Why don’t we Train our Officers to think and act like Supervisors?

by todaystrainingblog

July 23, 2013

Why don’t we Train our Officers to think and act like Supervisors?


                Until recently this has been a revolutionary thought in the field of security. The argument against it was, and still is in many companies, you can’t trust a lowly rent-a-cop/guard to do the right thing, so why encourage it?

                Is every field level security officer capable of being a supervisor? Of course not, some not even a shift supervisor. Some are best just left alone on their post and watch the entry/exit gate or CCTV monitor all night. They may not have the wherewithal to be any more than that. And that’s okay – they have their spot and are good at it, and we need them there.

                However, there are other officers out there that are intelligent, ambitious, and have the street smarts to be supervisors. And yet we treat them as if they are stupid or incompetent. We don’t want them to think or even act independently for any reason. And why is this?

                In some cases it may be that the office staff is scared of them taking their jobs (unfortunately, this is more prevalent in national companies than in local/regional ones).In other cases it’s simply the client, in their way of thinking of an insurance break and nothing else in their provider (much more prevalent than it should be).

                When I was working in the field, I always trained the people under me like they had a brain. Never once did I ever try and train them like they were incapable of learning or retaining what they were taught, although some weren’t capable of retaining it. And so many training classes I’ve seen and heard, are that way. They train like these men and women are in kindergarten! They don’t allow the officers to think anything for themselves or ‘outside the box’, and in order for the industry to grow and be accepted we have to do this.

                An example of what happens when you train and treat them as supervisors and people is that one lady was a slow learner. She ended up working on a remote post at a cold storage cave. Only once or twice did either myself or the client get a call because she couldn’t handle a problem. Could she have worked as a supervisor somewhere else and not lead there? Probably not, but she was competent and rewarded us by her job performance.

                If we treat our officers and train them like they are supervisors, to be responsible and think for themselves, and outside the box of a lowly paid rent-a-cop/guard, then we in the industry will be rewarded in the end, by having people in the field we can depend on for literally anything we need to get the job done right. Will we never get bit in the tookus by a mistake they make when thinking for themselves? Of course we will. If we never made a mistake then this world would be so much more perfect & wonderful. But let me ask all of us perfect & wonderful professionals who read this one question.

                Have you never made a mistake that got you reprimanded, disciplined, fired, suspended, or lost the company money or a client? Did you ever fail a test in high school, college, or on the certification exams? What are you stupid? No, you’re not.

                But when someone treats you like you are, you may begin to think that way and that’s not very good for any of us. But if someone trains, and treats, you, like the professional you are don’t you gain confidence? And through experience and knowledge begin to make better decisions? If we begin to train and treat our officers as supervisors, by letting them think and act independently at most times, then we’ll have better officers and clients/companies will have better security.

                Lastly, going along with this, is the idea of treating them responsibly. Too many people in today’s world won’t accept responsibility for what they’ve done. Talking to a colleague recently, he told me that his officers had his supervisor sign his notebook when he passed something along. When the supervisor didn’t pass it along, then the supervisor got in trouble, not the officer who did the right thing.

                I could never have gotten my supervisors or managers to sign anything like that back in the day! They were too afraid of it coming back to bite them in the butt. They were afraid of getting fired for the smallest mistake – that says a lot about the companies I worked for.

                The point is, that you have to hold your officers feet to the fire! Make them accept responsibility for an incident, no matter whether it was intentional or not. After they accept that reprimand and responsibility, then you’ll also have a better officer and therefore a person who can make better decisions like a supervisor.


                Need to convince your office staff or clients of this fact? Call us and we’ll talk to them.



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