Using a defibrillator on your corporate culture
There are many times when a change in the culture, either at a corporate or local level, needs to be accomplished, quickly. You hire an effective manager and expect them to come in and overnight change the culture. But, there is no quick fix for anything in the corporate world. And that is doubly so for security.
The corporate world, even in today’s ever changing economy and downsizing to be leaner and more competitive is restrictive and doesn’t recognize creativity or originality if it’s outside the ‘norm’, of their thinking. In order to accomplish the shocking of the corporate culture you have to be willing to utilize your own experiences and knowledge to get the job done. That means you have to Hit’em fast and hit’em hard, and knock their proverbial socks off.
You may think that it’s an impossible task, but I assure you that it will work. And in order to make it work efficiently and effectively you have to take your own situation and tweak it so that it works for your individual predicament and the employees you’re responsible for. Add in a lil bit of creativity & originality, outside the box, and you will accomplish the goal.
Some cultures can be transformed simply by bringing in a new Manager or VP. Others can be brought in and have not a clue what the issues are, especially if they are from a different region of the country, such as Los Angeles to Omaha or vice versa.
And I will be the first to admit that I haven’t done this very often on a large scale. Usually it’s been done on a smaller security post with less than 10 people. And I will also admit that I don’t really fit the ‘corporate image’ since I follow that business book ‘it ain’t broke, then break it’. Not many corporate people like that kind of attitude within their organization.
The culture in your company/security post may be rotten to the core and you know it by an array of things that are occurring on a continual basis. Turnover, mistakes, no reports, forgetting to change the disk for the CCTV, attendance problems, and a myriad of other issues. So you know what the symptoms are; now you have to find the original issue. And that is probably the hardest part of all of this.
You will have to spend days, weeks, or in some cases even months to figure out the main issue that is causing the problems. To do this you can employ the method (I prefer) to talk to everyone and take careful notes of what they say and when they say it. I am a great believer in consultants in many cases, but in this case the manager needs to be out there talking and asking the questions. It doesn’t matter where the questions come from, just so that the manager knows their people.
And in addition to taking copious notes on what’s said, there are a couple of other things that need to be watched. Are they nervous or have anxiety? What’s their body language? Are they being overly calm? You have to pick up on the little subtle things to finally figure out what’s wrong.
This is where the shock comes in. You can call it whatever you wish. But I will guarantee you that this will work;
A couple of decades ago, I had a very large account. It had its own Account Manager, 30 buildings, 20 supervisors, and well over a hundred officers. The main issue I faced was turnover, 400% per year. The root cause of the turnover? The supervisors were over-bearing, and arrogant. So the solution was fairly simple. I offered a proposal and it was accepted by the officers & supervisors. An ultimatum to the supervisors. Get better or else you’re gone. Simple as that. No dancing around the issue, no pleasantries.
In 30 days the officers gave their evaluation of their supervisors. It was kind of surprising how quickly the supervisors shaped up a came into line with being good supervisors/managers! The officers rated them on the same scale and framework that the supervisors graded the officers on.
The results were not bad in my opinion. We lost about half the supervisors within 6 months because they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, maintain the change. We also terminated about 30 officers in the same amount of time Even the Account Manager was faced with termination, and he eventually left on his own accord.
Was this a shock to the corporate/client /company culture? Of course it was. Supervises/managers were not normally called out and issued such ultimatums. Will this approach work today? Yes it will. And sometimes there is no choice, especially as a contract company if you want to keep the account from being lost due to internal BS within the post.
So how do you use a defibrillator on your corporate culture, or company, client, or post? Use your knowledge, experience, creativity, originality, & get yourself outside the box that most people are trapped in. There are times you need to go to extremes to get the most out of your team, especially if they’ve been lax. Don’t be afraid to do it. As I said above, hit’em hard and hit’em fast!
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany Here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.