Leadership entails the art and science of guiding people through influence and support initiatives. Leaders should be assertive, cooperative, decisive and dependable (Gottschalk, 2007). Criminal investigations require that leaders direct various activities towards the realization of agreed goals. Hands on approach in leadership focuses on the leader taking a domineering role in management of teams and organizations. Management involves the task of organizing workers’ efforts towards the realization of organizational objectives. Both leadership and management are important at workplace. Leaders are charismatic people who seek the support and contribution of their followers in carrying out different tasks but towards achieving common goals. Managers ensure that organizational tasks and objectives.
Managers apply a different style of leadership with pure leadership models. It is common to find the two terms being used interchangeably at workplace. Managers focus on matters of authority and control of the working environment in order to ensure assignments are completed as scheduled and up to the expected standards. On the other hand, leaders are concerned with an integrated approach in problem solving and decision making processes. Leadership is a product of human character which becomes manifested through practical application of talents, skills and intelligence (Chaturvedi, 2006). Managers are therefore concerned with reducing work-related chaos for the purpose of refining organizational processes towards realization of set objectives.
A good leader manages personal character in order to lead others. A good leader is equally ready to listen to the contributions of other people but desires to influence them through purpose and self confidence. A typical leader is ready to assume responsibility for the actions and repercussions of their activities. Investigations management requires that leaders and managers in the criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies pull their efforts towards realization of mutual goals (Mitchell, 2007). In essence, a good leader directs investigations into crime at the fore front. He/she outlines the processes to be followed during the investigations to stakeholders and participants responsibly. Successful leaders possess important values and traits which include “situational interaction, charisma, intelligence, vision and power among others”.
According situational theory, the working environment is characterized by different characteristics which demand that a good leader’s profile is dynamic to changes. The actions and decisions made by leaders should be strategic to the different situations that they are confronted with in life and in managing organizations. However, it is common for leaders undertaking the task of criminal investigations to apply a hands-on approach in directing police and detectives to pursue important leads which could fix crimes (McBride, Lynch& Thibault, 2009). The chief investigator commands unrivalled authority and power in ensuring that crimes are put under the control of security agencies. The role of detectives is to abide by the instructions and orders given to them by their commanders in different situations. The communities where investigations are carried out are expected to cooperate with investigators whose activities are sanctioned by law.
Motivation seeks to inspire and enhance workers’ efforts for greater performance. Motivation helps to promote workers’ output. It entails positive reinforcement of hard work and success in order to motivate individual and team expectations. Motivation also involves the process of instilling discipline and punishment of negative behavioral trends which could frustrate achievement of organizational objectives (Osterloh& Frey, 2002). Motivated workers are believed to be satisfied and self-driven in carrying out tasks assigned to them. Motivation is achieved through reward schemes that recognize individual performance at work. For instance, workers who exhibit good performance in their duties should be motivated through incentives for further professional training, promotions and even salary increments.
Investigations management is facilitated by motivated detectives who have properly compensated and insured against risks ion their duties. Criminal investigations are characterized by security threats and pressures which can only be compensated through motivational techniques that recognize individual and team efforts. Knowledge and information management is important in criminal investigations. Professionalism and integrity are thus crucial attributes of effective detectives. Technical training and education is necessary in equipping criminal detectives with substantial knowledge and information as tools for their effective investigations (Sewell & Territo, 2009). Motivation should also seek to recognize and appreciate the private life and aspirations of workers.
Abraham Maslow employed a needs-based framework for the study of human motivational trends. According to Maslow, workers are motivated by unsatisfied needs which follow a particular hierarchical structure. At the bottom of the pyramid, there are certain psychological needs which must met in order to gratify a person’s cravings. Workplace motivation should therefore seek to fulfill these fundamental needs for the purpose of enhancing the self-fulfillment of laborers (Boin, 2005). Physiological and safety needs at the lower rank of the pyramid serve to satisfy workers’ basic requirements. Further motivation follows the pyramid profile taking into account the role of social needs and esteem towards realization of self-actualization. Self-actualization is the peak of human satisfaction which corresponds to properly compensated and motivated workers. During investigations management, it is important that workers are paid their salaries and other benefits on time. The working environment should be safe providing enough freedom and job security.
