What Makes a Great Security Guard Stand Out?
If you care anything about the safety and security of your business, having great security guards on your team can make all the difference. But what exactly makes a great security guard? Being an exceptional security officer ain’t just about physical strength or a strong authoritarian presence. Some of the most important qualities of a great security guard are their soft skills.
So let’s get started! Whether you’re a business owner, property manager, or simply interested in the world of security, we wrote this post is for you. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s explore the top 5 qualities of a great security guard.
Honesty and Integrity
For people who work in the security services industry, honesty and integrity are two of the most important qualities they can have. Why? Because security professionals often work in positions of trust and responsibility, and their actions (or inactions) can have serious consequences.
The bullet points below highlight few reasons why honesty and integrity are excellent traits for security guards.
- Handling sensitive information: Security officers are usually privy to sensitive information about a property, business, or individual. Therefore, maintaining strict confidentiality and not sharing this information with unauthorized parties is paramount.
- Dealing with ethical dilemmas: Security guards may encounter situations where there’s a conflict between their duties and their personal beliefs. For example, they might see a fellow employee engaging in illegal or unethical behavior. In these situations, it’s important for security guards to do the right thing report the occurrence. Even if it’s not the easy thing. It’s not snitching if it’s your job.
- Building trust: When visitors or clients see that the guards on duty are honest and trustworthy, they’ll feel safe and secure. A secure environment can help build trust between the security team and the people they’re protecting.
How to Hire and Train Security Guards with Honesty and Integrity
Now that you understand why honesty and integrity are so important for security guards, how can you ensure that the guards you hire and train possess these qualities?
Here are a few tips:
- Conduct thorough background checks: Before hiring a security guard, conduct a thorough background check to verify their work history, criminal record, and other relevant information. Look for any red flags that may indicate a lack of honesty or integrity.
- Emphasize the importance of honesty and integrity during training: Make sure that your security guards understand the importance of honesty and integrity in their role. Provide real-world examples of situations where honesty and integrity were crucial, and encourage them to ask questions or seek guidance when they encounter ethical dilemmas.
- Lead by example: As a manager or supervisor, make sure that you model honesty and integrity in your own behavior. This sets the tone for the entire security team and reinforces the importance of these qualities.
Reliability and Punctuality
Two of the most important qualities that a security guard can possess is to be punctual and reliable. Why? Because security officers are often responsible for keeping people and property safe. Any lapses in their timeliness can compromise security.
Here are a few reasons why reliability and punctuality are so important for security guards:
- Ensuring 24/7 security coverage: Security guards may be responsible for providing 24/7 security coverage. This means that they need to be reliable and show up on time for their shifts. Any gaps in coverage can compromise security and put people or property at risk.
- Responding to emergencies: In emergency situations, every second counts. Security guards need to be punctual and respond quickly to emergencies to minimize damage and injuries.
- Maintaining a professional image: Reliability and punctuality are important for maintaining a professional image for the security team. Late or unreliable security guards can give the impression of an unprofessional or ineffective security team, which can undermine their credibility.
Over the years, I’ve worked with lots of security companies like Enforce Security Services, Brinks, Pinkerton, and Securitas. These agencies are successful because their staff and a high number of their guards show up to duty on time, every day.
How to Make sure your guards are punctual and reliable
Now that you see why reliability and punctuality matter immensely for professional security guards, how can you ensure that the guards you hire possess these qualities?
Here’s a few tips:
- Use time-tracking software: Consider using time-tracking software to monitor your security guards’ attendance and punctuality. This can help identify any issues with reliability or punctuality and provide data to track performance over time.
- Set clear expectations: Make sure that your security guards understand the importance of punctuality. Be very clear on your expectations for attendance, and explain the consequences of failing to meet these expectations.
- Provide support: Sometimes, reliability or punctuality issues can be caused by external factors, such as transportation or family issues. Consider helping your officers to overcome these challenges, such as providing transportation or offering flexible scheduling.
Good communication skills are essential for security guards. Security guards often need to communicate with a variety of people, including visitors, clients, coworkers, and emergency responders. Below, I’ve covered a few points to this end.
- Defusing potentially dangerous situations: Security guards may encounter situations where they need to defuse potentially dangerous situations, such as confrontations or arguments. Good communication skills can help security guards resolve these situations and promulgate safely.
