How we helped a police force build a culture of continuous improvement

How a police force engages with its staff is critical. Ensuring their ideas are heard and actioned drives continuous improvement ensuring our communities are kept safe.

Police staff provided with direct access to SimplyDo across web and mobile
New ideas, likes and comments captured with SimplyDo
Time saved in administration and management of ideas using SimplyDo
SimplyDo has been instrumental in enabling the organisation to manage and implement innovation from our workforce in a far more efficient and visible manner.
Sarah-Jane Bray, Engagement Manager, South Wales Police


Creating a culture of trust in and bureaucracy out


Meeting the strategic goal of creating culture of improvement
Co-creating solutions with staff as part of change programme
Reducing the administrative burden in managing ideas

South Wales Police (SWP) are the largest police force in Wales, with more than 6,000 officers and staff serving more than 1.7 million people. 

Their vision is to be the best at understanding and responding to the needs of it’s communities to keep South Wales safe. To achieve this vision, SWP embarked on a change programme to empower staff in making both big and small improvements across the organisation. 

This work commenced with the launch of a staff ideas campaign called “100 Things 100 Days”. This was hugely successful with over 750 ideas being received which reflected the innovative nature of the staff. The ideas were submitted through an intranet system with ideas managed using spreadsheets and emails. 

South Wales Police are recognised as sector leaders in improvement and innovation. So the level of engagement and quantity of ideas wasn’t the issue. However, the excellent response quickly turned into an administrative burden for the improvement team. Staff expected full transparency with swift responses and action on ideas. This is without understanding the challenges of implementing new ideas into large and complex public sector organisations. As a result, South Wales Police went out to competitive tender to find a company to help.


Creating a community of change-makers in policing


Creating specific challenges linked to Delivery Plan and improving quality of ideas
Transparent space for staff to share their ideas and support others with likes and comments
Working with SWP to create idea Kanban project boards enabling tasks to be allocated

We supported South Wales Police to roll-out our challenge-led approach to ensure staff were submitting ideas linked directly to strategic goals. This was combined with the launch of an open ideas space building social media style communities around key challenges. This created greater transparency and increased the quality and relevance of idea submissions.

As leaders in innovation in policing, the South Wales Police improvement team worked very closely with us to create a better way to manage the idea implementation process. This collaborative design approach led to the development of kanban-style idea project boards. This enabled idea implementation to be managed more effectively subsequently reducing the administrative burden of complex spreadsheets and volumes of emails. 

To support access, the SimplyDo mobile app was released across all staff-issued mobile devices.


Surfacing great ideas from every corner


Streamlining the processes of idea capture through to implementation
Empowering staff to make positive changes in their ways of working (e.g. wellbeing)
Contributing to organisational efficiency and productivity through staff-led improvements

South Wales Police demonstrated that a strong culture of improvement already existed within the organisation. Our responsibility was to ensure that ideas were moving through to implementation as smoothly as possible. 

A great example of this was through the “Shwmae” (Welsh for “Hello”) Challenge. This cross-organisational challenge was focused on ideas for staff wellbeing launched through a difficult period due to Covid. Nevertheless, this challenge alone was engaged with over 12,000 times resulting in 83 ideas which received 1,121 likes. To date, 29 ideas have already been implemented ranging from mentoring for junior officers through to the very popular introduction of wellbeing dogs.

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