Performance management at RVIPF is the method used to measure and improve the effectiveness of police officers in the force. According to Luecke, Hall & Harvard Business School (2006) this is the core skill that is used by the top officers throughout the management of the force. At RVIPF performance management is composed of various activities which include goal setting, tracking changes within the force, coaching the officers, motivating them, appraising and reviewing the force and police force development.
At the force performance management usually starts with setting the strategic goals and then the police officer’s performance is tracked against the officer’s goals and then eventually appraised after a given period of time. Luecke, Hall & Harvard Business School (2006) further says that the results are then fed into the RVIPF reward system of pay and bonuses and then used in decisions regarding promotion and retention. RVIPF uses the results of the officer’s performance to generate a plan of skill and police officer’s career development which is aimed at expanding the individual’s capabilities and contribution to the police force (Luecke, Hall & Harvard Business School, 2006).
From the above analysis we note that performance management entails regular review meetings, target setting, regular feedback, performance appraisal, assessment of development needs, career development and performance related pay. In this context we note that at RVIPF the sergeants completely align with RVIPF objectives followed by inspectors and then the constables. Armstrong (2000) says that the essence of performance management is to have a shared process between the top officers and the police officers and the forces they manage. Basically at RVIPF, it is based on the principle of management by contract rather than command but it does not exclude the need to incorporate high performance expectations in the force. Armstrong (2000) continues to say that RVIPF’s performance management is based on the agreement of objectives of the force, knowledge in policing, skills and capability requirements of the police officers in maintain law and order in Virgin Islands. The top level officers at RVIPF usually embark on joint and continuing review of performance against the objectives of the force, requirements and plans and the agreement and implementation of the improvement and further development plans of the force (Armstrong, 2000, p. 4).
Performance management in the RVIPF force is however faced by many challenges such as intractable performance problems. Luecke, Hall & Harvard Business School (2006) says that the senior management runs in to several challenges that call for type of management to complement performance management. These challenges include police officers who are not executing their jobs well and are not motivated to improve, while other officers try to perform well but they cannot get their job right done. Luecke, Hall & Harvard Business School (2006) says that although such situation can be approached through problem diagnosis then followed by confrontation and feedback there is a need for adopting total quality management approach.
At RVIPF performance management has several disadvantages to the force that end up reducing individual efforts in policing. Firstly, performance management is an incentive for strategic behavior or “gaming the numbers” (Verburg, Wilhelmina & Dicke, 2005). It is perceived that the actors at RVIPF operational levels are likely to fiddle the figures. This implies that crimes delivered is seen as output on paper and may have nothing to do with reality of what the force is doing to combat crime for example. Verburg, Wilhelmina & Dicke (2005) also said that performance management is likely to cause fixation on quantitative performance. In this context this type of management may harm innovation meaning that the force may not take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. In relation to this Verburg, Wilhelmina & Dicke (2005) indicated that “RVIPF may overemphasize the achievement of pre-arranged performance which in turn may blind the policing force to upcoming opportunities” (p. 324).
From the above chart we note that senior management highly benefit from performance management. However, from the above analysis, we note that performance management is likely to harm professionalism in RVIPF. For example if a police officer is judged by the number of convicts he or she arrest within a certain period of time this means that he will try to catch as many as possible. Verburg, Wilhelmina & Dicke (2005) says that as a result of this he or she may end up catching too many convicts whose crime may not be properly accounted for. The third advantage of performance management to the force is that it increases responsibility. Verburg, Wilhelmina & Dicke (2005) says that “this type of performance may lead to a strong focus on everything including the quantified performance that the police force is supposed to deliver” (p. 324). A good indication of this involves the long term interests or cooperation with other actors if they create synergy for the police force in Virgin Islands. The problem that may arise in this situation is that each police division tries to reach its targets for turnover hence the system of performance management creates a strong rivalry between the force divisions. The rivalry may prevent the divisions from cooperating.