- Providing information to visitors and clients: Security guards may be responsible for providing information to visitors and clients, such as directions, hours of operation, or emergency procedures. Clear and effective communication skills can help your visitors and clients get the information they need from the guards. Most of the time it doesn’t matter, but when it does it counts.
- Working effectively with other security personnel: Security guards may work as part of a team with other security personnel, such as managers or emergency responders. Good communication skills are essential for working effectively as a team and coordinating responses to security threats.
How to Develop Good Communication Skills in Your Security Guards
Now that you understand why good communication skills are so important for security guards, how can you develop these skills in your guards? Here are a few tips:
- Provide training: Consider providing training on effective communication skills, such as active listening, clarity, and nonverbal communication. Use real-world examples of situations where effective communication was crucial, and provide opportunities for practice and feedback.
- Encourage teamwork: Emphasize the importance of working as a team and communicating effectively with coworkers and other security personnel. Encourage your security guards to seek out opportunities to collaborate and communicate with others.
- Foster a positive workplace culture: A positive workplace culture can help support effective communication. Encourage open communication and provide opportunities for feedback and suggestions. Celebrate successes and help your security guards develop their communication skills over time.
Physical Fitness and Alertness
Staying in shape and alert are two essential attributes for anyone hoping to be a successful professional security guard. These traits are important as security guards are often required to respond quickly to emergency situations. They may also need to engage in physical activities to maintain order.
Below, we’ve listed few reasons why fitness matters for security guards.
- Responding to emergencies: In emergency situations, every second counts. Security guards may need to run, climb stairs, or engage in physical activity to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies.
- Deterring criminal activity: A visible security presence can deter criminal activity, but security guards who are physically fit and alert are better equipped to respond to potential threats. In this day and age things can escalate quickly. We need our guards in shape.
- Maintaining focus and attention: Security guards need to be alert and focused at all times to identify potential threats and respond appropriately. Physical fitness and exercise can help improve mental clarity and reduce fatigue.
Maintaining the Mental & Physical Fitness of Your Security Guards
Physical fitness and alertness are so important for security guards. Outlined below are a few tips to help you maintain these qualities in your guards.
- Encourage regular exercise: Encourage your security guards to engage in regular exercise, such as jogging, weightlifting, or yoga. Offer gym memberships or other incentives to help motivate them to maintain a regular exercise routine.
- Provide healthy snacks and meals: Provide healthy snacks and meals to help support your security guards’ physical health. Avoid sugary or fatty foods that can lead to sluggishness or fatigue.
- Schedule regular breaks: Let your security staff rest and recharge. Regular breaks will counter fatigue and help your guards to maintain focus and stay alert.
Professionalism and Customer Service
Professionalism and customer service skills are the more desirable qualities for security guards. Security officers are often the first point of contact for your patrons and are responsible for maintaining a professional and welcoming environment.
Let’s look at a few reasons why professionalism and a good sense of customer service are so important for security guards.
- Representing your organization: Security guards are often the face of your organization. Their behavior and demeanor can have a significant impact on how your organization is perceived.
- Creating a welcoming environment: People who visit your business are more likely to feel safe and secure in an environment that’s welcoming and professional. Security guards who embody a professional nature and exhibit great customer service skills can help facilitate such an environment.
- Handling difficult situations: Security guards may encounter difficult situations, such as disgruntled customers or challenging visitors. Professionalism and customer service can help defuse these situations and maintain a positive relationship with the individual.
How to Foster Professionalism and Customer Service in Your Security Guards
Here’s a few tips…
- Provide training: Provide training on professionalism and customer service to ensure that your security guards understand the importance of these qualities. Demonstrate a few examples of situations where these qualities were crucial and encourage your guards to ask questions and ask for feedback. After all, you’re the boss!
- Encourage positive interactions: Encourage your security guards to greet visitors or clients with a smile and positive attitude. Train them to communicate effectively and listen actively to create a welcoming environment.
- Reward excellence: Recognize and reward security guards who display professionalism and exceptional customer service. This can help motivate your guards to continue to display these qualities in their role.
Now that you’ve been educated as to the best traits to look for when bringing on security staff, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the right staff for your situation.