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When you hire security guard services, it might seem that your work ends there, and the guards’ work begins. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Not all security guard services are created equally, as are not all security guards. As a result, if you aren’t careful, you could find that they cannot meet your expectations. In the following, we will discuss how you can get the most out of your security guard services.
When new security guards are assigned to your site, consider asking their employer for credentials. It’s easy to assume you are being sent guards with proper training, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check.
While security guard services should and usually do provide training for their guards, your site is unique. As well, what you expect might be slightly different from other clients. The best way to ensure that they meet your needs is to provide some onsite training and orientation. Showing guards the grounds, pointing out vulnerable areas, explaining how people working or living there might behave, and the expectations they might have, and so on all help them become more capable at doing their job. Is there special equipment they need to use? Do you have an advanced security system they need to familiarize themselves with? Is the site associated with a specific industry and with government compliance regulations? All of these questions can be answered through training.
While all security companies have a list of services they provide, the role their guards give for each client will vary. Along with training, providing a job description that clarifies what is expected from their service ensures they understand their responsibility. This also helps make your contract more effective, as you can learn from day one if there are things the service won’t provide or that is not considered part of the agreement. This allows you to negotiate new roles within the terms, so you get what you need. Is there a customer service element to the job? Are they expected to answer calls at the security gate? Do they have to receive deliveries? Are there certain protocols they must follow? All of these things can be covered between training and the job description.
Paying close attention to details such as potentially challenging interactions that the guards might face can reduce conflict. In hospital settings, sensitivity and special training to deal with issues such as distraught family members, victims of violence, or those with mental illness are required. In a high-end condo, a certain sense of respect is expected from the residents. In cases where security guards are ill-prepared for their roles and those they are likely to interact with, it is easy for conflict to occur. However, if the guards understand expectations and special instructions on de-escalation tactics, they can avoid unmanageable conflicts and conduct themselves professionally.
In situations where the service does not meet expectations, the issues should be addressed immediately. Finding out why certain challenges arise and then coming up with solutions to avoid future issues ensures that the security services will meet your needs. If you allow things to slide, the service will have no knowledge of anything being wrong. Clear communication and ongoing feedback help keep everyone happy.
While contracted security services report to a supervisor, they also need a clear line of management on the site. Ensuring the guards understand who they report to and supervise them is very important for a successful relationship. They will know who to speak to if there are issues, who they are expected to answer to when they arrive or leave, who needs to know where they are when doing their rounds, and so on. Some points to discuss prior to hiring the service should include:
These questions will help you understand how guards are supervised at their end to determine how much monitoring is required at yours.
Even though you might sign with a security service that provides spot checks for their guards, you want to ensure they meet your needs with your own inspections. Unannounced inspections at varying hours help keep guards honest and work at peak performance as they never know when you or their own field supervisors might appear.
As part of strong communication, security meetings should be held regularly. This allows you to provide feedback to the contractor while also giving updates on things that will affect their team. Feedback helps ensure the security services continue to meet your needs, while updates make certain your site receives the most effective security if changes happen. Choose a regular time and day of the week for security meetings to ensure they occur. Remain open to feedback from the security company in case they have concerns. This provides a two-way communication opportunity where ideas can be exchanged, concerns can be raised, and solutions are provided to keep things running smoothly.
You hired security services and paid for their expertise; therefore, you should always be open to suggestions to improve your security setup. Sometimes, suggestions are taken as criticism, which can lead to missed opportunities to enhance your security. Security services and their guards are experts in their fields and can often provide insight into vulnerabilities in your system or protocols. Listening to input and suggestions will improve communication while also allowing you to make the most of the services.
These tips help create a more productive security team while ensuring communication allows security services to understand their deliverables. If you would like to learn more about Optimum Security’s services, speak to our team today.