According to the 2015 Workplace Survey, seven in ten police officers reported feeling “disengaged” or “ambivalent” towards their job.
Eastern District Police – who cover areas including Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne – and Northland Police recorded the highest percentage of disengaged staff.
Less than half of the staff in these areas had “favourable perceptions” of communication within the organisation, and fewer than one in four agreed that the organisation was interested in employees’ views.
Consequently, many respondents said that they were unwilling to use discretionary effort, with some saying that their organisation did little to reach their full potential – less than half of those surveyed would recommend the police force as a great place to work.
Eastern District commander superintendent Sandra Venables told Hawke’s Bay Today
that the survey results had been unexpected.
“Over the past year there have been several changes in the district that have been unsettling for some staff,” she said. “We are making every endeavour to improve engagement rates in the future.”
Venables added that Eastern District Police had already begun to work on improving internal communications, staff recognition and general staff engagement.
“We have developed several initiatives around making sure staff are better acknowledged for the work they are doing, which includes wide distribution of good work stories amongst peers and nominating staff for awards or recognition where appropriate,” she told HBT
. “We are also constantly encouraging staff to become involved more in decision making, and to play a more active part in the way we do our business.”
Police Association president Greg O’Connor told the New Zealand Herald
that the survey’s findings were exemplary of how the budget was affecting staff.
“With resourcing, people are working much harder and those constrictions are starting to show,” he said. “My experience with police officers is they think they are doing a job for the public and they tend to be engaged if they think they are doing a good job, so it just goes to show the effect it has when you get to work and aren't able to do the job you want to do.”
A survey has revealed that less than a quarter of the national police force’s staff are engaged at work.