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18 June 2014

INTERPOL responds to staff needs as Organization moves into next stage of evolution

LYON, France – In order to better respond to and meet staff needs and requirements, INTERPOL has conducted a survey to identify areas for improvement as the Organization enters the next stage in its evolution.

With the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation opening in Singapore in September this year and the General Assembly’s election of the next Secretary General in November, the staff survey was undertaken in order to ensure the Organization will be in the strongest possible position to support these changes.

Commissioned by the INTERPOL Staff Committee and carried out by People Vox, a specialist external company, the anonymous survey enabled staff to give honest feedback resulting in both positive and negative comments.

The level of participation in the survey was high with nearly 49 per cent of staff participation. It is noteworthy however that responses were received from just 17 per cent of seconded staff consisting largely of law enforcement officers sent to work at INTERPOL for an average of between three and six years. While seconded staff responses were very favourable, the small number of respondents makes it difficult to draw broad conclusions. The results of this survey are therefore heavily weighted in the direction of paid contractual employees of INTERPOL.

With 64 per cent of staff surveyed saying they were satisfied with INTERPOL as an employer, areas praised by staff included the multicultural environment – there are currently some 100 different nationalities working at the General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon – the general working conditions and an overall sense of pride in working for INTERPOL as an organization.

The results were also broken down in terms of gender, type of contract and length of service, with women and longer-term employees expressing less satisfaction than other groups.

Among the areas identified for the Organization’s improvement:

  • Have clear values and rules that are respected and enforced;
  • Ensure that all staff be respected whether police or non-police, senior or junior in grade or responsibility, male or female;
  • Improve transparency as well as ensuring fairness and equity in hiring, promotions and budget allocations;
  • Provide greater information on internal mobility as well as on its remuneration policy and social policy;
  • Ensure there is no harassment of any kind.

An organization of INTERPOL’s stature and reputation should not accept any kind of harassment of staff. Therefore, the Organization acted immediately to make clear that harassment of any kind would not be tolerated. Meetings were held to ensure that staff were aware of the procedures in place to report any such allegations in order for appropriate action to be taken in accordance with INTERPOL’s staff rules.

To make sure that the Organization addressed the issues of dissatisfaction raised in the survey, the Secretary General created a working group, comprising a cross-section of staff and tasked the working group with making recommendations on short, medium and long-term actions where improvement was needed.

Their recommendations, which incorporate feedback from additional follow-up interviews, were presented to, and accepted by, the Secretary General. Among the recommendations were;

  • Redefine the positioning of Human Resources at INTERPOL and reinforce its capacity for guaranteeing transparency, equity and fairness in staff treatment;
  • Improve the performance appraisal mechanism to make it more proactive and articulate short-term and longer-term considerations;
  • Identify and address good and under-performance in an adequate manner;
  • Ensure that the workload in each entity is commensurate with its human resources;
  • Use the strength of staff pride in working for INTERPOL to make all aware of the need for exemplary behaviour.

“All organizations make mistakes and can benefit from candid staff feedback, but the great organizations learn from their mistakes and put systems in place to reduce the likelihood of the mistakes being repeated. This is what INTERPOL is doing,” said Secretary General Noble.

“Our staff’s identification of a number of areas where we needed to improve and our taking steps to address their concerns raised will make the Organization even stronger,” added Mr Noble.

“INTERPOL’s senior management is serious about doing all in its power to work with staff to make INTERPOL the best organization it can possibly be. We can never forget the reason why we joined this great organization – to make the world safer, and my adoption of all of the Working Group’s recommendations following the survey is an important step in ensuring that our important mission can be fulfilled," concluded Secretary General Noble

To avoid any misrepresentation and to satisfy the highest standard of transparency regarding their results, INTERPOL is making public the survey’s findings.

The survey was designed and conducted by People Vox, experts in satisfaction survey and opinion polls, who provided an overall analytical study of the findings.

“Whilst INTERPOL is clearly a complex and very different type of organization from the companies we normally work with, the issues raised are the same as those we have seen in surveys from all sectors,” said Thibault Bordeaux, co-founder of People Vox.

“Internal satisfaction surveys, and especially anonymous ones, are used as an opportunity for staff to go further than they would in normal management procedures, thereby giving the company or organization more frank feedback than they would usually be able to receive and so empowering them to take more effective action,” added Mr Bordeaux.