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?