In just a few months, the whole world has come down to this one statement - “We are in this together.”
COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on virtually every business worldwide, leading to an unprecedented global economic impact. Governments, regulators, and companies are now revising their policies to put human safety first and have issued orders to maintain social distancing and take all necessary precautionary measures.
The pandemic presents significant challenges to security companies and their operations worldwide. While the demand for security services has increased, the focus and complexity of the issues remain daunting.
Before COVID-19, security companies prioritised loss prevention, patrolling, and safeguarding the peace. While these issues remain front and centre, the focus has expanded to social distancing. Security companies are now tasked to ensure that social distancing is maintained at any assigned site. There is also a demand for security officers to conduct COVID-19 screening such as checking temperatures and enforcing the use of masks.
On the one hand, this gives security companies an opportunity to generate incremental revenue and new business. But on the other, many companies are struggling to embrace the new normal.
In this blog, we highlight 5 important things security professionals and businesses should consider to confront the pandemic we currently face and prepare for those that may come in the future.
- Automate your operational processes
- Have a pandemic protection plan
- Build resilience and agility into your operations
- Verify your information sources
- Redefine your HR processes
Automate your operational processes
While many governments ordered non-essential services to close or reduce operations during the peak of the pandemic, essential services on the front line had to remain operational. Essential services are those deemed vital to the health and welfare of a population. Security as a service is considered essential and security companies are required to remain operational during a crisis.
Beyond regular operations, security officers are now required to enforce lockdown regulations and conduct COVID-19 screening, putting them at risk of exposure to the virus. This increased demand for managed security services bodes well for new businesses. But companies that are not ready to handle this demand are gravely impacted and on the verge of losing their most valuable asset: their workforce.
To address this issue, companies have to take the required measures to protect and safeguard their workforce. Security business owners have to develop strategies to automate their business processes in such a way that employees minimise mundane tasks, especially those that can be done via smart security management solutions.
Have a pandemic protection plan
The pandemic has pushed traditional security companies to re-think their business processes or risk being outrun by competitors with better crisis management strategies.
As the world embraces this new normal, now is the ideal time to restructure your plans with COVID-19 in mind. Your security company should have a detailed pandemic protection plan in place. A plan that details how to protect your employees, what practices to follow, and how communication should be managed within the organisation. Once the plan is in place, it is important to update it regularly as the situation evolves.
Including pandemic protection in your company’s plans means making sure security officers have the necessary supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) when they are on-site. The question of whether site visits are essential should also be carefully evaluated.
Training is another key aspect of a pandemic protection plan. This can minimise your employees’ risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. For example, effective training makes security officers more vigilant when checking identification, conducting temperature checks and upholding social distancing.
Internally, it is also important to streamline business operations and eliminate all workflow silos to improve collaboration between your employees and clients.
Build resilience and agility into your operations
The current pandemic presents formidable challenges. Combatting its spread demands an immense collaborative effort at every level - locally, regionally, and globally. Some countries are making steady progress, while others have ground to a halt. Furthermore, virtually every nation has restricted air travel and closed borders with any country that does not have the situation under control.
For many security companies, these restrictions have adversely affected their established supply lines and reduced access to qualified staff. To build resilience into your operations, it’s important to mitigate your global reliance by identifying local sources for critical supplies such as PPE. The ability to pivot quickly to alternative sources can make all the difference when it comes to maintaining your day-to-day operations.
Verify your information sources
There has been a massive influx of COVID-19 news, stories, updates, rumours, and information. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is a breeding ground for fake news.
For security companies, it is crucial to have your own verified sources to inform your crisis response team. It goes without saying that you should not believe everything published online or on social media networks. Each piece of information needs to be investigated, fact-checked, and corroborated through multiple sources before taking any action.
Redefine your HR processes
COVID-19 presents HR departments with added challenges due to shifting work dynamics. On top of handling their usual tasks, HR’s focus is now on facilitating remote work arrangements, implementing social distancing in the office, and continually updating employees on the latest pandemic developments.
With a large proportion of employees in the front line, your HR departments have to be extra vigilant in protecting staff to safeguard employee welfare while ensuring the business remains sustainable.
It is impossible to predict when COVID-19 will be fully under control or when the next crisis will come. That said, we do know for certain that having a plan is critical.
For security companies, there has never been a better time to adopt smart security solutions to automate operational processes. Hence, security business owners should now be free from doing mundane tasks and stay focused on developing a pandemic plan for their organisations. The need for resources to deal with this pandemic can only be fulfilled if organisations strive for operational efficiency and embrace technological innovation.