From the above chart we note that there are other many human resource processes that should be linked performance. It is important to note that the pressure of meeting performance management norms in relation with human resources at RVIPF may lead to gaming the numbers, targetitis or input optimization. Verburg, Wilhelmina & Dicke (2005) noted that every effort in the force (RVIPF) may be made to meet the output norm which in turn greatly affects police force professionalism, learning and career development, talent management and flexible working and system responsibility or requires strategic behavior because the costs may be very high if the quantitative performance is not achieved in the force. It can however been noted that talent management takes the highest rating for the inspectors and constables but is not being reflected in the category of the sergeants. Verburg, Wilhelmina & Dicke (2005) also indicated that the senior management of the force may pay attention to particular subjects ignoring other important aspects in the region of coverage. In the context of this analysis, we note that behavior management and job and work design have been ignored in RVIPF. With the above analysis related to performance management, RVIPF will have to complement it with total quality management an approach that will counter these setbacks.
In definition, Subburaj (2005) says that “total quality management is a management approach of an organization that is centered on quality, based on the participation of all its members and aiming at long term success through people satisfaction and benefits to the members of the organization and to the society at large” (p. 3-2) Total quality management for RVIPF will be a way of managing the police force with the objective of carrying out right duties right the first time and every time. This implies that the force will be effective and ensure quality delivery of services at Virgin Islands. Subburaj (2005) says that total quality management for the force will have to adopt the thumb rule called 85/15 Rule. For RVIPF this rule means that the root causes of 85% of the problems in the force will be due to faulty systems while 15% will be as a result of the behavior of the police officers (Subburaj, 2005). Adopting a total quality management approach will ensure that RVIPF has effective leadership for total quality management that involves all the police officers in the force in value adding activities.
In evaluating performance management the senior management should firmly ascertain that total quality management is the only way to manage the police force and an approach that will lead the organization to prosperity in the long run. From the above data we notice that individual performance is fundamental for RVIPF. On the other hand we note that poor performance is prevalent in police officers at the level of inspectors while development needs is significant to officers at the level of sergeants. Subburaj (2005) says that the senior management should have faith in these points in order to build quality values for RVIPF. Subburaj (2005) says that some of these points is that zero defect is possible to achieve, teamwork results in a win-win situation, proper communication is important for the success of the RVIPF and that continuous improvement is required in the processes of the force.
In relation to the forces Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication, the RVIPF total quality management was based on various aspects of the force which include improving public confidence and trust in the RVIPF, improving the forces operational policing performance in order to reduce crime, improve detections and as well bring offenders to justice. Another strategic priority of the RVIPF force is “to protect Virgin Islands borders and also strengthen counter terrorism capability” (p. 4). Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication also says that the fourth measure towards the forces total quality management is “to create dynamic workforces by attracting quality staff and at the same time improve the morale and motivation of existing staff” (p. 5). Also the force is dedicated to maximize efficiency and improve service delivery in Virgin Island and also to embed a culture of strategic planning and total quality management within the RVIPF police force (Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication).
In the above graph we note that the constables strongly disagree with the aspect of review of RVIPF strategic objectives. This means that for RVIPF to successfully complement performance management with total quality management the RVIPF will have to review its various strategic objectives. These objectives will act the tools that will support total quality management implementation. Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication says that to achieve performance management, RVIPF will have “to review its strategic objectives for all staff towards a common set of goals and at the same put in place clear leadership and direction” (p. 4). The force will also be required to demonstrate to the public and the key external partners and agencies that resources are being invested wisely (Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication)
The other key approach is to ensure that RVIPF has enough room to compete with policing bodies that may be in competition for the same resources. Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication further indicates that “total quality management will ensure that the force maintains a long term objectivity and stability, balancing out the dynamic challenges of operational policing which if in any case is left unchecked can create a short term/ reactive approach to management and enable the senior management of the force to track progress against objectives and recognize achievements” (p. 4).
Performance management system requires regular review and renewal coupled with the involvement of all the police officers in RVIPF for the purposes of continuous improvement. Subburaj (2005) says that unlike performance management, total quality management means long term success that is achieved through customer satisfaction of the employees and the benefit to the society as a whole. Performance management will ensure that there is a good will of the society at large towards RVIPF. Subburaj (2005) also indicated that “review of performance management system will ensure that RVIPF stipulates that a strong and persistent leadership of top management and training of all the police officers because it aids in achieving the force’s objective and goals” (p. 3-2).
