On a regular basis, within this and other security groups, I see people complaining about the security industry and how the industry needs improvement.
As someone who started in the industry in the early 90’s, and yes there are many security officers who have been in the industry longer than me, I believe I have some experience in the industry to see what can be changed within the industry. It is up to every employee and employer to work together to change the industry.
Whilst a Professional security organisation overseeing the industry can benefit the industry, however National Licencing for the security industry can be beneficial to the industry- one license to work anywhere in Australia. After all it is a National Qualification we have to obtain to work in the industry. National regulations has worked for Health Industry, ASIC for business names etc, so it can work, and is something everyone needs to push towards when they get the opportunity.
Potential Security Officers.
Before entering the industry, people need to consider whether a job as a security officer is what they really want or not? Just entering the industry because they cant find another job at the time, or because their Employment agency suggests they should consider – is not a good way for entering the industry. Ensuring you are happy to work shift work, including mainly nights and weekends, including public holidays is also vital- nothing worse as an employer, receiving resumes with the request of only working 9-5 during the day.
Work out whether it is only going to be a short time frame in the industry- e.g. until something else comes up, or only 2-3 years etc, can also assist the industry.
Need to understand and choose the industry to be in a career position, not just a short term employment option. However, I understand a lot of people change jobs every 3-5 years, not always possible for people in the security industry, although some skills can transfer to other industries not all skills can.
Understand, that shifts in the security industry cannot be covered instantly, or can go uncovered like positions within the office environment, where they don’t always notice one person missing, therefore whilst sick days, family days etc will occur, the employee need to ensure the employer has as much time as possible to be notified of someone not working a particular shift. Some small companies use Office staff to cover shifts therefore these ppl may need time to rest prior to the shift if they need to fill in; otherwise they are working double shifts which are not good for the client.
If they view the industry and therefore their job as a career, then they need to consider further Professional Development areas in which they can undertake and improve themselves which in turn can help provide a better security service to the client. PD can vary depending on the type of security you are working in.
As a security officer, you should be considering ways you can demonstrate to the client, that security is beneficial to their operations of their business, too often clients, think security are just to comply with Legislation, or to help with their insurance premiums, rather than there is a benefit to hiring security Officer, Guards, Patrols, Crowd Control, Alarm monitoring, cash escorts etc.
Choose not to accept jobs which only pay by cash, this is not beneficial to the industry, and technically is against the law and can have serious consequences on both parties if ever caught, Employees should only accept jobs from companies who pay the award rates or above, or at least have a registered workplace agreement in place with Fair Work Australia.
Employers pay a huge part in improving the security industry, including setting the culture for any security business and the expectations of the staff.
Employers can ensure there are document Policy, Procedures, Processes for Staff to follow.
Employers can ensure they are paying the award rate as a minimum, either through paying by the award or ensuring any workplace agreements meet the requirements of the Fair Work Act.
Employers can ensure they induct their staff into the company and ensure they are trained to the required standards to ensure they can service the client adequately. Employers can also provide mentoring to the new employee to ensure they have someone to speak to when unsure on an issue.
Employers can ensure staff are regularly trained, as they serve more time with the company, training is a way to improve staff and the work of the employee.
Where possible employers can be flexible in rosters of employees, I know plenty of stories when employees have asked for days off and the employer has not given the person the day off, as it was too hard to arrange it….It is important to understand people need certain weekends off to attend family gatherings, birthdays etc, and with appropriate notification it should be able to be arranged 90% of the time, bit hard during Christmas and the busy period of the year for security.
Anything we can do to improve the service we are offering to the clients, is a good way to start improving the industry, we want clients or potential clients to understand there is a benefit to hiring security, above any legislation requirements.
Improving staff and ensuring staff are happy with in their workplace can assist in helping to improve the client’s experience with the industry, and can minimize the negative talk which goes on about the industry, either employers, employees, or clients may contribute to from time to time.