Critical events don’t have to be difficult to manage. Although it’s easier said than implemented, when you have your risk mitigation plans organized and well thought through, you essentially determine the success of your team’s response. Surprisingly enough, organizations struggle to maintain efficient communication methods across their team – which increases misunderstanding of critical information. This makes your team unreliable and unprepared to face the challenges ahead.
Determining Your Needs for Optimal Communication and Response
First things first – determine what you’ll need during a critical event. How can you do that? Your security protocols determine the extent of your response to a critical event – so what’s needed? Here are a few things to consider:
- How much in resources will it cost you?
- Will you need to plan for extra guards or overtime/extra hours?
- What about prepping for increased absentees and gaps in schedules?
- What are you going to do about sites and visitors? And your guard’s interaction with them?
What Type of Communication Methods Are Out There to Uphold Security Plans During Critical Events? Two Methods to Consider.
Method 1: Reinforcing Top Down Orders Between Executives, Supervisors, and Guards
Passed down information must be from you, to your supervisors, and ultimately to your in-house guards – in that order and in the order established in your risk mitigation plan. During critical events, your risk mitigation plan is put to the test – and it’s during this test when you evaluate the effectiveness of your safety and security protocols, including the effectiveness of relaying critical information to your team. During the incident response phase of your business continuity plan, your communication methods must maintain clear connectivity (both in a literal and figurative sense) with essential insights into the visibility of your team’s adherence to your security protocols.
Method 2: Creating Connection and Visibility Alongside Your Communication – Plus a Touch of Automation
During critical events, the corporate security solutions that are being implemented include different forms of communications that’s best for the team. And, when it comes to maintaining remote communications, connecting accountability – for reassurance of met protocols among your team – and gaining insights to your team’s actions in real-time have been possible due to the increase use of real-time automation and notifications.
Quick side note – in maintaining remote communications, real-time automation, in the form of enhanced notifications, have aided in maintaining accountability from afar. These notifications take advantage of the rising technological advances the security industry has seen in the past decade with automation. In short, automation provides accountability and the ability to distribute information to the people that most need it.
This has helped executives ensure proper follow-up procedures are taken while also keeping their team connected. Advances in real-time automation have included direct communications, digital on-screen messaging, emails, and the delivery of Short Message Service (SMS) text messages – all as situations occur. The key factor for corporate security has been incorporating traditional methods of communication and authorization – as with human approval and prioritization – before issuing a security guard response. As automation and communication improve, security teams have quickly responded to threats while allowing for organizations to become more cognizant of the different needs and responsibilities each role requires.
What Are the Best Solutions for Corporate Security Professionals?
Ironically, in approaching communication capabilities, the obvious is at times the best solution. For written forms of communication, like those in a post order, a text, or an email, are most optimal for corporate security professionals for when your team requires detailed instructions and rereading. This is important, especially during critical events, for when you want your team to abide by your security protocols and response measures – as in what guards should do to ensure proper handling of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when on duty. Having your in-house team access all written forms through a smartphone is the next step.
For verbal communications, Push-to-Talk (PTT) has been the north star for most in-house security teams. While written information is essential, there will always be a priority for immediate communication with your team. At any time of day, when you are monitoring a team of in-house guards at one site, and must direct all of them at once, verbal communication via a PTT direct channel is the best choice. PTT is a central feature in a comprehensive Command Center (GSOC) and is typically one of the easiest – and fastest – modes of communicating to your team in mass. You can read more about PTT and how it’s improving guard communications here.
How Guard Companies Use PTT to Improve Guard Communications and Accountability
Having an effective way of relaying protocols key to managing a strong security workforce. When it comes to PTT technology, using a smartphone for direct verbal communication is one way guard companies have ensured accountability. Another way is by having supervisors monitor guard channels to pick up on guard behavior and to reinforce security company standards while on site.
The upside to using PTT stems from it’s mass messaging capability – it’s in it nature. Like traditional walkie-talkie radio channels, PTT can be used either one-on-one or in mass, allowing for quick communication during emergencies or when protocols need to be relayed in a time-sensitive manner. The upside for guard companies to using PTT with a smartphone is that it works on cellular network, typically meaning more reliability and range.
Review: What Should You do to Maintain Strong Communications With Your Team?
The best determination of success is when your team is safe and when your sites are up to speed. Regardless of which form of communication you choose, know that clarity, above all, is essential. Although obvious, ensuring that even the simplest form of communication is acknowledged and understood by your team will provide you with peace-of-mind as you know that everything is going as planned.
About the Author
Christina Ortega is the Content Marketing Specialist for Trackforce Valiant. She aims to deliver valuable content that addresses key issues facing the security industry – and offers insights into the latest solutions being taken to confront them.