Security & Guard Services
A New Security Contract is Not Enough: Changing Your Company’s Security Culture
Your security program is intended to protect your employees, facilities, property, data, operations, and business continuity. One component of that security program is your contracted relationship with your security vendor. In many cases, the vendor-supplied managers, supervisors, and officers who make up the contract security staff may be the only personnel on your premises who have “security” in their title.
However, you cannot solely rely on your security staff to keep your business secure.
A successful security expense management program requires every one of your employees to adopt and maintain a security-focused mindset. That company-wide security-focused mindset is called your “security culture”—and it’s more important than you might think.
Vendor accountability is only part of a broader picture.
When you implement a new contract with a security vendor, your agreement will likely stipulate such details as the hours per week of service that the vendor provides; the positions, roles, duties, and expectations of the security personnel assigned to your facilities; their routine deliverables (reporting, service metrics, etc.); and the rates they can charge for services. These contract terms are intended to hold the security vendor accountable for their service obligations under your agreement.
What about your employees? What role will they play in your security posture now that you have this new security contract in place? Are your employees aware of their roles and responsibilities with respect to security?
Your employees will need to understand and respect the various elements of your security expense management plan and how that plan will help protect them and your company’s assets.
For example, if one of the risks your security program seeks to mitigate is the potential for theft of property within your building, you may require contract security officers to regularly patrol the exterior doors of the building to make sure they are closed and locked. However, if your employees are occasionally propping open one or more of those doors when they go outside to take breaks, they are creating a vulnerability and undermining your security procedures.
As another example, your new security program may include an ID badging system for all employees, vendors, and visitors. Such systems are a powerful way to help control security access within your facilities. The contract security staff may be tasked with operating this system, issuing badges, monitoring access, and escorting visitors. It is also the responsibility of your employees to use that system properly and work within its constraints and expectations. Employees hamper the effectiveness of a badging program when they misplace their badges, share their badges with others, or allow unauthorized personnel to enter a more secure location by “tailgating” through a door behind an authorized badge holder.
Empower your employees to take an active role in the security of your business.
Employees should be aware of potential threats to themselves and the company. They don’t need to be in a constant state of fear, concern, or suspicion—but should be aware of their role in the company’s overall security posture. They should know how to protect company equipment and assets—by not leaving a company laptop in a parked car, for example. Employees should be aware of unfamiliar faces on company premises—and should notify security staff if they think someone needs to be monitored or escorted.
In short, your employees should understand the reasons you have implemented your security program and should be active participants in ensuring its success.
Some good first steps:
- Update your employee handbook and associated policies and training to address security concerns and expectations.
- Provide regular company-wide briefings or webinars on individual security topics to educate your staff and refresh their focus on security awareness.
- Highlight monthly or quarterly security-related “hits” or “misses” to help reinforce your security culture.
- Consider handing out regular security-related recognition awards—to both the contract security personnel and your employees alike.
You can make it fun, engaging, and encouraging—while reinforcing everyone’s role in your overall security plan.
Companies with the most successful security expense management programs are fostering company-wide cultures where employees embrace the idea that security is everyone’s responsibility.