The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) is probably the most important policing body you have never heard of. Set up by the Home Office in April 2007 to help cut crime and improve public safety, it's broadly tasked with making sure that the technology and training available to police officers will equip them for the challenges of the 21st century.
And with the public perception that the threat of violent crime and gang cultures are rising and constant concern over global terrorism, the NPIA will play a critical role in supporting the UK police force.
However, the organisation did not get off to the best start. Formed by merging 2,000 employees from several policing agencies, including the Police IT Organisation and training body Centrex, the NPIA had its work cut out from day one trying to combine different cultures and ways of working.
Delivering its mission
To deliver on its mission of making a unique contribution to public safety, the top management team had to provide clear leadership and direction. Yet staff survey results in 2007 indicated that employees simply weren't on board with the NPIA's objectives - just two in five of its 2,000 workers understood their employer's aims and only a third agreed that its business strategy had been clearly explained. What's more, a paltry 10% believed a high level of trust existed between management and employees.
The figures, released under a Freedom of Information request by Personnel Today, also revealed that three staff a week left the organisation in its first six months, leading some critics, including the unions, to claim the NPIA was actually "hampering" front-line policing.
Now, 18 months since its inception, the NPIA claims to be back on track with its people management, as chief people officer Angela O'Connor explains.
"What we say to staff is 'yeah, OK, hands up,' we're not going to pretend year one was marvellous because it wasn't, it was very difficult. But actual