In the following article, we consider it appropriate to mention the importance of the “delicate handling skills” that security guards should develop in view of possible aggressive or threatening behavior by visitors and customers in the post-lock-down era.
The security guards are much more than just a guard at the front door. This has been happening for years and the reaction of various industries to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown a continuing dependence on the various skills of security guards.
Now, as the opening of workplaces and retail stores increases, security guards will be called upon to take on new responsibilities. These may include conducting temperature checks on visitors in reception areas, policing social distance in the workplace and enforcing store rules, such as the use of a mask.
Millions of people look forward to returning to a “normal” life, whether that means going to the office, shopping, or having fun. The reality is that we all have new rules to follow. Some of them have been announced by the government, while individual companies will implement some of their own protocols. In almost all cases, it is up to the security officer and security guards to enforce these rules.
The way the rules are enforced will significantly affect the outcome. That is why “delicate handling” skills are extremely important for security guards. These skills relate to communication, flexibility and problem solving and are essential in an industry that requires face-to-face contact.
An example is social distance in the workplace. Businesses are already using a range of methods to encourage social distance, such as longer distances between offices, one-way systems and signs reminding staff of the new rules. But old habits are hard to break and it is likely that many of the staff and guests will forget to follow certain procedures. In addition, after months of lock-down, many people will want to treat the office as before and enjoy the opportunity to meet their colleagues.
The security guards must find the balance between being too zealous in enforcing the rules and avoiding creating a climate of discomfort and unrest.
Communication will be the key to success in situations like this. Many times, a gentle reminder to staff or guests who do not follow the rules is enough. But there is a possibility that after so many stressful months, the security guards will face aggressive or threatening behavior.
Maintaining a calm manner and behavior is essential. Security guards need to remind people why the rules apply – even though they already know it, explaining why they are helpful, justifying their intentions behind a behavior. For example, if one does not follow a one-way system, it is correct for the security guard to explain, saying: “One-way systems exist to limit contact between people and are an important method of preventing infection and spreading». This method will definitely be more effective than “Do not walk there”.
Security services providers should be positioned as key advisors for back-to-work programs and retail store openings. Security companies and customers need to agree on the protocols that apply and how they should be implemented, so that security guards will know exactly how to perform their role.
The upcoming months are a real opportunity for security guards to play a key role in the public. Through the application of fine skills, they can help ensure a positive experience for everyone present at any facility.