Between 2003 and 2005 we were involved in a large project to advise on a work/life balance survey for the Inspectors' Central Committee, of the Police Federation of England and Wales. It had become apparent over the previous 10 years that changes to the inspectors' role had affected officers' stress levels and general well-being, as well as their ability to juggle work and home demands.
The Committee approached us to help with a staff survey on the issue. This quickly mushroomed from initial advice on a couple of survey items. We involved a number of associates.
Richard MacKinnon of WorkPsych Ltd says: "A fantastic project to be involved in. The project team brought diverse but complimentary skills to the project. We were able to use John Rust's considerable expertise in the interpretation of results. My colleague Almuth McDowell contributed her prior knowledge of work/life balance issues, whereas I was able to offer specialised advice on work design and stress. Two other colleagues focused on analysing the survey comments, a huge but often neglected mine of information."
The project was led by Almuth McDowall. We advised extensively on the survey design, but our main focus was on the interpretation of the survey data and the dissemination of the research findings. Our dissemination strategy included:
- an in-depth but accessible report that was circulated widely in the police force as well as in the wider community.
- a presentation at an internal conference.
- together with the Secretary and Chairman of the Inspectors' Central Committee we also presented the findings at the British Psychological Society Division of Occupational Psychology's Annual Conference in January 2005.
- a key summary of work/life balance at the European Work and Organizational Psychology Congress in Istanbul.
These presentations received extremely positive feedback from practitioners and academicsas well as considerable press interest. People appreciated hearing about work/life balance issues from a science-practitioner perspective, as well as the clients' side.
As John Francis, Secretary to the Inspectors' Central Committee said in his talk "Look, we are police officers. We could not have done the work without the knowledge and support offered by the team at The Psychometrics Centre".
The work/life balance project is a good example of what we do best - successfully bridging science and practice. Contact us for more information about the services we offer.