Security personnel are the frontline to any incursion into the building, as well as the first person many tenants see as they enter. They are integral to the running of a building and help in more ways than simply security. Cross-training is becoming a more common practice as security responsibilities and property inflow and outflow shift. Security personnel are as much of a part of the tenant experience as any common area staff member or the management team. Here is some information on how to keep your security team a part of the overall tenant experience operations of your property.
Security personnel wear many hats during their day to day. They fulfill their namesake as physical security for buildings; they ferry people where they need to go, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, some have been given extra tasks such as cleaning and sanitizing areas after use and keeping people in compliance with mask and elevator occupancy policies. But one of their largest and most constant roles is customer service. Security personnel are often a key part in helping tenants and visitors find their way around the building, as well as manage deliveries or create a sense of safety for occupants. The security personnel cannot just be trained in the operational security function of their role, but also the ability to communicate effectively and create positive interactions with guests and tenants.
As Joe Murphy with Prosegur Security put it “Good customer service is good security.”
Engaging with anyone who comes into the building, making eye contact, and speaking to them as they approach are all an important part of what security personnel do. These actions serve multiple purposes. Not only do they make tenants feel welcomed and acknowledged, security personnel also deter would be “office creepers” or other possible threats by engaging with them and keeping an eye on them.
Security personnel pick up on a lot of what they see and begin to recognize patterns of who comes into the building. They can notice if someone is confused when they enter and help them, which has the benefit of keeping anyone with malicious intent close at hand. Security personnel are integral to keeping the building safe and secure, and they should be aware of upcoming events or possible threats.
Many security personnel are not as up to date on upcoming events, and much of can be aided by building managers. The building manager should ensure that all members of the staff with direct tenant interaction are equipped with the information to answer any potential questions. The security team should be versed on any events that affect ingress and egress, guests on site or safety concerns such as construction. This is an opportunity for cross training with the management staff.
“Building managers should engage with security representatives in weekly or at least monthly meetings to keep them up to date on events like construction, conferences, any possible dangers that could follow someone to work,” Murphy said.
Tenants and owners may be limited in what they can tell security personnel about events, but every bit of information helps. Examples include a brief description of someone giving a tenant trouble, or a blurry picture of a known office creep; something is almost always better than nothing. Integrating security personnel in a property’s operation starts with the management team.
Engage with security personnel, give them a good idea of what to expect from the next month in regular meetings and updates. Security personnel can do a lot of good to keep your office safe, but not when they do not know what is coming down the line.
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Sources: Insight and explanation from Joseph Murphy, Prosegur Security “Making Tenants Safer: Defeating Office Creepers” Joseph Murphy, OCAtlanta.com Issue 2-10
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