Police officers take on one of the most challenging tasks every single day: they put their lives in danger to save others. As much as helping others can boost a person’s spirits, the daily life of a police officer can also weigh down on them. They work long hours, have little time to spend with their family, and suffer criticism on a regular basis.
There’s no denying the job of a police officer is tiring both mentally and physically. This is why it’s important to raise morale in your police department. When you know how to raise morale in the workplace, you can create a more efficient and healthier team.
Not sure where to begin? In the guide below, you’ll learn how to raise morale for your police officers. Continue reading to get started.
Reward Them With Challenge Coins
To boost the morale of police officers, you may need to begin thinking about some changes that can be made. For example, when’s the last time they were rewarded for all the work they do? It’s important to remember to rewards the police officers when reaching achievements or after different accomplishments.
A great way to reward them is to present them with police challenge coins. Police challenge coins are unique and can be customized for major crime units, SWAT teams, detectives, and more. You can use these challenge coins to rewards police officers each time they complete an accomplishment.
The accomplishment doesn’t have to be extravagant either. It can simply be a reward for long service if desired. These coins give officers something to look forward to like any reward system.
Give Positive Feedback
Although it may not be necessary to provide positive feedback on a daily basis, it is important to give positive feedback where it’s deserved. Keep in mind that many of the officers are bombarded with negative feedback and criticism more than not. When they’re constantly being told about all the things they’re doing wrong, it can have a negative effect on their morale.
Use positive words when giving them feedback and do this several times a week. Hearing positive feedback and having the support of their supervisor can often outweigh all of the bad things they’re told on a daily basis. It’s also important that you stay honest with them.
You don’t want to give positive feedback simply to give it. You want to give it where it’s due. For example, if an officer handles a situation well, compliment them.
If they’ve had an increase in arrests, acknowledge it.
Teach Them the Department Values
What department values would you like to instill in your officers? Think about the department’s values and how you can teach them to the officers. Then, consider showing the officers that they’re valuable as well.
If you’re unable to provide new supplies to the office, don’t worry. There are a few other options. You can show officers they’re valued by treating them each as individuals instead of a number on the payroll.
Consider throwing office parties when a big case has been completed, allowing paid time off after a certain number of days without calling in, and so on. When you do this, you show them not only that they’re valued but you show what the values of the department are as well.
Create an Open-Door Policy
An open-door policy is a great thing to have no matter what type of work you’re in. All of the officers should know that your door’s open for them at any given time to discuss anything on their minds. This could be about personal concerns, something happening in the office, or a question they have about a call they received.
If someone does approach you, then take great care in listening more than you speak. Show your concern and ensure they have your support. When you make yourself more approachable, more officers will feel comfortable speaking with you about different topics.
This can then give you a better idea about what’s going on in the office and out on the field.
Know Their Unique Strengths and Weaknesses
Each police officer is an individual. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses. As a supervisor, know what each officer brings to the table and then learn how to use their unique skillsets for the job.
How can you combine all the different strengths of your officers to create an efficient team? Are there specific opportunities that would best suit an individual with a specific skill set? Start directing these opportunities towards officers with the right skillsets.
Do this for each officer and communicate with them about knowing and appreciating their strengths.
Consider Making Shift Changes
To prevent burnout, you should consider making shift changes where possible. How can you ensure each officer has a good work/life balance? Are there ways to give officers time to focus on mental and physical health while working full time?
One shift change to consider is creating three different teams for three different shifts. They’ll work 11.25 hour days and then have four days off the rest of the week. Every two months or so, you can rotate the shifts.
This allows time for officers to readjust to a new schedule and also provides them time off during the week without causing shortages in the schedule. This is one option to consider, but there are other ways to make positive changes to the shift as well. Remember, when your team of officers is happy, the morale is raised.
Can You Raise Morale in Your Police Department?
Will you be able to raise morale in your police department? Of course, you can! Use all of these great ideas listed above to start boosting police morale.
Try one or two or try them all to learn what works best for you and your team.
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