Top security workforce management mistakes
By Mark FolmerFeatures Expert Advice Opinion security guards
Based on my company’s experience helping organizations improve their security operations globally, here are what we find to be the biggest mistakes security firms make — and how to avoid them.
Neglecting to account for human behaviour
To reduce the risk of being short-staffed, companies tend to hire more resources than necessary. A better tactic to avoid over-staffing, improve job satisfaction and productivity, and decrease turnover, however, is to optimize scheduling by getting to know the personal preferences and behaviours of your guards. For example, if an employee is more comfortable working at a concierge desk and prefers the day shift, you shouldn’t be calling that person to patrol an empty industrial lot overnight. There are tools that can help with strategic scheduling, leading to happier, more focused and more motivated employees.
Failing to remove mundane tasks
If you’re not already taking advantage of technology to automate repetitive tasks within your workforce, it’s only a matter of time before your business stagnates. Your guards will lose interest and your operational costs will be too high to stay competitive. The goal is to identify where and when technology can augment your security processes and then rely on human intervention only for those tasks that require it. If you let machines do mundane, repetitive work while your guards focus on decision-making and response, you’ll get their focus and engagement where you need it most.
Implementing technology for technology’s sake
There are so many neat technologies on today’s market, it’s easy to fall into the trap of purchasing the latest gadget to solve a one-off problem without considering the big picture. A standalone call-in system may help boost incident reporting, for example, but to really impact your bottom line, it needs to be integrated into your overall security workforce management software so that you can collect, store and report actionable data about those incidents.
Overlooking the value of data
In today’s data-driven world, corporate executives want specifics about the service they’re receiving for their annual security budget — from the type and number of incidents to the time of day when they’re likely to occur. The more a security service provider can present information to show where resources are best utilized, and where money can be saved, the more likely they are to retain the customer’s business. Ask yourself: am I providing information or intelligence? Make sure you are using the right business intelligence tools to collect data and turn it into a meaningful report that can be used for decision making. The better equipped you are to do this, the more you’ll be able to demonstrate the value of security as a business function.
Mark Folmer is the vice-president, security industry, of Montreal-based TrackTik Software Inc.
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