Utilizing High and Low Tech for Effective Security Patrol Systems
An Effective Security Patrol System has Many Moving Parts
Managing an effective, modern security company requires great leadership, robust software, technological integration, and more. Here’s how to maximize the efficiency of your security guards and thus the profitability of your business.
#1 Utilize Technology
One of the most important things that a modern security guard business can do is to use the modern tools that technology has made available. Modern security guard management systems provide a variety of benefits, including security guard accountability and methods of reporting incidents to clients and spotting opportunities for better guard training.
Imagine this scenario:
Ben is a security guard who has been on the job for five years. Ben knows your company really well, and having been on the same assignment for five years, he knows the property he is guarding well too. While he has the best of intentions, it can be easy for him to get lazy. For five years Ben has walked the perimeter and seen nothing. There have been no break-ins. No emergencies. Nothing has happened… except that Ben has become complacent.
One evening, Ben decides to skip one door check on his rounds. A few nights later, he skips a second one. Soon, he is just walking through the motions, not really looking around, only spot checking a few random doors. He spends most of his shift sitting in his guard shack surfing the internet on his phone.
Then, one night, something happens. An employee at the company intentionally leaves a door unlocked to let a friend come in during the night and steal supplies. Ben didn’t check the door on his first rounds, and doesn’t notice. As Ben is laughing at a funny YouTube video, a nameless someone enters through the open door, grabs some supplies, and escapes without Ben ever noticing.
Later, Ben decides to do his rounds. This time he does check the doors, and finds it unlocked. But he doesn’t report it as unlocked since he isn’t sure about whether it was unlocked earlier. Reporting it now would lead to questions as to whether it had been unlocked during the first round, and Ben doesn’t want anyone to think about that.
He simply locks the door, does not report it, and moves along. The next day the client learns that he’s been robbed.
Will Ben deny finding an unlocked room? Who will be blamed? Who is accountable? What will this cost the client in monetary loss? In reputation?
With the right security guard tour systems in place, Ben would not be able to become so complacent; he’d be held accountable as his actions would automatically be logged. It’s unlikely that the door would’ve been left open and the goods stolen.
Technology can tell you what door is open, where a person walks to, if they reach a certain checkpoint, how long they spend in one place, and so much more. Utilizing that technology can help a security guard business run smoothly and effectively.
#2 Don’t Forget the Basics
While technology is amazing and helpful, all of the technology in the world can’t replace the basics, such as:
- effective and clear procedures
- good training
- well-chosen employees
- effective methods of communication
Remember that while a security patrol system is an important part of managing guards, hiring the right guards in the first place is paramount. A security guard tracking system can only take you so far. You need to have the right people, train them in your company’s policies and procedures, and then help keep them motivated and engaged in such a way that they want to do their jobs
Why care if your employees are engaged? Because engaged employees are more effective and are a huge benefit to your business.
And remember that there are ways to motivate employees besides simply paying them more. Sure, a higher hourly rate and incentive bonuses are definitely motivating. But there are many other factors that can keep employees happy, motivated, and doing the best job you can hope for:
- Benefits. Providing health insurance, vacation time, paid holidays, and paid sick time goes a long way towards ensuring job satisfaction.
- Job perks. Find ways to give your employees little extras that make life fun. For example, are your employees guarding a movie theater? Talk to the manager about allowing them to see free movies when they are off the clock.
- On the job comfort. Having a job where you work in a place that feels good is important. People like their comforts, so ensure that your guard shack has heating and AC, ample lighting, and that it is a comfortable and inviting workspace.
- Flexible hours. Today, perhaps more than ever before, people like their hours to be flexible so that work can fit in with their life. Work with your employees to help their schedules fit around family obligations, school, health appointments, and so forth.
- Respect and recognition. Everyone wants to be respected and appreciated. Treat your employees with respect every day, and be sure to tell them when they are doing a great job.
#3 Ensure that You Make Well-Thought-Out Decisions
As the leader of a security company, a lot of responsibility falls to you. You need to know how to attract clients and manage client relationships, hire and train employees and monitor their performance, and so much more.
When you run a company, it falls to you to make a variety of decisions that will serve your clients well, and thus serve your company well. One of the most important decisions to be made in business management is hiring people. Once you hire those people, though, you need an effective security management training program that can help you understand how your people and resources are being used.
Such a system, when properly implemented, can help you make decisions about personnel training, hiring, firing, and assignments.
There are some do it yourself security guard checkpoint systems on the market, however if you really want something reliable and proven effective, consider a full-fledged security guard software system that can help track guard movements, file reports, increase profitability, and more.
#4 Never Stop Learning
Remember that no matter how much you think you know your business — and security in general — the world is always changing and you can never stop learning. Be curious. Be aware. Spend time reading articles like this one, researching state of the art in security, and always stay on top of the latest trends so that you know when it is time to update your guard tour system.
Need a guard booth to serve as home base for your technology and employees? Learn more about buying a guard shack.