The entire team of detectives and their managers should enhance some sense of belonging for everyone; actually appreciating one another at workplace. Self-actualization can be realized if the working environment offers enough challenges for creativity and innovation to emerge in the process of accomplishing tasks. Workers are motivated by different needs even though they could be working at the same place. The leadership of the criminal investigations department needs to recognize the various needs that apply to the respective workers. Maslow theory is complemented by Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory which posits that both “job satisfaction and dissatisfaction act independently of each other”. He recognized that individuals may not actually be satisfied by the fulfillment of physiological and safety needs alone (McCrie, 2001). In essence, ability to pay workers their dues as well as providing job security is not sufficient to motivate workers in the long-term. Leaders and managers should thus attend to the full potential of their employees with proper recognition for achievement, advancement and responsibility.
According to McGregor, motivation is achieved through concerted effort and appreciation for individual contribution of workers. The leader should therefore recognize and appreciate both individual effort and teamwork in order to motivate workers appropriately. Reward schemes are benchmarked on performance for sustainable motivation. McClelland further believes that achievement-motivated people are those that are results-oriented and focused on organizational goals. Investigations can be undertaken through the concerted effort of the detectives, the community and managers for the purpose of resolving and preventing crimes. Motivation is instrumental for successful investigations based on appreciation of workers’ needs and organizational objectives as exemplified through collaborative leadership (Gottschalk, 2009).
Managing a Team
A group refers to a collection of people associating with one another in such away that they influence one another. Members of a group are socially attracted to each other. They share common goals and a unique identity which isolates them from other groupings. Social cohesion promotes a group into a team that undertakes common tasks harmoniously. Team performance is finally realized achieved through effective communication tools, collective participation in decision making and cohesiveness. Impediment to group cohesiveness is attributed to loafing tendencies. Loafing is a product of laziness and a general dislike to team work.
Loafing behavior makes some lazy members of a group to withdraw from communal activities through empty excuses (Villiers & Adlam, 2003). This habit weakens team spirit necessary for the achievement of group objectives. Lazy members hibernate from actual group activities pretending to be incapacitated and disadvantaged. The notion that characterizes loafing is such that fellow team members will make up for their perceived inconsequential efforts. Police investigations demand that team performance is enhanced through strict adherence to established ethics, cohesiveness and utmost solidarity. Laziness can actually lead to poor investigations which may not guarantee effective prosecution of offenders.
Communication is enhanced through team building efforts and constructive discourses which promote interaction and group member wellbeing. Group leaders need to appreciate the contribution of each member in decision making. Police investigations can be extremely tedious and cumbersome if left to individual officers. Team performance is achieved through the participation and contribution of individual efforts of detective working towards a common goal. Field assignments are conducted through the leadership of senior officers who direct activities that are mutually carried out (Territo, Chamelin & Swanson,2010). Periodic evaluation on progress is necessary in highlighting individual effort and team performance. Team building is also important for stress management through strategies which encourage group interaction and discussions.
Brainstorming sessions are also necessary in team building and group interaction. It helps in relieving the stressful conditions of work which may otherwise overwhelm officers left to work on their own. The task of carrying out investigations on sensitive security matters under strict deadlines is simplified through collaborative leadership and team work. Socialization is realized through group interaction in carrying out common activities. During interaction, trust and confidence is built which further improves the image of the group in investigation since solidarity and focus is maintained. The focus of individual members on the common goals is a product of sustained interactions and team building initiatives which also integrate appropriate transformational and collaborative leadership in police investigations (Gellerman, 2007).
Performance monitoring entails the process of collecting data relevant in measuring progress. Key performance indicators establish the strategy for evaluating individual and organizational goals. Performance contracts outline the specific criterion for monitoring progress and outcomes in business as well investigations management. Financial performance is also applied when evaluating the level of business development and professionalism of investigations. Key performance indicators and performance contracts are exploited for effective benchmarking of organizational activities and evaluating past and current experiences. Quantitative data is obtained from the key performance indicators for purposes of quality management (Hondeghem & Perry, 2008). Leaders should be able to analyze and interpret the KPI’s in a structured and elaborate manner. This facilitates proper understanding of performance measurements and experiences. There is a close relationship between motivation and performance.
