Case study report: exploring employee engagement in the police force. Anonymised report

Pass, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-5062-9793, Watling, D. ORCID: 0000-0002-1212-2828, Kougiannou, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-6422-3831, Ridgway, M. ORCID: 0000-0003-4426-6516 and Abe, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-3417-6886, 2019. Case study report: exploring employee engagement in the police force. Anonymised report. London: Engage for Success.

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Employee engagement is one of the most significant concepts in the management field (Crawford et al 2014; Fletcher et al 2018). Its importance was emphasised in the MacLeod Review (2009) and lead to the voluntary movement, Engage for Success. Tasked by the UK Government to start conversations on issues of employee engagement, the movement focuses on developing our knowledge of engagement through topic specific groups, and our understanding of engagement through regional and national events.

In 2016, Engage for Success launched the Line Manager Thought and Action Group (TAG) with the aim of conducting case study research around the role of line managers in developing and sustaining employee engagement initiatives.

The following report focuses on research conducted at PFX using semi-structured interviews and focus groups with participants from senior management to front line officers. Participation in the research was voluntary and confidentiality was ensured. As a result, quotes used in this report have been anonymised.

Findings are structured around the four enablers to employee engagement highlighted in the MacLeod Review, specifically strategic narrative, engaging manager, employee voice, and organisational integrity.

A persistent theme across interviews and focus groups was the need for a collaborative and consistent strategic narrative on employee engagement. As a concept, it is currently considered as a transactional process, or ‘add on’, and is not integrated as a key focus across the organisation. Instead, there is an apparent ‘them and us’ culture, with a strong divide between front line officers and senior management. In addition, there is a lack of training and support on issues of engagement and leadership. Coupled with issues of miscommunication and a lack of employee voice, a negative impact on organisational integrity and trust is apparent.

Our research all case study organisations has highlighted that engagement is everyone’s responsibility. Improving levels of engagement requires a series of roles fulfilled by all stakeholders in the organisation: from senior management to front-line staff. Employee engagement is a two-way process and is not something that HR, or line managers, can change in isolation. It needs a strong, consistent and collaborative strategic narrative, engaging managers that have the necessary skills and training, and an employee voice that is heard and enacted upon.

Although there are several areas that are contributing to a negative staff experience, there is a strong sense of purpose throughout the organisation at all levels that is commendable.

Item Type: Research report for external body
Creators: Pass, S., Watling, D., Kougiannou, N., Ridgway, M. and Abe, C.
Publisher: Engage for Success
Place of Publication: London
Date: 21 January 2019
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Dec 2019 12:24
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2019 12:24
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