Security Guards Face COVID-19 Head-On
The economic impact of COVID-19 on security businesses around the world is clear to see. It seems as though no industry is immune to the effects of such an unforeseen, shocking, and globally significant event like this one. The security guard industry is no different, of course. With the near complete shutdown of the service industry, a similar contraction has been seen in the demand for security guards at events and hotels. On the other side of this, you see an increased demand for security guards at grocery retail chains, medical facilities, essential businesses, and temporarily dormant buildings.
One bright point of all of this is the remarkable courage shown on the part of healthcare and other essential workers, and how people have come together to express gratitude for these people. The role of security guards in this pandemic also should be highlighted, as they outnumber public law enforcement nearly two to one. They are on the front lines along with our healthcare workers and should be commended for doing so.
The National Association of Security Companies has stated that private security officers are “on the front line everywhere in maintaining public order and security in the current crisis,” and praises guard companies, saying, “the essential service role played by security officers and the essential business role played by private security companies cannot be overstated, nor overlooked.”
The following video details many of the common scheduling problems that security companies face, and how Celayix solves them. Take a look and keep that info in mind as you read through the rest of the blog where we detail how to excel during these currently volatile times.
Whichever direction the shift in demand for your security guard company’s services has looked like, it’s important to consider the fact that you can only control so much. Regardless of how the pandemic has affected your security guard company, there are always ways in which you can respond productively to events like these. Three of them are as follows:
Now, more than ever, good communication is paramount. In order to operate in times like these, security guard companies need to ensure there is clear, healthy communication between management, guards, and clients. With the massive amount of misinformation circulating around COVID-19, you have to be very careful with what you say, and how you say it.
Guards and the clients they are working for are often on the front line, so in order to not succumb to fear of the unknown it’s important for management to lead by example. Communicate only the facts in a calm and clear manner, both to employees and to the general public. The importance of safety is highly relevant here. In order to ensure Government and WHO mandates and guidelines are followed, communication should be done remotely as much as possible.
Remote communication is not only the safe approach, but it can often yield uniquely positive results for companies. Instant communication between guards, management, and clients can prove to be valuable in times of crisis. If there are last minute cancellations, illness, or abrupt changes in service, it’s vital that all the relevant stakeholders are notified and corrective action is taken.
2) Be Adaptable:
Companies used to ‘business as usual’ are learning the hard way about the importance of being able to adapt to uncertainty and rapidly changing situations. Reacting quickly to emergencies is nothing new to security guard companies. But not all organizations in the security industry know how to preemptively adapt their operations so they are ready to respond when changes do occur.
It’s a given that illness will very likely affect your guards in one way or another. The ability to quickly adapt one’s operation in the face of absences, no-shows, or sudden changes in operations may prove to be a competitive advantage for the companies who are prepared. One key component, according to Security Magazine, is remote supervision. They advise that
“Having the technical ability to remotely manage guards allows the supervisor to make informed decisions, know where guards are and know what issues they are dealing with – all while ensuring service level agreements (SLAs) are met and client sites are secure during very trying times”.
3) Exercise Foresight:
Few were able to accurately predict the significance and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to respond to this crisis effectively, the ability to act nimbly and ensure that your company not only survives, but thrives, is a top priority. For Security guard companies that are in a pinch, it’s important to figure out ways to pivot. This may mean looking for contracts in different industries, choosing entirely new markets, or changing the way you operate at a fundamental level.
For companies experiencing growth, now may be the time to invest in solutions that will allow you to handle increased demand, help your company grow, and scale along with this new landscape. Whatever the situation you find yourself in during this pandemic, make sure to examine where you are at today so that you can continue to be effective and grow tomorrow.