Security is quite important whether at work, at home or even at the mall. The absence of security will allow the reign of impunity. Without adequate security, harassment, violence, intimidation, kidnapping and so on will be the order of the day no matter the location. This is why it is very important that we ensure our security is not compromised in any way especially in a work environment. I have overseen different workplaces over the years and this put me in a position where I was privy to security measures put in place first hand. It is this experience that I will draw on to provide you with proven ways on how you can improve security in your workplace.
There are several ways by which you can improve your workplace environment. These will be outlined and expatiated upon as we go through this guide.
Workplace security are those measures put in place in order to safeguard and protect an employee from work induced ailments and injuries as well as to render the workplace inaccessible to intruders. Every organization worth its salt has a workplace safety plan which is otherwise referred to as an Environmental, Safety and Health Policy and which outlines how that particular organization plans to go about ensuring the safety of its employees.
A responsible organization spares no expense and effort to ensure that its employees are as safe as possible. And apart from the fact that adequate workplace security keeps employees safe, it can also be the factor that helps a potential recruit decide on whether to join the organization or not.
It increases productivity: if the security of a particular workplace is top notch, then, the employees that work in that environment will be very productive. This is because as humans, our security matter to us, and an unsecured work environment will not inspire trust by the employees such that they will always feel a need to look over their shoulders and be responsible for their own security. A secure work environment, however, will enable the employees to give their full attention to their work thereby allowing them to be way more productive than they would be if their attention was split.
Maintains employee loyalty and turnover rate: an unsecure and unsafe workplace environment would at first, lower employee productivity and eventually, their turnover rate. Security is a basic human need and an unsecure workplace environment which would more or less endanger employees will eventually result in them leaving for no other reason than to safeguard their lives. This would, at first, be evident in their being absent from work and eventually in them resigning.
Help minimize the cost of doing business: imagine a scenario where people break into your workplace and vandalize it. Imagine how much it would cost you to do reparations and the likes. Such an occurrence could lead to your organization losing its top talents, company materials as well as money to remodel the workplace. Now, imagine not having to deal with such an occurrence because you have already put security measures in place that prevents this in the first place.
Having a good security is not only the responsible thing to do, it is also a smart and wise decision to make as it will help your business save cost in the long run.
Reduces the number of insurance claims: employees at a company with an unsafe working environment are certainly going to claim insurance when they are put in harm’s way as a result of the insecurity. This will, in one way or the other, hurt the image of the organization. So, to reduce the possibility of having an insurance claim made and having to lose the money, it is essential that adequate workplace security is provided.
Protect the organization’s image: being a responsible organization is definitely an image all organizations should strive to have. And what better way to have this image by ensuring that your employees are safe in every way possible and putting every available measure in place to ensure this security.
Increase their chances of getting clients: a responsible organization is definitely one that any and everybody will want to work with. By simply showing that you care for your employees’ health and safety and taking active measures to ensure this, you would be demonstrating your responsibility and your reliability to your prospective clients who would very probably want to work with you after.
There are several ways to go about improving your workplace security. Before you start, however, you need to do a risk assessment of several areas of your workplace so that you can get an idea of what is lacking which you would need to shore up.
Improving workplace security implies that at least a measure of security is in place which you are looking to improve upon and make better. Performing a risk assessment will help you figure out where the flaws are in your current security set up which you will then use to decide which steps in making it better.
Boundary security: boundary security is a term used to refer the avenues by which you control access to a specific site or a particular resource. This term is also to refer to the measures taken to ensure the safety of intellectual property. A risk assessment of this sector should be done to figure out the loopholes which could put you at risk.
Building security: building security refers to the measures put in place to render the building inaccessible to intruders. This ensures the security of visitors to the organization, the employees and even members of the public. Ensuring the security of a building can be done via the use of technology and even by physical means. Technological avenues can include the issuance of key cards to employees to access the building as well as to visitors. Physical avenues include the use of security guards to protect the workplace. While setting this up, you might have overlooked some things which would have otherwise compromised your entire security system and by conducting a risk assessment, you will discover those things you had missed. This will then inform the actions and steps you take to improve your workplace security.
Crime deterrents: conducting a risk assessment of crime deterrent is also necessary. It includes making an estimation of how valuable the resources in your workplace is. This will give you an idea of the kind of threat your office environment is under. Resources here refers to both physical and virtual elements. Physical elements include office equipment and gadgets while virtual elements include customer data, intellectual property and so on.
