Workforce organisation

As part of its ongoing restructuring programme, Surrey Police has also rolled out new software that is helping to reduce operational costs and simplify its complex organisational structure by providing organisation charts to all employees, saving time and helping to maintain accurate records.

Mar 3, 2011
By Paul Jacques
Haroon Iqbal

As part of its ongoing restructuring programme, Surrey Police has also rolled out new software that is helping to reduce operational costs and simplify its complex organisational structure by providing organisation charts to all employees, saving time and helping to maintain accurate records.

The force has created a smaller command structure, organised by function instead of geography, under the Surrey Public First programme, in which it aims to reduce serious crime by 15 per cent by 2013 and maintain public confidence at more than 80 per cent.

To help employees and managers through the complexities of the reorganisation and to ensure that operations continued as usual, Surrey Police introduced an employee portal called People Solutions. The OrgPlus Enterprise software from HumanConcepts has been deployed within People Solutions for use by all employees and has improved user adoption of the portal by providing a valuable organisational communications resource.

Surrey Police’s HR planning team was able to proactively manage reorganisation decisions by performing scenario planning and creating what-if calculations in real-time, creating a ‘go-forward’ structure that met organisational goals. The solution also provided clear, consistent employee and manager communications and ensured ‘business as usual’ continuity.

Zoe Latimer, of the Surrey Police HR business team, said the deployment had been a great success with much positive feedback from our users.

“The solution enables employees at all levels to see exactly where they are positioned within the organisation and how their group relates to others,” she said.

The software is available to all 5,000 staff members, enabling employees to easily access the organisational structure and obtain basic colleague information, such as title, department and location. Additional data is available to over 700 managers and supervisors who now have a clear insight into relevant workforce metrics, including span of control, pay grade and chain of command.

Ms Latimer explained: “Like most police forces, Surrey Police’s hierarchy is very complex with multiple levels, reporting lines and grading structures. OrgPlus Enterprise has helped us improve the accuracy of our main HR database and has also saved time for managers and supervisors because they no longer need to maintain their own charts in a spreadsheet or another manual tool.”
The software produces organisation charts directly from the force’s HR database, Police Personnel, an Oracle-based solution supplied by Cedar HR. Visualising the HR data allows the HR department to see if there are any inaccuracies in the organisational structure and quickly address the errors.

“At the moment we use it purely as a charting tool to see where in the organisation people sit and their reporting lines,” added Ms Latimer.

“However, we can see that it has much more potential for the future. There is the potential that it can be used as an employee directory and also for succession planning and budgeting, which is something that we could consider for the future.

“It’s about helping our officers to become as efficient as possible so that they can provide a better law enforcement and crime-fighting service to our residents.”

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