Workload and job satisfaction among police officers in two job categories

Workload and job satisfaction among police officers in two job categories

Police officers in the Netherlands experience a high workload. Furthermore, many police officers are confronted with situations that affect them emotionally, physically or both. At the same time, there are indications that work underload is also prevalent. In this working paper, we test the impact of workload on overall job satisfaction for neighbourhood police offers and team leaders C. We also investigate which factors influence the workload.

Using data from a survey among neighbourhood police officers and team leaders C, we find that satisfaction with the workload appears to be an important determinant of overall job satisfaction. Satisfaction with the workload captures both overload in terms of the quantity of work and emotional imbalance, but it is not correlated at all with the underutilisation of skills. An important finding is that the discrepancy between the quantity of the work that needs to be done and what a police officer can handle mainly depends on organisational factors.

Our results suggest that the quantitative and qualitative imbalances between workload and work capacity can be reduced by the following organisational measures:

  1. Improving work schedules by giving neighbourhood police workers a greater role in the work scheduling process
  2. Improving supervision, coaching and personnel management
  3. Improving support services by bringing at least part of these services under the control of regional police management again
  4. Reducing overtime

The imbalances cannot simply be solved by attracting more people, but the latter is also part of the solution. Team leaders need more assistants who can take over some of their duties, particularly in the field of supervision, coaching and personnel management. Only then problems in the field of workload can get enough attention, both in a preventive and a curative sense. More staff in other job categories would reduce the need to deploy neighbourhood police workers in tasks that do not belong to their job.



Publication date: 
September 2019
In collaboration with: 





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