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Importance of Including Values in Australian Federal Police’s Corporate Plan
Values are the ideals and principles that bind an organization or any other entity. They are usually developed to create an ethical context for any given institution or department. In the Australian Federal Police (AFP), values entail an extensive compilation of rules, policies, and standardized operational procedures that aim to offer guidance to officers in their duty of discretion and during decision making. Moreover, the internal set of values drives the department and is a fundamental phenomenon in a police officers’ personal sense of duty. The Australian Federal Police follows seven values in their 2015-2019 corporate plan; they include integrity, commitment, excellence, accountability, fairness, trust, and respect (“Values – Australian Federal Police,” n.d.). The aspects are crucial to the organization, as they provide essential guidelines for strategic planning, behavior, as well as decision making. The paper describes the importance to include seven values in the AFP 2015-2019 corporate plan and discusses the two most important values.
Values closely correlate with an organization’s strategy; they motivate the department to achieve its long-term goals. The term strategy means the plans and policies that leaders employ in fulfilling the mission of the ministry. For any department, the development of clearly defined values is one of the phases in the process of strategic planning. The Australian Federal Police leaders should focus on how well the department has performed when compared to the set goals. Therefore, the inclusion of values in the department’s corporate plan will guide the employees towards achieving the primary goals. For instance, the value of fairness ensures that the officers treats everyone equally and enforce the established rules impartially. Internal fairness implies that all employees in the Australian Federal Police department other factors. Therefore, the value enables the department employees to work towards the corporate plan’s initiative of creating a healthy organization.
The values provide the Australian Federal Police with a critical aid in decision making, particularly for the middle-level leaders. Decision making is a critical part of the strategic planning process; therefore, officers employ the guidelines provided by values. The middle-level managers in any organization face a challenge of making decisions that can stand up to inspection. Sometimes the planning can temporarily stop as the middle-level officers seek advice and approval from the supervisors. The majority of the agents have conflicting interests. There is likelihood that their opinion is influenced by their interests, while hindering the best outcome of the department. Therefore, any officer, who will make a decision that is in line with the department’s values, will be in the position of justifying it to the stakeholders. Although alignment of the actions with values does not provide a guarantee for implementation, it makes the department members cooperate towards the set goals without unnecessary delays Reagan, 2012).
Moreover, values play a critical role in helping the Australian Federal Police to structure its direction. In conjunction with the vision and mission, which are also included in the corporate plan, values contribute to the formation of the Australian Federal Police’s identity and culture. The department’s strategic plan initiatives include determining its future orientation; hence, values guide the department in attaining its primary objectives. For the effective performance of an organization or a department, leadership should align with expressed behaviors. Leaders of the Australian Federal Police are perceived to be role models of lower ranked officers. Therefore, the success of the department depends on the conduct of the top officials. The values guide the top leaders in their activities by offering a platform for ethical duties. In addition, the department’s officials are held accountable for their behaviors based on the prescribed values. Therefore, the leaders offer a future direction for the department by demonstrating and reinforcing the values in their day-to-day interactions with other involved stakeholders. The behaviors that the top officials portray in the course of duties become the normative models for AFP.
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Finally, values are significant in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Australian Federal Police. The values guide an organization towards attaining its set objectives. In Australian Federal Police, the framework included in the corporate plan lead the entire department towards realizing the plan’s initiatives. The goals include determination of a future direction, innovative capability, partnership policing, and healthy organization. For instance, the values of commitment and excellence motivate the officials, thereby increasing their output in their respective operational sectors. As a result, the department increases its effectiveness in carrying out the operations. Besides, embracing the value of trust among the department’s officials creates a good relationship while improving the effectiveness of the ministry and attainment of the plan’s goals (Reagan, 2012).
Two Most Important Values
The two most significant values among the seven ideals included in the Australian Federal Police are integrity and fairness. In any police and security department that deals with crime, integrity and fairness are crucial for the attainment of the department’s strategic goals.
As per the AFP corporate plan, integrity is a core requirement, and each officer must portray it in their daily activities. Integrity entails having a steadfast adherence to a strict ethical and moral code. In other words, integrity is representing oneself in a truthful manner at all moments, expressing a professional and ethical behavior, acknowledging other people’s work, and portraying high levels of accountability. As per its definition, integrity enhances all other values of an individual. The personal position depends on how the individual lives up to the most critical values. Thus, integrity is most important to the AFP plan, as it is the basis of other values.
According to Lake (2012), integrity is the foundation of an individual’s character. In the Australian Federal Police, the character of the employees contributes to the department’s goals. The police officer is among the few professions that involve extensive interaction with the society. There is a need for the AFP officials to hold excellent characters that will enable them to fairly treat the society members. Therefore, integrity is crucial in the department as it manages the official’s character, thereby promoting the attainment of the department’s strategic goals. The officials portray high integrity levels by consistently executing activities in an honest manner.
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Police officers with integrity are likely to produce high quality of results in any activity they venture in. A strategic plan requires honest and committed individuals to facilitate the achievement of its goals. High integrity officials are always honest to their duties and strive to make their work excellent on every occasion. Therefore, integrity value in the AFP increases the chances of achieving its strategic goals as indicated in their corporate plan.
Finally, integrity increases the stability of AFP officials, thereby allowing them to execute their duties efficiently. Once the lower rank officials consider the top officials as being honest and strongly committed to carrying out the right activities, they are assured of a stable working environment. The police officers believe in the top officials’ integrity; thus, they will not panic during challenging circumstances. As a result, the performance of the department improves as the strategic goals are attained. Upon considering the above contributions of integrity to the strategic planning of AFP, it is the value that provides a foundation for other standards.
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Fairness is the second important value among the seven core ideas outlined in the AFP corporate plan. According to the document, each individual should be treated in the same manner, and the established rules should be impartially enforced. Within the AFP department context, fairness requires all officials to follow the same standards. Moreover, there should be no deviation due to friendship, personality and other factors. Officials should enforce laws without personal bias or favor. The nature of the AFP work requires the employees to apply discretion in various circumstances; therefore, fairness is crucial to the attainment of justice in any given case.
Fairness among the AFP officials also improves the performance of the department as a result of operational effectiveness. The value also emphasizes that every official is to be treated without favor and be subjected to the same standards. With equal treatment among the employees, the department will increase its effectiveness due to employees’ content with the management, thereby being motivated to conduct their duties effectively. Usually, the injustices that arise due to unfair treatment among employees limit the attainment of its strategic goals. Therefore, fairness leads AFP to achieving their strategic goals due to increased motivation and commitment of its officials.
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Moreover, fairness promotes a good relationship between the employees of the AFP department and the community. The equal treatment results in rare enmity. Therefore, the officials work as a group to achieve the strategic goals of the department. The fairness value also creates a positive wellbeing within the society as well as ensures that all persons have a fair and equal access to the department’s services. The community will thereby be satisfied with the operations of the department, which also increases willingness to offer required assistance.
Values are crucial elements in strategic planning of any given organization or entity. Through adhering to the values, AFP is likely to achieve its long-term goals. The values offer relevant guidance to the AFP officials, as they boost employees’ effectiveness in executing their respective duties. As a result, the department improves its overall performance, thereby working towards its strategic goals. The values of integrity and fairness are the significant ones included in the AFP’s corporate plan. The two morals provide the basis for other values among the department officials as they guide the department towards its objectives. Therefore, values are the necessary elements in AFP, particularly in its strategic planning process.