How much do security guards save your business? People usually see security guards sitting behind desks reading newspapers or eating junk food and not actually doing any work.
I agree that this is not the best look for a professional industry and we need to get rid of security guards that don't perform. However, generally most security guards work very hard to protect you and your business for very low pay. Security guards have two main functions: Keeping the status quo of your business and ensuring that everything is working as it should be so that your business can continue to make money.
Responding rapidly and effectively to a sudden emergency event at your business
In this way security guards are like computers: a binary switch. Guards are set at 0 most of the time and maintain the status quo, but are switched to 1 when an alarm is raised. Guards are like kettles I don't see managers deciding to get rid of their kettles to save money because all the kettle does is sit still most of the day until they flick the switch and it starts boiling water.
The true value of having a security guard comes from the 1 status when the alarm condition is activated and the potential for your business to lose lots of money or even become unable to maintain operational structure and fail.
Working out the true value of a security guard service is important part of your return on investment decisions and you should consider the following. How many break in or robberies have you had this year and the value of goods lost How much have you spent on removing graffiti from your buildings this year How much have you spent on repairing or replacing property damage caused by vandalism this year How many times have you had a fire evacuation or alarms that disrupted your business operations Have you received any bomb threats Have you needed to terminate an employee and felt threatened or unsafe while doing it How many employees have been injured while at work and what did it cost you in compensation or lost operations while your managers attended to the employees.
Even just 1 fire can damage your business more than the security guards wages for the year and they could have stopped it within 2 minutes using their training to put the fire out.
These are just some examples of things that security guards perform each and every day for businesses like yours. If you look at the costs and effects on your business you can probably calculate the loss of profits to your business.
Even an inexperienced and new security guard can reduce most of these incidents by over 10%. How much would you save each year with a 10 per cent reduction. Experienced and professional security guards can reduce these incidents by over 50 per cent each year saving you more than it costs to pay for them Now look at the status quo benefit While the security guard is patrolling and performing basic duties for your business like reception or access control from a desk have a look at the benefits they provide your business.
All your employees know they have a person to go to in cases of personal safety If visitors and guests are coming in the guard can assist in their requirements Couriers have a central place to deliver and pick up goods so there are few lost packages The CCTV are constantly being watched to make sure everything is as it should be. As soon as something changes the security guard will activate a response. The security guard gets to know all your employees by sight and there is no better way to make sure only employees get into your building. NO fake ID will trick a guard that knows your employees personally by sight and voice.
You have a guarantee that a security guard will check all your buildings for safety hazards and make a report on them. Any urgent hazards will be controlled and reported immediately to the right department. This reduces the chance that Worksafe will find your business not complaint with OH&S conditions.
The return on investment
Now that you realise all the parts of your business that a professional security guard has an impact on and the amount of money you can save by having them assist to protect you, and if you save more than double the cost this is excellent ROI to any business. The reason why you see bad guards Businesses don't want to pay enough to attract the experienced security guard and only end up with the retirees or those doing a second job while they sleep in your business. You need to hire contract security companies that use full time security professionals and not second job students or casual fill ins. The difference in hourly rate is not much higher at around AU$5 per hour per guard and you will get over 40 per cent reduction in all your vandalism, crimes, safety risks, and complaints from customers or employees. You will also spend less time managing the security company's poor performance each month during meetings and tying up your valuable time. Think about this.
A temporary receptionist often gets paid $30 per hour to work for you and all they do is the reception duties.
A low performing guard gets paid $14 per hour to work for you and is required to protect your $2 Million asset and all your employees. No wonder you get what you pay for. You should consider your security guard as a vital part of your emergency response plans and business survival and get the best you can pay for.
About the author
Paul Baker has over twenty years security and risk management experience across Australia to protect corporate clients from critical incidents and security risks.
He has achieved formal qualifications in a wide range of security risk management skills and commendations for crisis response operations.