Leadership & Management Column / Security Leadership and Management / Columns

Extending Dignity and Respect to Security Officer Contracts

Virtually every company will have a statement of some kind extolling the senior leadership’s commitment to treating people with dignity and respect.

August 1, 2014
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Go to your corporate website, Chief Compliance Officer or your HR department and get the latest copy of your company’s Code of Business Conduct, Corporate Values Statement… Virtually every company will have a statement of some kind extolling the senior leadership’s commitment to treating people with dignity and respect.

Outside of committing fraud, an act of workplace violence or gross negligence, there is generally no quicker way to be shown the door than to be disrespectful of people inside or outside the company. So why doesn’t this virtue hold true for many procurement organizations in corporations today? 

More and more corporate procurement organizations have adopted a methodology of engaging in bidding wars through online auctions to drive competing companies to produce the lowest cost of ownership or purchased services for the company.   

What is extremely disconcerting is that an increasing number of procurement organizations in companies apply this online bidding war methodology to human services, particularly in the area of temporary help, cleaning and security officer services. Most will agree that it is one thing to purchase tangible materials and even some intangible products like insurance utilizing this procurement process, but it is an entirely different moral standard that is being violated when people are being treated like a commodity! Ask yourself, ask the head of Human Resources, ask the head of procurement and better yet, ask your CEO…does this type of procurement methodology conform to your company’s code of business conduct? Does this type of procurement methodology treat people with dignity and respect?  

We are told that the quality of services that are ultimately provided under the contracts that result from this type of procurement methodology is generally rated as less than satisfactory.  We have also been told that once procurement has handed off the process to the functional organization responsible for managing contract performance, an inordinate amount of time has to be spent ensuring that the service providers do the job. After all, the procurement folks met their performance goals by saving X amount of dollars for the company and get their bonuses.

As a result of this bidding war phenomenon, service industry organizations have been forced to operate on razor thin margins. People who are hired to perform the actual tasks defined in the contract are frequently treated poorly, forced to work excessive overtime, charged for equipment, uniforms, training and a host of other things. As a result, strong security officer unions have been formed in some cities, which are likely to spread to others.

Another thing to consider is that cleaning crews and security officers generally have unfettered after-hours access in most companies and are doing their work when virtually no one from the company is around to oversee them. Unless your company performs background investigations on any and all contractors working on your sites, you have no idea who these people are or what they have previously done. 

A number of cleaning services have been fined for hiring undocumented workers to perform services at their client’s facilities. When ICE conducts a raid looking for undocumented workers, the headline in the paper doesn’t read “XYZ Cleaning Company Raided,” but instead: “Raid at Corporate Giant Nets Illegal Aliens.” Which headline would draw your attention?

At the end of the day, everyone certainly has a responsibility to control costs, but it is important to maintain dignity and respect. The real goal should be purchasing the highest quality service available and doing so at a fair price. After all, your guard force is truly the frontline of defense in protecting your property and making sure that the facility and everything in it is still there the next morning. 

Set an example by telling your procurement organization that you will not allow guard services to be handled as an online action or bidding war. We feel so strongly about this issue that we will make available for free a model security officer bidding process that has been utilized for more than 30 years, constantly refined and updated. It provides a model RFP, bid response package and contract. The process has been proven when contracting for 168 hours to 35,000 hours a week of security officer services. E-mail your request to Lynn Mattice at: matticeandassociates@gmail.com

 

About the Authors: Jerry J. Brennan is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of Security Management Resources (SMR Group), the world’s leading executive search firm exclusively focused in corporate security. Lynn Mattice is Managing Director of Mattice and Associates, a management consultancy focused at the development and alignment of Enterprise Risk Management and Business Intelligence Programs, as well as Intellectual Property Protection and Cybersecurity. 

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.

Podcasts

Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

Security December 2014 issue cover

2014 December

This issue of Security Magazine covers our 12th annual Top Guarding Firms list. Check out the best of the best as of December 2014. The 21st century has brought with it new types of security threats. Read how to combat and protect against these threats.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Security Emergency Preparedness Training

Which security personnel emergency preparedness training is the top priority to you and your enterprise?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SECURITY STORE

comptiahighriseproductphoto
CompTIA Security+ Certification Study Guide
CompTIA's Security+ certification is a globally-recognized, vendor neutral exam that has helped over 60,000 IT professionals reach further and higher in their careers. The current Security+ exam (SY0-201) focuses more on being able to deal with security issues rather than just identifying them.
More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.