How police forces can benefit from an idea management platform

Having faced various funding cuts, a reduction in workforce numbers and increasingly turbulent times, the police industry is very much under the spotlight. With cuts meant to improve efficiencies, recent reports by HMIC suggest that the opposite is true. Less funding and lower staff numbers have meant that internal processes have suffered and important steps must be taken to reinvigorate the police workforce.

Jonny Fisher
by Jonny Fisher
Police next to Buckingham palace

“The latest figures show that between September 2010 and September 2016 police workforce numbers in England and Wales fell by 18,991, or 13%, according to the Home Office. Overall police budgets, excluding counter-terrorism grants, fell by 20% between 2010 and 2015. Since 2015, the overall policing budget has been protected in real terms, but not every force will benefit.” – BBC News (May 2017)

Addressing performance management

A key finding of the State of Policing 2017 report was that police leaders must improve on performance management, with the aim of empowering individuals in the workforce. Currently there is a tendency to rely on the professionalism and commitment of staff without providing sufficient support and efforts to leverage the full potential of the workforce.

“Forces need to do much more to manage the performance of individuals. As well as contributing to perceptions of unfairness among the workforce, weak performance management is likely to have an adverse effect on the efficiency, effectiveness, integrity and leadership of forces.” – State of Policing 2017, Part One

Effective leadership starts with a clear set of objectives and succeeds when the entire workforce is engaged in the process of reaching these goals. That means ensuring that the appropriate systems are in place to consolidate the input from staff and officers.

Improving efficiency

Police officers face exceptional physical and mental stresses, compounded by heavy workloads and increasingly complex crimes. As a result, there is an industry-wide recognition that policing needs to become more efficient. Our police forces across the country have a fantastic cultural strength, in which lies the potential to implement improvements to policing processes.

“We all know that one of the greatest cultural strengths of the police – as well as courage, dedication, professionalism, and resilience – is the can-do, will-do attitude; the never-say-no attitude; the get-it-done-when-others-won’t attitude; the not-turn-away attitude.” – Sir Thomas Winsor, Speech to the Police Federation Annual Conference 2017

With a workforce that harnesses such impressive skills and attitudes, it is essential that this potential is utilised in a way that improves the overall efficiency of police forces. Put simply, there needs to be a way of capturing the input and ideas from all staff across the policing industry.

This is where an idea management platform, such as Idea Drop, can help. Already adopted by Kent Police and the Metropolitan Police with high positive impact, the implementation of Idea Drop has transformed the internal communications of the forces. It has encouraged identification of issues by members of the workforce and facilitated subsequent undertaking of effective and timely action.

Benefits of Idea Drop

“There are good examples of forces using innovative technology or making innovative use of existing technology, but these are too few and far between.” – State of Policing 2017, Part One

Here at Idea Drop, we are on a mission to improve the innovation capacity of police forces across the country. Below are a list of key features of our innovation management platform and the associated benefits for the policing industry.

  • Intuitive, social interface – this results in low training costs and fast onboarding times.
  • A central digital repository of ideas – this reduces the burden and time spent by staff on manually triaging ideas, reducing operational costs and increasing staff operational availability.
  • Mobile iOS and Android applications – aligns with the UK police force initiatives of mobile-first and agile working, facilitating use by officers with little or no desktop access.
  • Unique algorithm that tracks and scores in real-time – using 36 social signals to track ideas, Idea Drop allows for more effective allocation of policing budgets and enables ideas to be gathered from across the force, regardless of rank or position.
  • Drop ideas and collaborate in real-time – improves employee retention rates and workforce satisfaction which could improve the force’s legitimacy rating for HMIC inspections.
  • Setting challenges – opens up operational challenges such as demand management and reduction, potential cost savings and process improvements.
  • Open to all staff at all levels – from front-line to chief officers, in addition to the wider value chain, Idea Drop enables improved collaboration throughout the entire individual force, alternative forces, blue light services and public sector organisations.
  • Share updates via bulletins – aligns staff with key force initiatives, such as Chief Officer goals, and improves staff retention, recognition and participation.
  • Innovation scoring for users – an effective tool to gauge the mood of the workforce, highlight and reward employees.
  • Rewards – improves engagement with challenges, so that wider insight is received from across the force, as well as ensuring continued used as a result of clear recognition of good ideas.
  • Idea cloaking – breaks down barriers and reduces friction associated with sharing ideas from lower rank officers, plus it encourages the most candid and accurate feedback possible.
  • Search – serves as a one-stop catalogue and source of knowledge transfer, speeding up onboarding of new offers and ensuring best practice.
  • Reports & analytics – deliver data back to the community to improve transparency, public trust and drive a better citizen experience.
  • Statuses – track the movement of ideas through different stages internally within the force and give transparency to officers who have shared ideas as to where they are in the process.

To learn more about Idea Drop and how it could benefit your organisation, get in touch with a member of the team today.

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