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Security and Safety Culture for Profit

Too often safety and security programs are fought with resistance. No money, no time, ineffective, and more. On the contrary, a good security and safety program can make you money. Not only can it help reduce injuries and reduce insurance costs, a well-designed program can help you gain customers and keep them. For example, residents or tenants are more apt to stay at an apartment or retail complex longer if they feel safe. So, have someone to do a lighting assessment at night, check your property for trips and hazards on a routine basis, vegetation growth around windows, etc. Here’s a tip. Many security companies will do an assessment for free. Easy day, just do it and give your customers a peace of mind. But, how do we get there? After over 30 years of military and private security experience working in hazard environments, it’s more than reading outdated memos on a bulletin board. You have to build a culture from senior leadership down. Here are some tips I’ve learned.

It starts at the top – Senior leaders need to help build it and be involved. The most successful programs I was a part of, senior leaders were participating, leading, and understood the value of taking care of people and the business. The simplicity of basic leadership will carry the program to the next level. But the time senior leadership or a business owner does not participate; junior leaders will just put stuff on the safety board to check the block at best.

Open Communication – One of the things I remember most during our quarterly safety and security meetings was that of junior leaders’ participation. They shared best practices, asked for help from subject matter experts, and got things done. It wasn’t just listen to bulletin board stuff. It was actual communication, getting issues resolved and helping others. You will learn and get better from open communication.

Safety Committee – Forced participation may seem counterintuitive depending on your culture. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to broaden your employees’ skill sets. Not only will they learn safety and security technical skills but it will broaden the horizon for junior leaders’ leadership and management skills and how to handle complex issues.

Safety Program – Your safety and security program should have a positive feel to it. It’s not a gotcha moment. Reward good behavior through a safety incentive program. A simple thank you is easy and cost effective. Also, reach out to your insurance company for classes and their involvement. It lets them know you are engaged.

Communication – While many safety programs post something to the bulletin board and forget, keep it current. Task your safety officer or committee to update it at least monthly. It’s a simple as looking at the calendar for key events in your organization and identifying some mitigation efforts. Also, it’s a key platform for senior leaders to discuss safety.

Remember security and safety starts at the top. Build a culture that is positive, include junior leaders, and award good behavior. It can make you money!