VIC Police Performance Gets a Boost

VIC Police Performance Gets a Boost

Victoria Police says its performance management software is helping it drive adoption of the Australian Business Excellence Framework as it strives to build a high performing organization.

The agency says a recent Team Leadership survey conducted using the system reveals high levels of satisfaction across all dimensions and demonstrates the ongoing positive transformation of the organization's culture.

Victoria Police has been using Cognology Enterprise since 2001 and sees the system as an important tool in its performance management program and its efforts to drive individual and organizational performance; identify areas for improvement and build human capability. It's part of a vision by Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon to build an organization of professional officers whose authority is ethically-based and built on professional expertise, rather than time-honoured custom and practice, unchallenged assumptions and subjective closed thinking.

The performance management system is now moving beyond the traditional performance appraisal system to an organisation-wide performance enhancement program, with the focus on leadership development of employees at all levels of the organization.

Commissioner Nixon announced in late 2002 the agency would increase opportunities for professional development, including training, secondments and research and would adopt the Australian Business Excellence Framework to support continuous improvement, innovation and learning.

"By 2008 it is our aim that our police officers and police managers will be confident in their capability as highly trained professionals to deliver what is required of them. Their confidence will be a product of good training and on-the-job experience," she said.

"We must be committed to investing in education, training, research and analytical skills, career development, reward and recognition systems, and transformative leadership, for both those who directly deliver the service, and those who support them."

The Australian Business Excellence Framework - one of first of four global excellence frameworks to be developed, in 1987 - describes the principles and practices of high performing organizations and contains collective intellectual capital and business wisdom gathered over 15 years. Leading organizations use the Framework to enhance management and leadership practices; assess the performance of their leadership and management systems; build those results into strategic planning processes and benchmark where their organization stands in terms of the marketplace and competitors.

The Framework was developed with the objective of describing the principles and practices that create high performing organizations. The criteria could then be used by organizations to assess their performance and drive continuous and sustainable improvement in their leadership and management systems.

Now the agency claims the positive results of a recently-conducted Team Leadership survey is evidence of the impact of the new performance management program on the organization.

Implementation of the new performance management program has coincided with a change in emphasis towards a Leadership Framework to develop leadership at all levels in the organization.

Victoria Police uses Cognology Enterprise to run four important processes in their new performance management program, which were previously difficult to implement and roll out without the use of technology. Managers, employees and assessors access the system directly through their intranet to provide feedback and comments and conduct assessments and reviews.

Almost 4500 employees (35.6 percent) responded to the Team Leadership Survey, which assessed current working arrangements, workplace environments and leadership within the organization. This survey consisted of 44 questions addressing job satisfaction, individual morale, individual distress, workplace morale, supportive leadership, participative decision making, role clarity and feedback.

The agency says overall, the results from the Team Leadership Survey told Victoria Police that they were doing a good job but it also told them that they have further room for improvement in line with their organizational values. The Team Leadership Project will be conducting this survey again in 12 to 18 months to assess the extent to which the working environment and leadership approaches have changed since the original survey was conducted.

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