At least in my experience, the workers at the lowest end of the totem pole are the ones required to do the most work. Seemingly the chain of command operates in a fashion that the higher up you are, the less your workload, it's just that you are responsible for those under you. It would be a good scheme if the ones at the top were actually in danger of losing their job based on performance or could be demoted, but the truth is that once you get high up the chain of command you can do as you wish and no one can do anything.
The result is bitter, spiteful, lazy people in control of operations and dictating down. Usually they will require work to be done by a certain time, but not know how to do it themselves. There are no checks and balances in the chain of command, and the people at the bottom are the most likely to be fired, even though they are the least responsible for their work. And of course if they do outstanding work, the supervisor and beyond can take all the credit because it's their signatures on everything.
For one, it should not be harder to fire those in positions of power, otherwise they can take all the nasty emails they can handle and all they really have to do is sign stuff. Secondly, have the higher parts of the chain be able to continue the work, not stop it and send it back down to the low man. Third and least likely to happen, hire and promote those with common sense, not the people who follow the status quo and are creatures of habit.
My final statement is that it may be time to have set terms of service. For the most part people do move up and move on, but a lot of people get in a job and stay there for a long, long time. The President doesn't keep his job forever, people who sign up for Census work aren't permanent, and up until recently we had temporary positions at my place of work. Set terms of service are nothing new, and though this may fall on deaf ears, it might be time to bring in 21st Century minds, not keep people who are stuck in the 90's as the ones running the show.