Times are changing. The modern-day environment is affecting security jobs in a plethora of ways. As such, the face of security provision is changing; cost is an ever-important factor that influences customers – meaning they tend to expect more for less, and security and overall facilities management (FM) are becoming a somewhat blended solution for many an organisation.
Thankfully, people’s perceptions of this crucial profession have shifted over recent years. Long gone are those rather archaic images of doormen, bouncers and population control officers. There seems to finally be a wider appreciation of the vital contribution these individuals make to day-to-day business operations. In line with this change in attitude, the job description for the modern-day security guard is also evolving.
When entering a building, whether it be your favourite clothing store or a large tourist attraction, one of the first faces you see is likely to be that of a security officer. It has become more important to recognise that security officers are seen as ‘brand ambassadors of an organisation. They are the first representation of an organisation’s persona. Not only are security officers tasked with delivering the highest standard of safety and security, they also have to be conscious of how their behaviour impacts an organisation’s overall image. First impressions are crucial and if an organisation wants to safeguard their reputation, as well as its staff and visitors, management teams should consider training security staff on the important role they play in enhancing the overall business experience.
The inevitable challenge with providing customers with what they want, is the shift in changing expectations. It’s imperative to research what’s going on in the market and explore what’s new that may benefit the client. At Atalian Servest, we are experiencing a rise in customers wanting to utilise our multi service offering, and we have an increasing number of sites where we offer both FM and security; within these we have sector specific experts, to advise on best practice for particular types and styles of buildings and locations. ‘Blended solutions’ are certainly on the rise. For example, a number of our clients have asked us to look at refreshing the security offering, often with the desire to merge front of house, reception and security – a trend that has been increasing in the industry over the past few years. In addition, intelligent and well-thought out security solutions can often compliment the security provision offered. Working closely with clients has enabled a whole new perspective on security offerings and hospitality, ultimately allowing customers to have the explicit service provision they require to adequately support their needs.
It’s not rocket science; service providers should be focused on providing the customer with what they want and need. In order to do this though, it’s crucial to have an in-depth understanding of the ethos, day to day running and goals of the business you have been asked to safeguard. Cost will always remain an important factor, especially in the current climate. People always want to drive down costs, and while this is understandable, it is the service provider’s job to manage expectations. That said, each client is different and consequently has different expectations, so it is important to differentiate and provide a unique offering for every site and customer.
Steven Moore, MD of security UK, Atalian Servest