Internal Communication and Employee Engagement: A Work-Based Study of the Lived Experiences of Queensland Police Service Employees

Masters Thesis


Martin, Rebecca. 2023. Internal Communication and Employee Engagement: A Work-Based Study of the Lived Experiences of Queensland Police Service Employees. Masters Thesis Master of Professional Studies. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/yyw22
Title

Internal Communication and Employee Engagement: A Work-Based Study of the Lived Experiences of Queensland Police Service Employees

TypeMasters Thesis
AuthorsMartin, Rebecca
Supervisor
1. FirstDr Lee Fergusson
2. SecondDr Shayne Baker
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Professional Studies
Number of Pages134
Year2023
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/yyw22
Abstract

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is the primary law enforcement agency for Queensland responsible for providing policing services to the community. As in many other jurisdictions, the QPS faces increased and changing service delivery demands. Simply maintaining a ‘traditional’ policing model is no longer sustainable and given anticipated demographic, and economic changes it is imperative the QPS maintains an engaged workforce. The annual Working for Queensland (WFQ) survey highlights that QPS agency engagement levels have remained relatively constant at 50-57 percent since the survey commenced in 2013, despite concerted attention by senior leaders to improve engagement levels. The term ’employee engagement’ is a contested concept there is a lack of consensus on an accepted definition for it. This research defines employee engagement as “employees’ positive attitude towards their organisation in terms of motivation and inspiration that releases discretionary effort to achieve organisational goals”. This meaning incorporates key aspects of the definition which applies to ‘agency engagement’ in the WFQ survey. This work-based study explores how QPS employees of different ranks and levels perceive and explain WFQ results related to internal communication and employee engagement to identify opportunities for senior leaders to improve engagement levels.

The study adopts a two-phase qualitative method, blending quantitative analysis of WFQ data, with contextualisation of qualitative data obtained in personal interviews. The study focuses on employee perspectives relying as much as possible on lived experiences to understand the WFQ results to identify interventions to improve engagement. By applying thematic analysis, the qualitative data collected are analysed in a manner which respects and represents the subjectivity of participants opinions and experiences, while also acknowledging and embracing the reflexive influence of the researcher interpretations. The results demonstrate a willingness of QPS employees to participate in research to have their ‘voice’ heard. Findings support further training for managers and leaders to develop social competencies to improve internal communication and feedback to employees.

KeywordsInternal Communication, Employee engagement
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350503. Human resources management
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/yyw22/internal-communication-and-employee-engagement-a-work-based-study-of-the-lived-experiences-of-queensland-police-service-employees

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