In many situations, it is easy for a boss to identify whether or not their employee is doing their job or not, because many positions are measurable! For example, an accountant, they are either updating quickbooks or not. At the end of the day their projects are finished or they are not. When it comes to security it can be difficult to track whether your security guard is doing what they are hired to do since there are few measurable to track.
Now, obviously it is easy to determine whether they are present or not if a situation requiring their attention should occur. However, situations are not as frequent. Could you or a manager keep an eye on them? Technically yes, but are you there every waking moment of the day? What about night shifts?
So, how is it possible to determine whether or not a security guard is doing what they are hired to do? Our two favorite ways are making use of GPS tracking systems, and requiring daily incident reports.
GPS tracking system is one of the most effective ways to keep track of your security guards. This does not necessarily determine if the guard is goofing off all the time, but it can help employers track whether or not the security officer is where they are supposed to be and track certain behaviors that can be used as prompts for the manager to question.
Not All Security Firms Use GPS Tracking
The thing is, for security firms, GPS tracking can be a double edge sword. As a result, not all companies will use it.
On one hand, GPS tracking can be extremely effective when determining whether or not the security guard is doing what they are hired to do. While on the other hand, the security firm will have metrics in which they can be measured by.
Note that if your company uses a security firm to employ security guards, you can and should request the GPS documentation. This allows you to keep the security company accountable and ensure you are getting what you are paying for.
Here at BPS Security we have GPS tracking so we can keep our guards accountable while simultaneously working to improve the service that we provide to our clients. That way the service that our clients pay for is the service that they actually get. With GPS tracking we have the data to make sure our guards are doing the job they are paid to do.
Not All GPS Systems Are Made Equal
Some GPS trackers work by requiring an individual to scan a barcode once they enter various locations. (You may have seen this in movies or in television shows.) The problem with this type of GPS tracking is that the barcodes can be replicated and printed. So technically, a guard could scan the sheet of paper from anywhere and superimpose when and where they are supposed to actually be. We know this because we have seen it happen at various companies.
BPS Security uses a breadcrumb GPS system. This GPS tracking device lives in the employees phone. Since most phones cannot get up and walk where they need to be, we know where the employees are during their shifts. If they are not moving around or interacting with their phone for long periods of time, we can track behaviours and make note of possibilities such as a guard sleeping on the job.
Additionally, we actually use GPS tracking to help ensure a guard will be to work on time. If an extenuating circumstance should arise that might prevent the security guard from arriving on time (such as unusual and immediate traffic), we are able to alert the company even before the company notices the guard is late. (Learn more about this here!)
In addition to ensuring that security guard is doing what they are hired to do, GPS tracking can help reduce liability
When it comes to hiring a security officer, many companies are often concerned about liability if a situation should arise. Breadcrumb GPS tracking is just another way to help prove a guard is where they are supposed to be and provide information that can sometimes help in lawsuits.
The Number of Reported Incidents
Another way to determine whether or not the security guard is doing what they are hired to do is to track their number of incidents. Security officers and firms will always make notations, and track their progress. That being said, if the first month there are 50 incidents, the second month there are 60 or 70, and this number continues to rise, this is a red flag!
Now, life happens, and there is always a learning curve! (Even experienced officers need to adjust to a new company). However, if there is no improvement within 3-6 months, this is a problem!
Some Companies will fake reports
Unfortunately, the security industry has more bad apples than good, and some security companies will fake the reports. One of the most effective ways for your company to monitor this is by requiring and auditing daily reports. For example, if you know three incidents occurred on October 17, and that evening the security firm only reports one, there is a problem, and this is easy to recognize. The longer you wait for these audits the more difficult it becomes to remember the incidents.
Your company deserves to get what it pays for! In addition, the difference between a good security guard and a bad security guard can make a difference when it comes to legal action over an incident. We strongly encourage you to have open and transparent communication with your hired security company/guards. If they are honest and integral, there is nothing to hide!