Two police officers patrolling together in a city centre street.

Working with police staff to uncover insights about leadership. 

Ahead of the launch of their Leadership Development Programme, Surrey and Sussex Police tasked Social Change (as an independent agency) to work with staff groups across police ranks to gather intelligence and insight about leadership, asking staff what leadership means to them. These insights were then used to inform a communications and engagement plan to successfully embed [and challenge] leadership behaviours across all levels of the force.

An animated gif revealing metrics and statistics related to the campaign/project.

The research.

Workshops to understand views about leadership behaviours.

We held four workshops that brought staff together from across Surrey and Sussex Police. The purpose of these workshops was to explore their perceptions of leadership and leadership specifically within the Police force.

We facilitated tasks focused on defining leadership, the key desired behavioural traits expected from a ‘good leader’ and worked with staff groups to agree on ’10 behaviour traits of a good leader', and open up discussions about what makes well-known leaders (in business and politics) ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Importantly, we also explored what would motivate staff to engage with the Leadership Development Programme and any barriers to engagement.

Ultimately, we wanted to understand if staff recognised that leadership in policing is exercised by individuals across all ranks and roles (and not just those at the 'top').

The impact.

Insights from these workshops were brought together into an insight report, including a ‘Values-based leadership framework’, skills for leadership, barriers to change and recommendations for the programme structure. We also made recommendations to help optimise staff engagement and motivation. This work supported Surrey and Sussex Police to implement a 'refreshed' Leadership Development Programme and work towards embedding leadership behaviours across all levels of the force.

Three copies of the research report stacked on top of each other.
An overhead shot of the report opened on pages about police leadership and behaviours.
4 workshops held with police staff
60+ page insight report
7 actionable recommendations