It has been a tough week at work. Unfortunately due to a variety of circumstances beyond our control we ended up being extremely short staffed. So much so that it led to me going back to my roots and working as a press officer. It was back to the incessant ringing of the telephones with yet another enquiry about a small road traffic collision with no injuries.
The experience was incredibly frustrating as I was transported back about 16 years to the time when I was a fresh faced press officer getting my first taste of policing. At that point I was so used to taking call after call, dealing with appeals for information and supporting investigations. It was what first got me interested in police communication and I suppose it is why I am still involved all these years later.
But it is some years since I have had to go back to that role. Although it was not the way I would have chosen to spend my Friday afternoon, as I had a whole lot of my own work that was backing up, it did open my eyes to the pressures that the frontline communicators face on a daily basis. There is a lot talked about bosses going back to the floor and looking at what people are doing on the frontline of the business. It is what I felt I was able to do today.
I now have a whole series of issues, questions and problems that I think need to be addressed to ensure that the staff are able to do the best job possible. It may mean changing some of the way we work but from today there is a lot that I think can be discussed. It reminded me that you don’t have to be the person in charge of the whole organisation to spend time with the staff at the sharp end. If you are in charge of any team you need to step into their shoes when you can to make sure your eyes are open to what they are facing.
Today may not have gone as I had hoped it would at the start of the week but it has reminded me of the importance of understanding what the team are dealing with, to keep my eyes open and to ultimately improve the service.