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How To Work With Security Guards And Keep Them Motivated

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Security guards are hired for many reasons. However, it is very important that you look for a company that provides fully proficient guards. Generally it is believed that the company with a high turnover rate is not a good option to consider because constant turnover of security officers means that there is a high chance that a few or all the officers on duties are either inexperienced or new.

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It usually takes six month to train a security guard which means that a company with more new security officers is not reliable as their guards will not be able to detect an unusual activity due to their unfamiliarity with the site. Furthermore they will be less likely to make a good decision in case of any emergency.

The security guard company is bound to take essential steps to retain their experienced security guards. However this is certainly not sufficient as there are a number of things that the client company should do to improve security guard retention. Both the client and the company has to work together to solve this problem.

How to enhance their working conditions

Being a client of a security company, here are some of the suggested changes that you can make to keep the security guards motivated in working for you:

• Treating them with respect

It is quite common to see people treating security guards as a second-class citizen at many sites. They are not only ignored by the company’s employees but at times insulted as well. It is the prime responsibility of the senior management of the client company to ensure that the security guard is treated with respect. They should make it clear that security guard-abuse will not be acceptable.

• Get to know your security guards

The management level of the client company should introduce themselves to the guard and if possible try to remember their names as well. A simple ‘hello’ to a security guard by name can really create a good impact and will play an important role in improving working conditions for the security officer. Similarly, the person at the company who is responsible for handling security matters must personally welcome the new security officers on their first day. This should be done for all security guards including those who work at night and have shifts over the weekend.

• Providing clear directions to the security guards

It is important that the client company provides a clear written job description to their security officers alone with the policies and procedures that they are bound to follow. Sufficient training should be provided to the security guards and this should be accompanied with the written instructions. Verbal instructions are important obviously but one can certainly not ignore the importance of written instructions. Similarly, security guards must never be asked by the employees of the client company to deviate from the written procedures without going through a proper channel.

• Show them your support when they are doing the right thing

It is very important that the security guards at the client company receive appreciation of their hard work. Similarly they should be given support when the guard is following company’s policies and procedures even if it offends somebody. For instance, if the procedure demands that all visitors must sign in, the security guard must not be reprimanded when he asks the company president’s wife to follow the same procedure.

If the written instructions are overridden by a set of unwritten rules, they tend to frustrate the security officers and therefore must be avoided to the maximum. In case there is a sound reason to have an exception to a specific rule, it would be documented and must be given to the security guard.

• Acknowledge good performance

Security guards who perform well must be acknowledged by the company. For instance, if a security guard notices a water leak in a room and reports to the management before it can cause damage; his efforts should be acknowledged and appreciated by the senior management. A simple note may seem meaningless in the beginning but it would certainly mean a great deal to the security guard.

There are some companies who have initiated ‘Security Guard Of the Month’ program where guards who perform exceptionally well are officially recognized. The security guard who wins this award must be given a certificate or any other small gift that he can cherish for years.

• Provide a healthy working environment

Many security guardhouses are cluttered places that have not been cleaned in years. Similarly, the patrol vehicles issued to the guards are often beaten up wrecks that are not reliable at all. Above all, the two way radios, flashlights and other equipment given to the guards are in poor condition as well and therefore not reliable. It is important to remember that security guards in Montreal can only perform best when they are given a healthy working environment with the best tools and equipment. If you expect him to work as a professional then you need to act as one as well.

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