Police officers still enjoy a "job for life" coupled with generous pension entitlements and an early retirement age. There is no real incentive for officers to leave the organisation once they are confirmed in post. This contrasts with other organisations that recognise the nature of a fluid workforce. Training in such organisations is a way to attract high quality staff who wish to be developed as they work. AXA have a formalised assessment system with targets clearly identified in monthly meetings with a line manager.
This allows for identification of areas for improvement, and unambiguous requirements to achieve specific goals. Should these requirements not be met, then individuals are encouraged to look elsewhere for employment. This is necessary for a profitable organisation to attract and develop the best staff to ensure value for their shareholders. One issue of concern is that remuneration is discussed within the appraisal system, and this has been demonstrated to reduce the honesty of staff when discussing developmental needs. [SG14] Needs Analysis Lincs Police
AXA Sun Life Individual Responsibility Individual requests training, as performance is not formally assessed, no incentive for an individual to request remedial training, only that desired by them Individual requests training, performance is robustly assessed and is linked to job security. High incentive for individual to request appropriate training. Management Assessment Poor availability of line managers, no formal assessment process, no checks to ensure training is delivered, Effectiveness of training is not linked to improved performance
Structured monthly development meetings with manager. Training is linked to poor performance, ultimately person can be asked to leave. Role Requirement Multitude of roles and opportunity for specialisation. Formalised training on entering a new department. Ongoing training in post as identified by environmental scanning. This ongoing training is required due to the changing nature of legislation and best practice within the public sector. Training geared towards effectiveness as an Accounts Manager only. Promotion and specialisation is unusual
Individual Responsibility -This suggests both organisations have a reactive approach to training, targeted at addressing areas of poor performance, rather than being proactive which would improve overall performance in the organisations. [SG15] Management Assessment -This suggests that management within Lincs Police should be more proactive in terms of skills assessment and developmental needs. Benefits would include greater productivity of staff, and higher morale as managerial involvement and recognition in ongoing development is increased.
AXA have a formalised management assessment process. Role Requirement – any change in role within the police results in training, some through distance learning, some coursework and some supervised training and assessment. However, individual development training defaults to individual officers to arrange. E. g. police officers seeking promotion have to study for, and pass, a national examination. Lincs police currently provides only limited assistance to officers seeking promotion, resulting in a low pass rate amongst candidates.
This means the available pool of qualified candidates for promotion has diminished to such an extent that service delivery is now adversely affected as a result of limited supervision. AXA tend to default to course based learning, with no checks in place as to the effectiveness of the input. The company is aligned to generating high sales, and there does not seem to be the opportunity to transfer between departments in the same way as there is in the police force. [SG16] Conclusions Lincolnshire Police should introduce a formalised assessment and development process in a similar way to AXA.
Individuals would be assessed in accordance with force priorities, and training needs identified at an earlier stage. Feedback mechanisms will also need to be introduced to ensure that training has been assimilated and is therefore effective. The force should also introduce a formalised system to help officers seeking promotion. Study courses for the examination would ensure a greater pool of qualified candidates, and a mentoring scheme will allow individuals to clarify and develop into the requirements of their new role. Performance of individual police officers is hard to assess.
Although such figures as numbers of tickets, searches, arrests and files submitted can be established, one complicated fraud case may result in one arrest, one file, yet tie an officer up all month. The link between effort and performance on an individual basis is therefore tenuous at best. [SG18] While the force is geared up to measure its performance by an area, individual performance data is hard to establish. An officer's productivity has to be established by manual scanning of written returns, whereas that of a sector is easily available from computer systems administered by the Force Information Bureau.
Sector performance is much more important to the police. Performance information, such as crime rates broken down into categories, accident rates and disorder incidents, is cascaded weekly to the sector inspectors, who are expected to implement plans to deal with any trends which become apparent. Daily tasking procedures result in a performance management approach, which does allow individual officers to understand their contribution towards organisational goals.
The three critical components of any control loop – objective setting, monitoring and review, and action in the light of feedback – are present to ensure effective performance management. (Storey and Sisson, 1993) The concentration on sector goals recognises that the efforts of the team have a greater bearing on crime and reassurance levels than the efforts of an individual. Remuneration and recognition also reflect this, in that the police have a national pay scale decided by length of service.
There is an ability to pay Special Priority Payments to those in especially demanding roles, but it is interesting to note that these payments are decided by individual chief constables, and all 43 have decided different roles require the payment. An officer at the maximum of their pay scale can access a Competency Related Threshold Payment, which currently is only linked to attendance. In certain forces, 99% of officers attain that threshold. While individual assessment is not currently carried out, this is likely to change once the National Competency Based Assessment System is live.
CBAS will ensure officers are appraised in relation to a "rating" approach, but will also incorporate "critical incidents" methodology. Supervisors will be expected to monitor and assess individuals on their performance continuously. A formal annual meeting will then be held with the officer's line manager, to agree development objectives based on organisational priorities, and devise action plans to ensure these goals are met. The benefit of this approach will be to reinforce the role of the individual in the organisation, link effort to performance, identify developmental needs and facilitate career progression in a structured way.
Problems are that the lack of personal performance data will hinder the monitoring of objectives, and the force will have to consider how to streamline the current information gathering process to facilitate such monitoring ability in a cost effective way. Unless this problem is overcome, the CBAS system is likely to suffer from a lack of credibility amongst staff. [SG19] AXA Sun Life As a profit making company, AXA has to maximise value for its policyholders and shareholders. AXA have the ability to assess Accounts Mangers in relation to their productivity.
In a profit making organisation, the income generated will always be the prime performance measurement indices. It is not unreasonable to assume that good sales are an indicator of good performance within the role. Staff are continuously assessed in relation to their sales figures, and also on twice yearly tests. Poor performance in either results in an action plan being generated on their Personal Development Plan. This can result in additional training being provided. Monthly appraisal meetings take place with the line manager, where concerns are raised, performance is assessed, and targets assigned for the next month.
It is clear that AXA provides employees with distinct targets to achieve, allowing for self monitoring of progress. The most important and influential way of assessing an Account Manager is by their business performance figures. These are updated daily and are available to all senior management within the organisation. The Good and Poor performers stand out like a sore thumb. The success and failure of Account Managers at the end of the day is purely performance figures related.