In today’s world filled with growing concern over safety, the need for security in all aspects of life is becoming inevitable, specifically in the workplace. Employers have a responsibility not only to their shareholders but to their employees. And while security may seem like strictly a surface-based issue, one in which only employees are at risk, a simple cost-benefit analysis would prove otherwise. Imagine a situation in which a simple act of violence or an emergency occurs within your company’s walls.
Now imagine the consequences of the situation should business operations be interrupted for as little as a day. Imagine the financial impact this could have. Imagine the peace of mind of the shareholders and the employees that is taken away by the actions of one individual. The overall results could be devastating. Now imagine if you had planned ahead and not only hired security but hired competent security, to ensure that such potential losses are mitigated. Not only would you as the employer avoid losing value with the shareholders and staff, but you would instead gain value with the aforementioned as they would feel an even greater sense of security knowing that upper management truly cares about their safety and well-being.
Continuity is the name of the game in corporate security
In today’s society, the only way to ensure it is by being proactive in terms of security staffing and emergency planning. More times than not, the day-to-day activities of a security team help to mitigate the risk of an unfortunate event occurring, to the point where the average employee may never even once think about the security team and its presence, but undoubtedly will rest assured knowing that it is, in fact, present, and working around the clock to ensure that that employee can focus on his work and not the safety of the workplace. And that is what it is all about—peace of mind.
Looking at some of the specific functions of security in a corporate environment
Let’s begin with policy creation and implementation. As with any project, the beginning stage involves planning. And in the interest of security, planning refers to preparing for any and all scenarios that may arise in which safety and security are threatened. Just to name a few:
- Unauthorized individual on site
- Responding to a medical emergency
- Hostile employee termination
- Power outage
Moving on to the execution phase
Once these policies are created, they need to be passed along and made common knowledge amongst all staff members. It’s also a great idea to practice response to such scenarios, however, remember, business continuity is the common goal for all parties involved. Therefore, while training is important, it needs to planned and conducted in a manner that allows for maximum effectiveness in the shortest amount of time possible, so that business professionals can focus on business.
Once policies are created and effectively implemented, they need to be routinely revisited to ensure that they are updated based on the constantly-evolving economic, commercial, and security landscape. Review of these policies and procedures should be conducted on a regular basis as part of a comprehensive security audit. As part of this audit, a detailed threat assessment of the facility and property should be conducted. Included in this assessment will be a thorough test of all security systems, ensuring operational effectiveness.
Once the audit is complete, it should be presented to the executive team as part of a quarterly security briefing, in which all aspects of the security firm’s activities should be detailed. In conjunction with this briefing, a quarterly security bulletin should be forwarded to all employees, covering basic yet crucial aspects of everyday security in the workplace. The bulletin, along with any training conducted, should be aimed at empowering each employee to take security seriously and to do his or her part to ensure the workplace remains safe and secure. Some examples of topics in the security bulletin would be:
- Challenging unknown individuals on site without credentials displayed and without an escort
- The importance of not using public Wi-Fi networks
- Proper handling of solicitation phone calls
- Maintaining accountability of keycards
- The importance of confidentiality
In addition to providing employees with information regarding various topics involving safety and security, your security team can provide direct training on the same. The benefit to using your security team for this training, as opposed to bringing in outside personnel, is that the security team is familiar with the intricacies of the organization and site, allowing the training to be tailored to the specific needs of the client. Another advantage is that the employees will feel more comfortable learning from the security team since they are already familiar with the individuals providing security on a daily basis. This training will also help to forge a strong working relationship between the staff and security, and considering the importance of trust in the company-security relationship, this can go a long way in future situations. Some common training topics covered include:
- First Aid
- CPR & AED
- Active shooter
- Proper phone procedures
- Proper handling of inappropriate communications
The importance of well-trained security personnel
While training your staff in order to create as many force multipliers as possible is important, there is no substitute for the trained security professional. In addition to some basic functions—monitoring security systems, training and leading the office safety team, escorting employees to parking after-hours—security personnel can act as invaluable assets in countless situations.
For example, have you ever thought about what you would do in the event of a suspicious package being delivered to the office? Or what about when someone from accounting collapses for no apparent reason and remains unresponsive? Have you ever considered how you would handle a recently-terminated employee who gained access to the office with the credentials that he said he lost? These are all questions that commonly go unasked by employees. These are also questions that security personnel ask themselves constantly, and more importantly, have trained for and are prepared for every day.
A security team stands ready to be first responders in the event of a medical emergency or a hostile vendor termination. A security team ensures receptionists are utilizing proper phone procedures so that unwanted calls are not forwarded. A security team handles and processes all inappropriate communications, ensuring executives are not bothered by persistent fans or solicitors. A security team provides protection for executives and key staff, ensuring upper management can move freely without interruption. A security team provides safety and peace of mind, allowing for continued prosperity. What does your security team do?