The Future of Guarding and Security and How to Adapt with These Changes
Written by Eyal Ben-Shir
“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Roy T. Bennett
As we experience the difficulties and challenges sprung to us by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to look at guarding solutions and evaluate its overall place for the future. Security companies in South Africa are making the move towards using off-site monitoring, CCTV cameras and technology. Some schools of thought adhere to technology only or others adhere to manned/physical guarding. This blog post will argue in the benefits of using a blended approach of labour and technology to ensure safer communities, properties, and information. We will define various terms and we aim to clarify these important concepts in an educational manner for all our readers. This is an important topic as we need to be receptive to change and learn from all the seismic shifts in the security industry.
In simple terms, a security officer is a person employed to protect people and properties from crime, accidents, fire, and suspicious behaviour. A security officer needs to undergo specific industry related training and gain the relevant experience to perform his/her duties effectively. Extensive interventions, further training and proper supervision will allow each security officer to flourish further in their careers. Proper screening and vetting of potential security personnel for any prior criminal activity is mandatory. Scenario-based testing will unveil the security officer’s current knowledge regarding the security industry and the level at which he/she is currently at.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin
Following from this, we are dealing with human beings who each come with their own narratives, histories, personalities, and backgrounds. To ensure the optimal working relationship between employer and employee, attention must be shown towards the development of each security officer. He/she might even become a supervisor, manager or become part of the upper tiers of operations and/or management. It is the duty of the training staff to make training sessions enjoyable, productive, and engaging for all. Each person needs a tailored and specific approach to learning. Adept trainers need to understand the different learning styles that suit each person best and adjust their training to ensure that the trainee receives the most benefit. Furthermore, reinforcement of training, recognition, mentorship, and proper succession planning will allow for more employees to flourish. Happy employees will be more productive and have increased work-life satisfaction. According to recent psychological research, job satisfaction and life satisfaction are strongly related to desirable outcomes in work and life such as: higher job performance, organizational citizenship behaviour, lower absenteeism, and organizational commitment (Diener and Tay, 2012).
Following from this, the right trainers and management staff will allow employees to develop more effectively and even if there are contentious issues, more empathetic and holistic approaches can combat this. This can include personalized one on one mentoring sessions, proper discipline, and regular performance appraisals. This involves time, money, and effort however if done correctly, it can lead to security officers better protecting clients’ assets, people, and information due to improved job and life satisfaction.
“It’s not about your resources, it’s about your resourcefulness” – Tony Robbins
It is vital to consider how resourceful your security provider is. Resourcefulness is the ability to overcome difficulties by using clever and efficient ways to solve these difficulties. In South Africa specifically, innumerable industries have been impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result there have been disruptions in essential industries, business closures, trade disruption, reduction in productivity, decreased income and countless related consequences. This spills into the security industry as there is a clear link between crime and economic inequality. Security companies need to rely on dynamic, cost effective and technological products and services to aid in the fight against crime. All this links to the fact that resourcefulness is invaluable. Security professionals need to be inventive, enterprising, and tenacious going forward.
Moreover, we cannot just buy all the cameras, the latest security gadgets, and equipment without first analyzing each product carefully. Security companies must operate within restricted budgets due to the new economic landscape. The best use of technology needs to combine with making cost effective use of our budgets. High-definition cameras, off-site monitoring, guard management software and access control systems are part of the holistic package that an effective security provider can use. However, a key reminder is that solely relying on technology without adequate training, supervision and human intervention could be detrimental to the overall goal and purpose of security which is looking after and protecting people, clients’ assets, and information. Sufficient product knowledge on the part of security professionals and consumers can lead to better decisions made. Emphasis to the type of property and site is critical. Quality risk assessments will determine which technology is correct for that site. Being resourceful with technology and guarding is likely to achieve better outcomes in terms of security measures and protection.
“Synergy – The Bonus that is Achieved when Things Work Together Harmoniously” – Mark Twain
The final piece of the puzzle for effective security in this ever-growing industry is synergy between personnel, technology, client, and overall cost. Without all these crucial elements working together harmoniously then this will result in subpar service delivery or catastrophe. The security industry is based on trust, and it is the duty of security professionals to carefully listen to the client’s needs and see how they can input value into the safety and lives of their beloved clients. To conclude, we need to pay attention to the fluctuating economy due to COVID-19, superior guarding solutions, the proper training and improved work-life satisfaction of security officers, conducting quality risk assessments, applying resourcefulness, and achieving total synergy. To reach the overarching goal of safety and security, it all boils down to implementing a tailor made and specific solution to the needs of all clients.
If you are interested in upgrading your security solutions or having one of our knowledgeable staff discuss an integrated solution of guarding and technology for you, look no further than the leading contract guarding specialists in South Africa, Mantis Security. We can conduct a free risk assessment on your property, business, or establishment. Our related services also include employee vetting and screening.
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