It is important that both positive and negative opinions are collected from workers with the aim of understanding their degree of motivation and performance rating (Das & Kratcoski, 2007). Satisfied and motivated workers perform their duties with minimum supervision. Reward schemes are useful tools for the evaluation of performance and achievement. Traditional police attitudes towards performance are based on rank and file approach. The hierarchy of command is highly respected by officers. Lower ranks obey orders given by officers from the upper ranks. Performance is therefore measured by the degree of compliance to established code of conduct and allegiance to the hierarchies. Knowledge of the military command, rank and file is crucial in benchmarking standards. Investigations operate within these standards and abide by the order of command.
That notwithstanding, effective leadership demands that checks and balances are introduced in order to ensure victimization of junior officers is avoided. Authority is checked through mechanisms for giving and receiving feedback. Information obtained from the feedback reports either positive or negative shall serve to promote performance and motivation approaches (Miletich, 1990). Individual performance should be measured on accomplishment of police assignments. Team performance appraisals should also follow key performance indicators. It is important that individual assignments properly accomplished by police detectives be recognized for awards and promotions in order to motivate colleagues. Deliberative errors by police which contrive established code of ethics and performance contracts should fairly be punished. For instance, police involved in excessive use of force during investigations should be demoted or expelled from the service in order to improve the image of the force before the society.
Police are employed to ensure law and order prevails and criminals apprehended. Criminal investigations guide prosecutors and attorneys during court proceedings. Shoddy investigations frustrate justice and the process of maintaining law and order. The expectations of society and managerial targets may overwhelm police if their capacity is enhanced. Performance is therefore attached to relevant training on courses such forensic science and criminology. Managers should facilitate the training by recognizing officers with exemplary performance for financial incentives and associated rewards (Gottschalk, 2007). Successful completion of the courses should be appreciated through relevant promotions which improve individual police rank and responsibility.
Stress is the body’s reaction to the pressures of life. Stress is not necessarily bad. It could be an adaptation to different life challenges which increase a person’s consciousness and focus on the surroundings and prevailing experiences. Police investigations are normally conducted under stressful conditions. They are expected to make accurate decisions and proper judgment in an environment characterized by security tensions (Chaturvedi, 2006). Mental and physical stress builds up in the process of police investigations based on performance expectations against security challenges. To this end, police require periodic training and practical challenges relevant to their line of duty which can facilitate their work. The outcome of police investigations has a direct bearing on the efficiency of court proceedings and the justice system.
Law enforcement agencies are continuously confronted with police blunders during investigations as a result of their abuse of power which leads to complaints and lawsuits. Police officers and their managers suffer from stress occasioned by the pressure from political and organizational expectations. This results in health problems which in severe cases results in their death. The repercussions of errors in police investigations have far reaching implications on the society and the image of the force (Mitchell, 2007). Police performance is therefore monitored by both police executives and oversight human rights organizations keen to thwart the excesses of power and non-professionalism in investigations. In essence, police are expected to produce the best performance in criminal investigations in conflicting security environments. Exposure to stress exposes police to family problems, health illness and reduced quality of life. Police encounter with security threats in the field requires adaptive expertise and field training relevant to diverse working environments. Leadership and performance are proportionate to permanent training and enhanced skills development coupled to comprehensive work fitness. It is important that police are trained on stress management skills for effective performance.
Police also require counseling in order to equip them with necessary perishable skills for excellent service. Perishable skills consist of physical fitness, strategic decision making and disaster management. The capacity to monitor challenges during police investigations, best practices and behavioral responses in stressful conditions is important for police tasks. Police working under pressure to perform and meet strict deadlines end up being hostile during investigations. Conflicts arise between police and the community. Interpersonal conflicts also arise among police officers in different ranks on matters such as promotions and job security. Managers need to facilitate police training on both security matters and occupational health and safety. It is needful to allocate financial resources towards these endeavors for the best performance and elimination of stress in police investigations (McBride, Lynch & Thibault, 2009).
The lack of people skills renders managers irrelevant since they find it hard to work with junior officers while at the same time giving unrealistic orders. The hierarchy of command in police force subjects officers in lower ranks to the dictatorship of the senior high ranking managers. Deadlines get fixed on investigations which could be properly done under flexible time frames. Undercover operations should also be carried out in stress-free environment (Osterloh & Frey, 2002). The contribution of counselors and psychologists cannot be overemphasized in managing police investigations. Psychological therapy, counseling sessions, anger management and emotional intelligence are crucial stress management skills.
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