Table of Contents:
No Mission Statement
High Turnover Rate/Retention
Lack of Training Opportunities
No Mission Statement
This study highlights the relationship between how the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department treats its officers and the high retention problem. The main study focuses on officer empowerment and how it impacts the quality performance of officers. Empowering officers gives them a sense of value. The study concludes when an officer has a sense of value they are less likely to seek other employment. The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department lacks quality leadership, and key resources which help businesses maintain a quality product. This study includes an introduction, problem statement, narrative, business model, and a conclusion which highlights recommendations to change the course of the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department.
In March 1865 President Lincoln officially authorized the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to become a place for the insane and those who were wounded in the service (National Park Service, 2017). Almost immediately there was a need for Officers to patrol, monitor, and respond to incidents related to the military members who violated policies, laws, and created dangers for themselves and others. By the 1970’s the VA Police had developed into multiple security teams. Each Veteran’s Affairs Health Administration had a contingent of security officers available to them.
In 1973 the Department of Veteran’s Affairs transformed the security department into today’s VA Police Department. The concept of having a department with members who had arrest authority was beneficial when dealing with disruptive and criminal incidents. The newly minted police officers were able to make immediate arrests without waiting for external law enforcement officers to arrive. Even though the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department has arrest authority and is in need, there is a retention problem.
In most police departments a form of brotherhood forms. The same can be said about the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department. Unfortunately, the high turnover rate is the result of several problems within the department. Upon inspection it was revealed the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department did not have a business model. The closest thing to a business model was a list of standard operating procedures. Having a business model would improve the operating conditions of the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department. According to Alexander Osterwalder, and Yves Pigneur (2019) a business model needs 9 building blocks. The building blocks need to include key partners, key activities, value proposition, customer relationships, customer segments, key resources, channels, revenue stream, and cost structure.
The primary problem the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department has is the high turnover rate. Officers are leaving at a rate of 100% within 4 years.
Chief H., 2018 (the Chief of the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Dept.) stated since he had become Chief of the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department in 2016 he had achieved 100% turnover of his officers. The loss of valued officers is the result of poor management strategies such as, micromanagement, lack of training opportunities, lack of officer value, and the lack of officer empowerment. Structurally, the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department does not have a mission statement, it has no standardized business plan or model. There is no standardization between each VA Police Department within the VA Police Department network. The lack of standardization results in deviations which result in negative outcomes.
Having managerial, and structure issues is bad, but the Officers at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department feel they are constantly used and abused by Human Resources and other leaders within the Mann-Grandstaff VA (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Dept. officers, 2019). Such incidents include HR refusing to approve a specialty rate pay for several years which had been authorized by the Secretary of the VA, and the red tape which delayed the hiring of new officers. Other leaders mandate officers carry medical substances (NARCAN) but will not protect them from civil suits if sued for using those mandated medical substances (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Dept. officers, 2019).
For the above reasons the Mann-Grandstaff VA police officers do not stay with the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department.
A high turnover rate is an indicator that several essential managerial components are defective. Glebbeekand Bax, (2017) indicate high turnover in an organization is harmful to the organization. The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department has been considered a failure by its department members and many who have interacted with the department. Arokiasamy (2013) relates the severity of turnover to the type of relationship one has with their management. The officers at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department have a strict professional working relationship with their managers.
Amongst the reasons for a defective relationship between the officers of the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department is the leadership style used by the managers. Collins (2013) recommends micromanagement in short time spans such as a new officer orienting themselves to the workplace. The micromanagement at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department results in a decrease in trust, and officer empowerment.
No Mission Statement
The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department does not have a standardized mission statement posted in a visible format within their department. Having a mission statement gives an organization purpose and value. Bart, et al (2001) indicates there is a correlation between an organization’s mission statement and the behavior of the officer.
Many problems the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department can do to alleviate retention issues is to have a good policy which helps guide officers. Tools need to be implemented to ensure officers read and understand the policies they are expected to enforce. Questions asked by officers to managers often result in a policy reference which the officers cannot locate. The VA Police Department network can adapt the standardized policies as seen fit by the chief of police located at the local level. Many of the policies contradict other policies.
Being frustrated and confused is one of the reasons many officers find work elsewhere. When the managers cannot communicate with the officer the relationship between officer and manager suffers. This conflict results in negative attitudes from the officer towards the managers.
It is well documented that officers who are empowered by their employer find value in their job and become productive. Osterwalder (2018) indicates the more empowering an officer feels the more productive the officer. It is also the same when there is no empowerment and micromanagement is high. The officers at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department do not feel empowered (2019).
Business models are an essential part of a company. A good business model remains essential to every successful organization, whether it’s a new venture or an established player (Magretta, 2002). The business model should contain 9 essential blocks which guide executives. The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department does not have a well-structured business model. Not having a business model is theorized to cause part of the retention problem.
