The results of the first workforce survey carried out by Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority have been published today and responding to them will be a key requirement for the next Chief Constable.
Almost 12,000 officers and staff – 50.4% of the workforce – took part in the survey, which was the first joint organisation-wide survey for Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. The survey, which was carried out by an independent provider, sought views on a range of subjects including management, training and development, wellbeing, equality and communication.
Key highlights from the survey report, which is being shared with the 23,000 strong police workforce from today as part of a month-long programme of engagement, include:
- Strong team working with 73% feeling their team worked well to improve services;
- 78% of respondents expressed trust and respect for their line managers and strong relationships with their colleagues.
- Nearly half of respondents feeling overloaded with information, with 78% experiencing a reliance on e-mail;
- A gap between the majority of staff able to raise physical and mental health and wellbeing issues with line managers, and just 8% who thought the organisation was interested in wellbeing; and
- 33% of the workforce indicated an intention to leave the organisation over the next three years.
Andrew Flanagan, Chair of the SPA, said:
“The results speak for themselves and we will not seek to rationalise them away. There are a number of very positive findings within the survey that provide reassurance and which we must build upon. There are also issues of concern and areas for improvement.
“The clear priority areas are the commitment of officers and staff to stay with the organisation, health and wellbeing, and communications. It is on those priority areas that the SPA expects a strong management response, and on which SPA will use its influence and oversight.
“One immediate step SPA will take is within the assessment and appointment process of the new Chief Constable. All those shortlisted can expect to be challenged by me on how they would personally address the central issues within today’s report.
“A detailed response plan will now be drawn together by Police Scotland, informed by further engagement with the workforce. That will be subject to scrutiny by the Authority in December, and will also be the subject of a further ‘temperature test’ survey of the workforce in a year’s time.
“A comparable workforce survey will then be repeated in the summer of 2017, with a clear expectation of material improvements where improvement is required.
“There is much to be encouraged by what this survey reflects, and together we will act upon it to improve policing as a place to work and to improve the service to the public.”
Deputy Chief Constable Neil Richardson welcomed the survey report:
“It is encouraging so many officers and staff took the time to complete the survey and share their views on how we develop the organisation for the future. The strong response compares very favourably against other similar organisations surveys.
“The results provide us with a solid foundation for continuing to develop the organisation.
“We have a motivated workforce who has a real sense of connection with the value of their work. They also expressed a strong desire to help shape the organisation going forward. We need to listen to that and reflect the views of all police officers and staff.
“Policing in Scotland has been through major change and has delivered many benefits to the communities we serve but our officers and staff are clearly telling us there is more we must do in terms of engaging them in the journey ahead. There are also issues which require action in order to continue to look after the people who serve those communities and to improve the service we provide.
“Change will of course have an impact on staff. This survey makes clear that changes to police officer pensions, issues around health and wellbeing, information and communication also have an impact to staff.
“Our challenge now is to demonstrate action in relation to these findings and while there is much work already underway in relation to many of the issues raised, we need to fully understand some of the detail behind the results to ensure we’re focusing our actions in the right way.”
Notes to News Editors
The full survey can be accessed here:
Contacts:Police Scotland Corporate Communications: 01786 456 379 Scottish Police Authority Communications: 0141 534 8962