terms of such agreements.

We Stress Safety Throughout Our Company
    The safety of our people and of the general public is of utmost importance to us. We train our people to avoid injury to themselves and others in all phases of their work. We do not tolerate unsafe work practices.

    We encourage the involvement of all our people in safety awareness activities and give recognition to employees for safety accomplishments. We are all committed to fostering the most effective safe practices in all our work.

    By meeting our own high safety standards, we will be contributing to the well-being of our people, our company, and the communities we serve.

We Plan Our Buildings and Facilities for Safe and Efficient Operations
    We develop detailed plans for the design of our buildings and the installation of equipment in our facilities. We plan our buildings and facilities to be in compliance with governmental and regulatory requirements. Our plans take into consideration reasonable, anticipated requirements for growth. We arrange for specialized equipment and facilities as well as efficient and economical methods for handling and delivery. We provide safe, clean, and pleasant places to work.

    We plan and select buildings that are functional and attractive and create a favorable impression of our organization.

We Keep Our Buildings and Equipment Clean and Neat
    We believe this has an important effect on attitude, safety, and efficiency. Facilities and vehicles that are clean and neat indicate to employees and customers alike that we are proud of our company and that we give the same meticulous attention to our business that we give to our work environment.

    We provide sufficient maintenance so every operating facility, office building, and vehicle will be maintained at a high standard of appearance and cleanliness every day. The exteriors of our buildings, parking lots, lawns, and shrubbery are kept neat and well maintained.

We Assign the Same Equipment to Each Employee Every Day Whenever Possible
    We retain flexibility in the matching of equipment to the requirements of the job. Wherever practical, the same equipment should be assigned to each employee every day.

    This results in employees feeling more responsible for the care of equipment and for reporting any special attention equipment may require. For example, drivers come to know their UPS vehicles as they do their personal cars and take the same pride in them.

We Expect Our People to Be Neat in Appearance
    A neat appearance greatly impacts the way our customers view us and how our employees interact on the job. Our drivers and flight crews and certain other employees wear standard uniforms as a distinct reflection of our company and our service.

    Just as we require our people who come in contact with the public to maintain a neat appearance, we expect our office people to be well groomed. We ask them to select clothes and accessories that are appropriate to our business environment.

    Managers and supervisors take note of the appearance of their people daily and set the example through their own proper grooming and attire.

We Reimburse Our People for Appropriate Expenditures Incurred on Behalf of the Company
    No one should gain or lose because of money spent for company purposes. We require our people to submit an itemized accounting of these expenditures.

    Sound judgment is necessary in the management of such expenses. Questions concerning these expenses should be resolved in advance with one's manager.

    Approval of the expenses of those who report to us requires equally careful consideration, as well as attention to guiding them in future expenditures. We periodically review and adjust our reimbursement practices.

We Prohibit the Use or Possession of Alcoholic Beverages or Controlled Substances While Working
    Employees are not permitted to start work or remain at work if they possess or are using any of the following:

  • an alcoholic beverage, regardless of its alcoholic content

  • any controlled substance or illegal drug or any derivative thereof

  • any other substance that could impair their ability to perform a job safely and competently

    This rule governs employees from the time they report to work until they leave our premises at the end of the workday.

    The rule reflects current laws and government regulations that strictly prohibit the use or possession of any illicit substances by those who operate our air and ground vehicles, as well as those in other specified jobs. These regulations also contain prohibitions against the use of alcoholic beverages by employees before they start work.

We Prohibit Gambling, Holding Raffles and Similar Activities on Company Time or Property
    At best, these are unbusiness-like activities and inappropriate on the job. They also place our people under improper pressure to spend or contribute money.

We Prohibit Use of Company Time, Facilities or Materials for Personal Benefit
    The use of company time, labor, supplies, equipment, tools, buildings or other assets for personal benefit is prohibited. Employees are required to pay for personal use of our delivery services. We also do not repair or wash private cars for employees or other individuals. Similarly, we do not sell gasoline, parts or other supplies from our inventories.

    An exception to this policy may be made only in the case of an unavoidable emergency, when there is no reasonable alternative.

We Separate Business and Social Functions
    Combining social and business functions can create conflicts, misunderstandings and jealousies that may adversely affect both the company and our people.

    Families and friends normally do not attend our business meetings or travel to the meeting sites. They are, however, welcome at company open houses and at other social functions held primarily for their benefit.

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