From the above graph, the chart shows that performance management system at the level of constables is not regularly reviewed. 20 constables disagree that their performance management system is regularly reviewed followed by 15 sergeants and then 10 inspectors who strongly disagree about their system review. Total quality management will enable RVIPF to measure for success primarily, of performance management system by looking for, measuring, and analyzing the feedback from the society either internal or external. Subburaj (2005) says that RVIPF match towards total quality management will ensure that the organization makes efforts to measure how well the force is performing in relation to fulfilling the regions needs and expectations. He further says that the approach will help the police officers to measure their own performance. This management approach will ensure the force’s improved productivity, efficiency and improved morale of the employees and satisfaction of all other stakeholders.
The total quality management will enable the RVIPF to measure its success that will include all the phases and characteristics of the business. Subburaj (2005) says that the measurement will cut through the 3ps which include process, personnel, and progress. The senior management will first identify the measures that will be adopted to determine the quality of policing service delivered. Subburaj (2005) says that “the police officers and other employees in the force can participate in identifying measures so that it would find easy acceptance by the employees later at the time of measurements as well as analyzing” (p. 3-16).
The advantages of total quality management to RVIPF are crucial in improving the performance of the police force. The first advantage of adopting this approach to the force is that it will the police officers to be right the first time and every time. Subburaj (2005) says that “right first time and every time” will enable the management not only to define the requirements once and forget about it in the fond hope that things will always be done perfectly but then they have to consistently look for improvements and find out the aspects overlooked earlier and then correct them. Unlike performance management that heavily relies on gaming the number, total quality management will enable the senior police officers to always be preventing errors, defeats, hassles, de-motivation and other related failures. With such determination, it is not only applicable, to the management but also the junior police officers of RVIPF.
From the above graph it can be noted that 20 constables agree that their work plan are aligned with RVIPF strategic objectives. Fifteen sergeants say that their work plan has been aligned with the forces strategic objectives while 10 inspectors say that their work plan has been aligned with the strategic objectives. The second advantage of total quality management as compared to performance management is that it helps the police force to set the right goals. Subburaj (2005) says that as part of the TQM journey, RVIPF will arrive at a vision, mission, and the goals. This implies that total quality management will enable the force to formulate goals is an important activity. Subburaj (2005) also says that the goals of each police officer, team, or division of the force should be set to match with the goals of RVIPF. Subburaj (2005) further says that every police officer through this management approach will be clearly informed of the goals of RVIPF as well as the team goals for every division of the force.
Performance management can strongly be linked with other human resource processes. The advantage of performance management approach is that it ensures the selection of the right personnel to work for the force, succession planning, flexible working learning development, and behavior management strategies. Subburaj (2005) says that the whole process of recruitment at RVIPF from advertisement, conducting interviews will aim at selecting the right personnel for the right job. Performance management will ensure that succession planning is put in place but it’s evident mostly at the rank of sergeants. The graph also shows that inspectors have the most flexible working conditions than the constables and the sergeants. Total quality management in this context will ensure that RVIPF puts the right personnel are selected first time and every time. The management approach will be continuous and therefore the management should embark on a process of accruing small gains that will give substantial benefit to the police force (Subburaj, 2005).
According to Pekar (1995) these guidelines include leadership commitment, community focus, training, empowerment, involvement, and measurement. Leadership commitment of the police force means that the senior management must be committed to continuous improvement and that the level of commitment must be visible through all the layers of management at RVIPF (Pekar, 1995). Leadership commitment is fundamental because it will ensure the effective delivery of a community policing model in each community and encourage direct public participation in the duties of the force through a Cadet scheme, Police Band and also through instigation of Special Constables to operate within communities (Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication).
Community focus is another guideline towards RVIPF approach towards total quality management. Pekar (1995) says that everyone at the force must understand that without community there would be no purpose for the police force at Virgin Islands. The most significant aspect is realized that there will be a need to focus on both requirements and expectations of the community. According to Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication total quality management will ensure that the force reviews its structures and resources so as to ensure that they are directed towards the delivery of community policing, improving the force’s contact and support for victims of crime. The police force will also give the public a real say in how they are policed in their communities (Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication). Another aspect of community focus is through providing a meaningful feedback to the public about what they are doing besides improving public confidence through the effective handling and investigation of complaints (Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication).