High Turnover Rate/Retention
In any organization there will be the issue of turnover. Officers will leave voluntarily, or they will be terminated. Voluntary turnover from time to time is healthy for an organization. When officers leave the organization from time to time it allows the lower officers the opportunity to promote, grow, and take on new responsibilities. When the turnover rate is high it indicates there is a problem within the organization. Anantha Raj A. Arokiasamy (2013) wrote, “High turnover in an organization has been attributed to instability in the management of an organization. Officers are more inclined to stay and work when the organization is stable, and the work environment is consistent”. Since the summer of 2014 the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department has been in a constant stage of uncertainty and instability.
In the summer of 2014 the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department chief of over 10 years was forcibly retired for consistently failing the annual VA Police Department inspection. The department had consistently failed more than 5 inspections in a row. After The Chief was forcibly retired the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department underwent a series of temporary leaders for over a year. Many leaders who filled in the chief position (temporarily) had different leadership styles and were not qualified for such a high-quality position (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Dept. officers, 2019). “Officers are more susceptible to work in an organization when predictability and stability is in force and consistent career growth will minimize officers from switching to other organization” (Anantha Raj A. Arokiasamy2013). Since the instability began (well before 2014) the officers have been tossed from side to side with the new interpretation of policies which were contradictory to the previous leader’s interpretation. In most cases when officers sent emails requesting clarification or ideas they seldom received responses (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department officers, 2019). This lack of communication and instability has frustrated the officers to the point where there is a 100% turnover rate (in 4 years). The most prominent reason current officers are seeking new employment is the new leadership style of the acting management.
The current management for the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department uses a micro-managerial style of management (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Dept. officers, 2019). “Micromanagement can be advantageous in certain short-term situations, such as while training new officers, increasing productivity of underperforming officers, controlling high-risk issues, and when there can be no question of who is in charge” (Collins, 2002). The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department officers are all highly trained and veteran officers who have many years performing their job duties. Regardless of their experience, The management for the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department constantly second guesses the decisions of the officers downgrading the officers’ citations and having the officers do things which are contrary to policy and common sense (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Dept. officers, 2019).
Due to the micromanagement the officers at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department have become frustrated and feel undervalued. Collins, (2002) wrote, “Symptoms such as low officer morale, high staff turnover, reduction of productivity and patient dissatisfaction can be associated with micromanagement. The negative impacts of micromanagement are so intense that it is labeled among the top three reasons officers resign”. The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department officers feel there is no value for them at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department because most of their serious reports and citations are rescinded and the suspects they arrest are never charged because the management rescinds the charges and criminal citations.
What are these officers to do if their work is constantly undone by the person who is supposed to support them? Instead of trusting the officers which have experience the management at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department constantly intercedes and instructs the officer to change this or change that to water down the criminal charges (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Dept. officers, 2019). When speaking of micromanagement and inconsistencies Simon Head (2007) wrote, “As we have seen, in the workplace [these changes] produce social deficits of loyalty and informal trust, they erode the value of accumulated experience. To which we should now add the hollowing out of ability”. When the management constantly steps in and has the officer re-do their work to make a report more appealing to the manager even if it is not an accurate portrayal the officer feels undervalued. As Head (2007) stated “the experience is eroded”.
In the literature it is emphasized that officer empowerment will lead to improved productivity, performance, job satisfaction and reduce officer turnover in organizations (Ongori, 2007). The officers at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department have conclusively agreed this is a main point for seeking employment elsewhere (2019). The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department officers, 2019) stated they did not feel valued as a skilled officer with years of experience because their management constantly second guessed all their decisions regarding performing their job. Mallak and Kurstedt (1996) argued “… managers must empower their officers by allowing them to participate in decision making processes”. When management allows officers to make their own decisions and trusts them the officer in turn becomes more involved in the organization and feels valued. “A lack of empowerment in many organizations is considered as a major source of organizational stress and conflicts. Management… will reduce stress among their officers by empowering them” (Head, et al, 2007). In many organizations where employees are empowered there tends to be lower levels of stress and higher job satisfaction.
By empowering their officers, the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department will slow the attrition rate of its officers. An additional main complaint from the officers at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department is the monopoly of training opportunities held by a select few (2019).
Lack of Training Opportunities
The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department officers view training as a means to progress in their career. To become marketable for promotion an officer needs to show they have valuable skill sets. Steven Choo (2019) wrote, “officer satisfaction is found to be influenced by work environment, company values and job responsibilities”. The only way to gain additional responsibility within the Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department is for the officers to be selected to attend a training school and become certified in the new job functions. Since 2014 The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police has sent a limited number of officers to the training schools where they can further gain experience and develop their skills. All of those officers sent were mainly from the back office and on the day shift. No officers on the night shift have been sent to a training school since before 2014. The Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department officers (2019) speculate the reason the night shift does not receive approval for any training requests is because management is not able to monitor them as well as the day shift and the back-office officers (Mann-Grandstaff VA Police Department Officers, 2019).
Regardless of the negative consequences of micromanagement the leaders can curb their leadership style away from micromanagement. Collins (2002) indicated there are 5 steps to help a leader overcome a micromanagement style. Colllins (2002) wrote:
- Quote paper
- Scott Bright (Author), 2019, Retention Problems of the Mann-Grandstaff Police Department. Impacts of officer empowerment on the quality performance, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/537714