With security, you get out of it what you put in. This is true with the financial investments into quality security hardware, but it is also true with employee training. There is no better security than an employee who is trained on reporting and dealing with these types of issues. This covers everything from witnessing theft to finding flaws in everyday procedures. It is up to their training to create and nurture these skills. So here is how you can get the best security possible out of your staff.
Issues With Procedure
Every time an employee is trained, this is the perfect time to reassess operational procedures. Use this opportunity to make sure that there are no flaws in terms of money handling, opening/closing, merchandise handling, etc. However, you should also be open to the concerns of existing staff. Make sure that training consists of expressing a culture of listening and caring. If an employee sees an issue that may be exploited or compromise security in some way, they should know where to go to report it.
In terms of security, these issues are especially important when it comes to cash flow. How the revenue is moved throughout the company can always be refined to lower the chances of both internal and external theft. Be aware that procedural issues may also center around the extreme nature of certain security measures. Certain security procedures may be too cumbersome or restricting to the daily operation of the company. When a procedure makes an employee’s job too difficult, it increases the chance of that precaution being ignored or worked around. Try to anticipate this issue before security is ignored, and create a corporate culture that rewards the voicing of such concerns. If you do not work with your staff, this may lead to distrust and even disdain.
Employees should always be trained on how to deal with witnessing a theft. They may not have time to alert a supervisor or another employee before intervention would be needed. Which means that they may intervene, and that may not be in line with company policy. Workers need to know how to deal with the theft in the moment that it happens and also how to deal with the fallout. They must know who to contact first and the time frame that they are expected to act in.
Theft can be from an internal threat just as easily as it could come from outside the business. But both these types of theft are certain to need different procedures in terms of both intervention and reporting. There is also the issue of institutionalized theft, which may create a culture of closet criminality. This means that there should be alternative channels for reporting an internal theft. For example, if the manager is the one stealing, there must be a way to report this to a higher up. The better trained your staff are on this procedure, the quicker they will be to come forward. The more this part of training is stressed, the more importance will be placed on this aspect of security in the mind of your staff.
Physical Security Concerns
Issues may be systematic or sporadic, but they could also consist of issues with hardware. Often employees make due with doors that stick, or even work around something as severe as a broken lock. Training should consist of instilling a reporting procedure for these issues. It also requires something to be done when these issues are brought up. A staff member is always being trained, just like a human being is always learning. When you tell an employee to report something and their report does not lead to any change, you are implicitly training them not to follow that procedure.
This is very important for a business’ security because having functional safes, locks, doors, and other physical security measures means having better security. When something does not work every time, it is not providing reliable security. In fact, it is leading to instances where a lack of functionality is expected. These type of issues significantly increase the vulnerability to every type of security threat. This even poses potential safety risks, such as ineffective emergency exits. In cases of safes and cash storage hardware malfunctioning, your revenue is in significant peril. Any security cameras which are buggy can also lead to product theft as well as issues with cash flow. Make sure that workers know that they can report these issues and have them fixed.
Procedural considerations will vary from industry to industry, but one thing will alway remain true. That is, your workers need to know those considerations, and they also need to know what to do if things are not working. Security is about preparation, and in the case of employees, that means training. The more you train someone, the less you are leaving up to chance. Rather than hope that workers do what you want, you have to tell them what you want and show them that it matters to follow procedures. If an employee does not trust that something will be done by them reporting an issue, they will often choose to not rock the boat. Train them with your actions. Take security seriously, and so will your employees.