John Briggs – Motivation Requires a Unified Approach

John Briggs, Operations Director of First Security
John Briggs, Operations Director of First Security

In his latest blog for Infologue, First Security’s John Briggs looks at the area of guard motivation and how it should be used as a catalyst for developing an effective, company-wide security culture.

“Guard motivation is a critical component in the delivery of effective security services.

“There’s nothing particularly revolutionary in this statement of course, but it is a theory that has been proven time and again.

“Motivation is a reflection of the energy, commitment and, ultimately, the level of productivity that a company’s workers bring to their job. In the security industry especially, demotivated staff are less likely to perform their role effectively and can be the single point of failure within a security system.

“So here at First Security, alongside the BSIA, we welcomed the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure’s (CNPI’s) recent guidance, which is designed to help security managers improve and maintain staff motivation.

“But it also got us thinking. The step-by-step guidance provided in the report and the supporting benchmarking and analysis tools are invaluable for those responsible for managing security personnel and contain some excellent advice on how to develop and maintain a motivated workforce.

“And in that respect, they should be integrated in to every security business’s standard employee development regimes.

“However, I would suggest that they should also be considered in the wider context of integration with the customer’s culture.

“After all, guards must rely on the goodwill and cooperation of those they are protecting to deliver the right level of security. And in that respect, staff that are well informed and appreciate the value of having the right security measures in place, are more likely to respond positively.

“So it is not only the actions of a well-motivated guard that can create a safe working environment; it is also about each employee having a common, unified approach to security in their organisation.

“Let me give you some examples.

“For instance, if an organisation wants its employees to be vigilant and consider security measures as an integral aspect of their work, then it must provide an environment that sets the right example.

“Staff may be required to keep paperwork securely locked away, but if they are not provided with sufficient, lockable storage, they may question the management’s commitment to security.

“Other, simple measures can be put in place to develop the right culture. Providing a security hotline for employees to report incidents, ensuring that there are appropriate procedures for handling and disposing of information and instigating a clear desk and work area policy are all proven examples.

“In conclusion, the case for employing a well-trained, well-motivated guard is clear. But for this to have maximum returns, companies should also consider creating a more open environment where everyone plays their part in reducing security risk.”

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