I have been in the security industry for years and when I asked field supervisors at the new companies I started with how they motivated their security guards they just looked at me bewildered. Their answer was basically that being a security officer was such an easy and simple job that the guards did not need any motivation. In my experience any job that one wants to get done well needs accountability, follow-up and motivation. Besides that if one looks at all aspects of the security guard job it is not that simple.
A security guard needs many skills including communications skills, observations skills, attention to detail, common sense and good decision-making skills. Many security officers and field officers that are untrained and have never received the proper coaching think that the most important aspect of the security guard job is physical presence. Showing up to work, being on time and leaving on time is just the minimal requirement of the security officer job. A motivated and well coached security officer will display all the above named skills and much more.
Every new company I have started with as a security consultant or operational manager needs a culture change, because the security guard job is a job one should be proud of. It does not only require tremendous skill and dedication, but security guards also perform a great service to society. The culture shift includes creating a culture of coaching and motivation. It also included feeling and understanding a purpose in what one does every day. Security officers working with me understand the critical role they play for the economy and society. They not only understand that their job requires tremendous skill, but they understand that these skills are expected of them. If they do not possess the necessary skills they will be coached until they do.
I have received a lot of push back at the companies I have worked at in the beginning, because change is not easy to institute and not easy to accept. Nevertheless, all the companies I have worked at have been more successful and guards have been happier at their jobs. After accepting that clients will be happier with better and more skilled service, guards will understand that they have to raise their skill level. At the same time they are not working a dead-end job of clocking in and clocking out, but a job that teaches them skills and gives them purpose. With higher expectations security officers have to be motivated to leave up to the expectations.
Therefore field supervisors need to learn the power positive reinforcement and coaching can have. In the beginning I will go on field visits and demonstrate coaching sessions. I coach my field supervisors and my security consultants. I share books and articles with them. The power of coaching is infinite. If it is practiced continuously the security guards will get better at what they do every day. That results in better security service, happier clients and most importantly in employees that come to work with pride and a sense of purpose.