Access control: access control refers to how access to a specific part of the workplace is controlled. It is the restriction of access to a particular resource or a specific location/section of the workplace. This restriction would be done based on certain criteria usually referred to as authorization. A risk assessment of this sector should be done to find the weak points that might be exploited by unscrupulous elements and improve it.
Compliance and responsibilities: every employer is duty bound by law to ensure the safety and health of their employees as well as every individual that are in one way or the other connected to the organization and might be affected by it. This simply means that an employer should do all that is reasonably possible to ensure the security of the above.
Upon doing a risk assessment of the above sectors and figuring out the areas in which your workplace security is lacking, the following are the ways in which you can improve on them and strengthen them.
Bettering boundary and building security: normally, boundary and building security would be done via the use of such technologies like CCTTV cameras and alarms. You can then put up signs around to advertise the fact that your building is secure and being monitored. This will effectively help deter those who want to intrude into your workplace.
An effective way to improve on this primary system is to implement a backup system. This will help maintain the integrity of your security in the event that your primary system is beat either through sabotage or other methods. Your backup system, unlike your primary system, should be kept a secret and the information it captures can be of help in the event that your workplace gets burgled and an investigation is conducted.
Better prevention of crime and ensuring staff security: your workplace can, at times, be threatened by your employees. This might be in the form of stealing of company resources and equipment, and the likes. Also, scenarios where office policy and workplace guidelines are flouted do not bode well for your business as they can have a negative effect on your employees. This will, in turn, have a negative impact on your business in the guise of a drop in productivity and profit. Antisocial behaviors, the use of drugs, illegal possession of arms and so on are the criminal activities that might go in your workplace which will endanger your employees and organization. To deter this and prevent the possibility of it happening, outline, in clear, concise and not uncertain the terms the position of your organization on these offences. And when such scenarios occur, follow through on the punishments outlined.
Even with this, you should ensure that you take the steps necessary to secure office equipment and valuables. You can try locking very expensive and valuable office items in a storage room at the close of every working day with the key to accessing this place put in the hands of a trustworthy employee.
Do ensure that the laid down rules apply to everybody equally no matter their rank in the organization. This will help send the message of a workplace where fairness and justice are the order of day which will in turn help maintain the unity of the staff.
Improving access control: access control has already been described as the restriction of access to certain resources and locations within a workplace environment. You can control access to locations by using security guards and such who can verify the credentials and authorization staff members have to access that location. You can also employ the use of technological measures such as the use of protected and secured entrances. These include the use of doors which require that you input a password on the keypad to unlock it. You can also make use of locked and password enabled cabinets such that only employees with the necessary authorization can access what is kept inside.
Some other technological measures you can look at are electrified locks (there are three different types of electrified locks which are electric strike, electromagnetic lock and electrified hardware). These will be mounted in the door frame and they will help restrict access to a particular area or location of the workplace. You could also use contactless readers which involves the use of contactless smart cards and standard prox. In the event that you are compromised, all you need do is change the access control system. Finally, you can invest in biometrics such as fingerprint scanners, retina scanners and hand geometry readers all of which will allow only an elite group of employees to access the restricted area.
All of the above are ways by which you can improve on your workplace’s security.
Also, ensure that you train your employees in how to behave if an emergency occurs. While a lot of measures should have been put in place to prevent such an occurrence, the possibility of such occurring can never be completely removed. Have an emergency plan at hand in the event an accident or emergency occurs and train your employees on how to enact this plan and handle themselves if and when such does occur.
Fostering a workplace where the employees are friendly and feel like they are part of a family is also a security strategy. This is because such a united workforce can be expected to come together and look out for each other in dangerous situations.
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A security procedure is a means by which you can verify and detect that an electronic record, and electronic signature, or performance is that of a particular person and not another. It is also used to detect alterations and mistakes in the information contained in a record.
A policy (in this case, a security policy) is a principle that guides certain activities and such in an organization while a procedure is an outline of steps to follow to achieve a particular objective. Procedures are usually consistent and repetitive.
You could also view a security policy as a documented plan of action on how the company intends to ensure the security of its staff, building and information. In other words, its assets.
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