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The criminal justice organizations face a lot of challenges with some being in the area of shift work and supervision. Shift work has always been a stress related factor in the police divisions and so the organization must come up with programs that address the issue since if not handled well it can be a major source of demotivation and hence low productivity. The departments also need to address the issue of supervision since the only way the officers are going to make good supervisors is if they are exposed to ideas that increase their motivation. The paper looks into the approaches that can be applied to increase motivation and eliminate these two issues.
MOTIVATION IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS
If the criminal justice organizations want to greatly reduce the rate of crimes, they need to properly manage and administer their criminal justice efforts. This, however, is becoming difficult to do as time goes by because of the harsh economic times that are biting into organizations in the United State, the criminal justice organizations not being an exception to this. Due to the tough economic times, the criminal justice managers and heads of departments have had to cut down on their budgets and they have also resorted to downsizing their departments. This has created a lot of problems in the organizations since there are now issues that have risen and they include: high demand for supervision and trouble with shift work within the departments like the police division and the detention department, which in return has caused a lot of employee demotivation. The criminal justice agencies have to come up with an administration approach that will motivate their employees so that they can do away with the problems they are experiencing in their agencies and organizations.
Shift work is a very primal concept in the criminal justice organizations and especially in the police division. Shift work is known to be really stressful to officers since it tends to interfere with the normal sleeping program that the officer should be following. Due to this interruption, there are usually high cases of sleep-loss related fatigue which results to poor performance and also the productivity levels go down. An organization must try its best to balance the needs of its officers and also the needs of the organization. To do this, it must come up with administration policies that address the issues of shift work so as to increase the motivation and productivity of its officers. The police department should come up with programs that educate the new officers on how to cope with shift work and also with job boredom since some shifts involve long working hours. Once the knowledge is instilled in the officers when they are new to the department, they will learn how to cope with the stresses since they already know what to expect in relation to their job and precisely shift work. The criminal justice agencies have increased their interest in establishing training programs that usually assist the supervisors of the officers to detect early signs of stress so that they can rectify the problem before it prevails. The police division should also come up with an effective model that identifies the stressors that affect officers (Torres, Maggard & To, 2011).
Boyce (2006) adds on that the police division should try and adopt an administrative approach that reduces police stress and in turn increases their motivation. This sort of administration approach should make good changes in the shift works that the police are assigned to, provide more field training programs, improve on the job assignments, offer incident counseling to the police officers and also impose positive supervisory styles. The administration approach should also improve the communication in the departments. If these changes are made, there will be an improvement in the police division as their morale is boosted thereby increasing the productivity and efficiency in the police division.
There is a high demand for supervision in the criminal justice organizations. Stojkovic, Kalinich & Klofas (2007) discuss the concept of supervision in the criminal justice organizations. Most of the criminal justice organizations have tried to apply the principles and policies of the private sector management sector in their public agencies so as to try and improve the quality of employee supervision in their own organizations. This means that they are trying to shift form their normal traditional model of supervision to contemporary ones. The traditional model of supervision is normally one that emphasizes on centralized authority and also on rigid rules and regulation. This gives it a high degree of complexity, centralization and formalization. This model is mainly made up of an exact unity of command, a strict hierarchy, and specialization of services, rulification and also a clear delegation of authority.
On the point of delegation of authority, in the police and detention division, it helps the employees know what is expected of them in regards to performing the tasks and also the skills that are necessary for achieving the tasks. The hierarchy component of the model usually explains the span of control in the sense that it specifies the number of officers who can be under one supervisor without overworking the supervisor. When it comes to the unit of command element in the model it refers to placing one specific person in charge of a situation. This person should be known to all the employees since this avoids creating conflicts from several supervisors since the officers know who they are answerable to.
Supervision is usually enhanced by specialization since specialization involves division of labor. Specialization involves the process of assigning each employee his own task and so the employee becomes aware of what is expected of him. It enhances supervision in the sense that the officers can now be assessed; appraised, evaluated, dismissed easily since there is the concept of job definition. If an organization wants to increase their supervision they should implement an administration approach that encourages specialization in the organization. This is because specialization increases the sense of responsibility thereby increasing employee supervision. Finally, rulification emphasizes on the rules and regulations that apply to the officers. The written down rules also help the officers to understand the scope and the direction that the criminal justice agency they are working for is headed.
The traditional model of supervision has received a measure of criticism since it is considered to have practical difficulties. It is also known to produce authoritarian supervisors due to the strict hierarchy, reduce organization innovation and reduce the motivation of the officers. This is why the criminal justice organizations are working hard to change from this traditional model to the contemporary ideas on supervision since they increase employee motivation. The achievement-power affiliation theory can be used best to explain how the police and detention division can improve supervision. According to this theory, if the police department wants to increase the officers’ motivation levels, they should encourage the officers to participate in the decision making process and also increase their responsibilities. Increasing their responsibilities increases their levels of commitment to their tasks and involving them in the decision making process makes them feel important and in turn increase their motivation. Officers who receive feedback from their managers were noted to have higher levels of motivation since they were in a position to know how they are performing in the tasks that they were assigned. The police department should then do its best in providing feedback to the officers and there will be an increase in productivity form their side.
Another factor that affects motivation is the power motive which is explained as an officer’s need to have some influence over a certain decision or over someone’s behavior. The police department should endow its officers with some power so that they can have the ability to influence some decisions in the department. This increases their motivation levels greatly and the number of officers who will be willing to become supervisors since they know they can use their powers to delegate some tasks to those that they are in charge of. The positive attitudes that the supervisors will have towards their supervision roles will rub off to the officers who are under them and this results to an overall increase in the productivity levels in the police departments.