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Police performance targets undermine morale, finds report – People Management Magazine Online

Police performance targets undermine morale, finds report – People Management Magazine Online

We are back again in the argument of whether performance targets really work. The report talks about the consequences of the target culture, the undermining of moral, the loss of time through sickness and those wanting to move out of the MET.

On the other hand the MET is responding that crime is down by 10% and they make no excuse for having a culture of performance.

Personally, I have no objection to having performance measures and targets but I do get concerned about how they are used. Our research shows that performance targets can be motivating and it sets a direction and provides purpose. But they can be used inappropriately.
If it can be shown that targets are leading to dysfunctional behaviour, turnover of staff and poor moral I would want to be looking at how the targets are being used regardless of the improvement in performance. What we really need to know here is

1. Are targets really improving performance, or is crime simply falling anyway?
2. Will targets continue to reduce crime in the future, or will poor morale and staff shortages prevent this?
3. Is the target culture really delivering low morale, or is there something else at stake?
4. When we have exhausted performance improvement through accountability where do we go next?

Mike Bourne


One thought on “Police performance targets undermine morale, finds report – People Management Magazine Online

  1. Mike, A very timely question. In our experience, it is not targets that improve performance, but understanding what the root-causes are that get in the way of good performance and then taking decisions and actions to address these causes, and finally monitoring performance to establish if that action did in fact improve things! Threats and “JFDIs” around not achieving targets just drive the sorts of bad dysfunctional behaviour we have seen in some spectacular hospital failures when the lid eventually comes off! People just cover up problems, misrepresent facts and then claim success if things improve or blame someone else if they deteriorate!

    Posted by davidanker2014 | April 7, 2014, 4:47 pm

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