How would you feel if a thief rang your doorbell at home and said, “I want you to help me burglarize your home?” How would feel if a crook knocked on your door and said, “Will you look the other way while I steal your car and your kids’ bikes and rip out some of your shrubs?”
Would you ever agree to requests like those? Of course not. You would trip an alarm, call the police and take immediate steps to protect your family and your home.
You want your security personnel to react that way when the companies they are protecting are in danger. You want them to respond as though their own families were in trouble. And my message in this article is: you can do it.
Creating a Culture of Caring in Your Company
If you treat your security personnel like disposable, second-class citizens, how motivated will they be to do the best job for your company and your clients? If someone offers them a bribe to look the other way while some inventory walks out the door or other temptations arise, what have you done to motivate them to refuse?
But even though 100-percent honesty from all employees will always be an elusive goal, here is one step that can get you closer to it...
You can get your security staff to feel great loyalty to your company and your clients.
How is it possible to get employees to not only like your company and your clients, but to see them as a second family? Here are some approaches that work:
- Have your security personnel meet with leaders and employees at the companies they will protect. When your employees connect on a personal level with the people they will be protecting, they will be much more motivated to do a committed job.
- Have your own company leaders connect on a personal level with them. Your company leaders should get to know your employees’ names (as well as the names of their spouses and children) and talk about interests they have in common – perhaps sports teams or hobbies. And questions like “Where will you be working today? Do you have everything you need?” from you show they are part of a valued company team.
- Don’t overlook the “small stuff.” Are the locations where they work too hot in summer and too cold in winter? Is the furniture clean, modern and inviting? Are the windows clean? What does the floor look like, and if employees must stand for long periods of time, is it padded? Make it clear to the companies that you serve that it is up to them to provide your security staff with comfortable work locations. Also, do all you can to make sure your security staff have access to the modern, new equipment they need to do their jobs.
- Integrate members of your security team into your mainstream operations. If you have brainstorming meetings for all your internal employees, invite security staffers too. If you have a virtual suggestion box, encourage them to take part. And when you have your summer picnic or winter holiday party, make sure they are all there.
- Provide the best benefits you can afford. Yes, healthcare plans and other benefits are expensive. But if you don’t provide the best package you can, employees will be looking for jobs with companies that do. And they will feel less loyal to you.
- Create a healthy work/life balance. Develop flextime programs that have value for employees with children and aging parents. Depending on your resources, consider subsidizing childcare, supporting charities that are important to your employees, and taking other steps to show that they are much more than just “workers.”
The ideas in this article are adapted from Evan Hackel’s book Ingaging Leadership: 21 Steps to Elevate Your Company.