Form the above graph we note that constables highly conduct performance appraisal interview that sergeants. Less than 5 inspectors conduct performance appraisal interview. At the same time we note that only less than 5 sergeants agree that their work plan matches with their strategic objectives. At the same time we note that only 5 inspectors were capable of matching appraisal form with job description. The third guideline provided by total quality management in order to complement performance management is training. The senior management at RVIPF will assess the current skill level and awareness of total quality principles of all employees. Pekar (1995) says that the idea of achieving this will be to start training with top level management with their commitment and knowledge of total quality it will be easy to train those who follow. Through total quality management, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication says that training and developing staff will help them to address immediate and long term skills needs. Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication says that “in most advanced stages this will include the additional of specialist policing support to improve the forces overall policing capability. The publication further says that “enhancing the Scenes of Crime capability in the force will maximize the opportunities provided by forensic evidence in the detection of crime in the police force” (p. 8).
The fourth guideline of total quality management for the force will be to empower and fully involve the police force. Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication says that empowerment can be achieved through developing and implementing a training plan based on a detailed assessment of the training needs of units and personnel within the force. It is also important that the force rewards and recognizes its staff through performance appraisal, commendations, and other appropriate techniques (Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication). Total quality management unlike performance management will ensure that the force develops extensive policies and procedures governing the effective administration of the force. Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication says that “this can also be achieved by exploiting new technology to improve communications within the force and to support the accurate and timely deployment of the force resources” (10). This for example can be through the use of CCTV, Automated Number Plate Recognition, and a Control Room to coordinating policing activities (Royal Virgin Islands Police Force: Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication).
Measurement is the final guideline of total quality management that will be adopted by RVIPF. Pekar (1995) says that through this management approach, the senior management will find out if the force made improvements and basically where and when (p. 7). According to Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication RVIPF will attain these through developing performance annual plans, underpinning the force strategic plan, prioritizing actions, and assigning responsible officers to the delivery of those actions. To effectively measure the performance of the force top management at RVIPF will ensure that the structures, systems, and processes within the police force are streamlined, efficient and directed towards improving service delivery to the community (Strategic Plan 2009-2011publication).
From the above research performance management approach has several drawbacks which do not make it ideal the long term success of RVIPF. Since total quality management approach overwhelms performance management in this police force it is important that it will consider complementing the former with the later. From the graphs we note that inspectors at RVIPF should embark on joint and continuing review of performance against the objectives of the force, requirements and plans and the agreement and implementation of the improvement and further development plans of RVIPF.
From the response obtained from the inspector, constables and sergeants, performance management at the force needs to be complemented with total quality management to enable RVIPF to deliver quality services to Virgin Islands. It can be observed that the majority of the officers have the strategic plan for the force. They however disagree that the strategic plan is not constantly reviewed and renewed. RVIPF’s performance indicators are not regularly reviewed and renewed from the analysis obtained in the graph above.
Complementing performance management with total quality management will enable RVIPF to realize it’s vision, mission, and the goals. This implies that total quality management will enable the force to formulate goals and other important activities of the organization. Total quality management will therefore improve the face of this police force in the future. Areas that need improvement include; matching RVIPF strategic objectives with its goals, appraisals, and training. Training and career development should be emphasized at all ranks but the senior management should focus more on the constables.
Succession planning should be articulated with the company goals and objectives so as to ensure continuity in the organization. RVIPF should also constantly renew and review its performance management system so as to align its objectives with the available work plans within RVIPF. Again it will be fundamental that RVIPF explores the available opportunities presented human resources management to ensure employee well being, occupational health good compensation and flexible working schedules within RVIPF.
In conclusion, total quality management is the way to go for RVIPF. This is because this management approach will help the force to embed a continuous improvement performance culture within the force and ensure that force serves the community effectively. Through total quality management the police force will develop targets that with efforts towards tangible improvements in its crime fighting responsibilities in Virgin Islands. With the four guidelines to total quality management path, RVIPF will carry out its activities successfully while improving communication within the force, as well as with the public at large. Training, career development, learning, and development should be clearly outlined to avoid performance failures within RVIPF. The force should also conduct reviews on the various aspects associated with performance management so as to align it total quality management.