Security should be a serious concern for any business operator, but the truth is that many businesses are very lax with respect to safety and security measures for their workplace. Not only does the building have to be protected, but products, processes and employees within also need to be safeguarded. Manufacturing facilities tend to follow necessary safety precautions as standard routine in plant operations, with procedures often published in a guide. It’s another story for smaller shops, retail stores and other private and public businesses.
There are some common sense policies that can help any business owner in protecting their business while maintaining effective safety and security procedures that protect the entire staff.
One of the most vulnerable areas of security involves handling cash. This can be especially problematic for retail businesses. It is always a good idea to make deposits of money into a time-lock safe when dollars in cashier drawers reach a specific level. Keeping the smallest amount of cash in the drawer for customer change is optimum, but the amount will vary contingent largely on the value of an average sale.
One of the most violent experiences for an employee is being the victim of a robbery. Employees are always told not to fight the thief and not to resist. It’s not worth risking life or limb to protect the money in the cash register. Having a minimal amount of cash quickly accessible for the worker to give up can reduce financial loss and hopefully protect the employee from physical harm. Multiple pickups from the register, and frequent bank drops are also a very effective manner of keeping operational cash at the pre-determined optimum level. This is not practical everywhere, but it is a good practice when available.
Most businesses will have a customer service kiosk or a receptionist stationed near the business front. It is a good idea for retail store employees to speak to and greet customers as they walk into the main entryway. This doesn’t just serve as an example of great customer service; it also serves as a psychological impact on the visitor. One of the most important things a store clerk can do in general is to acknowledge the potential shopper (or predator); this way they understand that management is aware of their presence. The last thing that troublemakers and thieves want is immediate attention.
Training employees on understanding the psychology of shoplifters behavior is always a good idea for any retail business. Training regarding unusual behavior, such as out of the ordinary loitering or a bag dropped off and left unattended, can also be a solid policy for any business and knowing what to do in the event of trouble is imperative. Establish a procedure for employees to call security or the police, and incorporate it into the business guidelines or policy.
Management of Employees
An issue less often addressed is safety concerns associated with aggressive and antisocial behavior among the workforce. Of course, many businesses are required to adhere to EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) regulations with regards to discrimination. Treating employees fairly is always the best policy for minimizing conflict and maintaining harmony in the work environment. This is especially true for business that are structured to have a high amount of competition within the employee ranks.
On site cameras monitored by security aren’t always just for the customers. Internal theft perpetrated by employees is a security concern for inventory maintenance, as employee theft is by far the most dominant type of inventory loss.
Another issue that has been in the forefront of news lately is aggression and violence in the workplace not caused by the worker, but by an outside element. For a variety of reasons, third-party actors who are associated with company employees can create on site problems; all too often tragedies such as beatings or shootings are perpetrated by an angry individual who is connected to one of the business employees.
One sole employee can be the target or violence can be imposed on victims throughout the building or general area. Many reason are given for such events such as the person going thru anger, depression, and hopelessness but due to the frequency of these types of crimes, business owners must put in place procedures to minimize or prevent injuries and loss of live.
Safety and security are crucial areas in all business management but are often are ignored until a dangerous situation arises. Then of course it is too late to manage the problem. The best time to develop a good security business plan is from the very beginning of operations or when it becomes necessary due to expanded growth or if it is legally required.
Contacting a security company to get a complete assessment should be a priority. Multiple aspects of the business will be reviewed from basic facility safety and security through mail screening. Analyses can be run to determine criminal activity in your local area which may represent a future threat to your facility.