What Property Managers Can Expect When Transitioning from One Security Guard Company to Another
Imagine every time you walk in your building, the front desk security concierge is snoozing or eating on the job.
You’re fed up. You call your security company to complain and, while they promised to fix things before, you feel like a broken record. You decide it’s time to move on to another security vendor.
But then it hits you: will retraining a brand new security guard company be a bigger hassle than babysitting your current security agency?
A competent security services vendor will carry the responsibilities of the transition so you can focus on managing your property.
Through the transition, the security services firm will learn about your building, train their security staff, and develop a set of procedures in the first 90 days.
Here are the typical stages you’ll see when transitioning security companies:
- Pre-signing – figuring out what security services are needed
- First 30 days – setting the stage with the new company
- Up to day 60 – fine tuning the security team’s training
- Up to day 90 – security team hand off & polishing up any needed fixes
It’s the security firm’s job to guide the work in each stage and keep open communication with you. So don’t worry, it won’t bog down your busy schedule.
Before you sign: define your security needs
Before you put any ink to a contract, have your prospective security guard company perform a security audit.
A security audit will determine the services your residential or commercial building needs. Security audits assess your building’s vulnerable spots, such as poorly monitored badge check-ins or high-risk night shifts.
The security agency will recommend requirements for all guards in your building based on the assessment. If you choose to move forward, the security agency will outline their security plan for your property and make their responsibilities clear.
The first 30 days: going live
Developing processes and procedures
An account manager will be assigned to your team in the first 30 days of the transition. Your account manager will be your go-to person and will act as your security consultant. They will answer all your questions and take the transition responsibilities off your plate.
The account manager will start by developing a standard operating procedures manual (SOPM). The SOPM is a comprehensive reference book for security staff that should outline procedures on:
- Assigning shifts
- Rundown of daily duties
- Emergency protocols
- Standards for the staff’s professionalism
The SOPM will also address how guards will greet residents, handle deliveries, and more.
Setting up channels for feedback & communication
The account manager will set up a chain of communication between you and the security staff. After all, you’re still the boss even if the account manager is directing the transition.
To better cater the security team to your property’s needs, the account manager will:
- Ask for your feedback on the staff’s performance
- Schedule meetings where you can voice any concerns
- Check in with the security staff & move them in the right direction
Days 30-60: integrating the team
Tying off all loose ends
In the next month, your account manager will finalize your buildings SOPM and review the manual with the security staff.
Before any documentations set in stone, the account manager will probably run guards through a risk assessment. The risk assessment examines all potential workplace hazards so that the account manager can decide whether enough procedures and control measures are in place for everything to run effectively.
For the assessment, the security guard company may bring in retired law enforcement for more expertise.
In addition to the risk assessment, your account manager will try to seal any and all security gaps. They will also polish up the guards’ hospitable duties through routine check-ins with you and the security staff:
1. Weekly training for new security staff
Throughout the transition process, the account manager will train security staff onsite, aside from the risk assessment. The security guards will be tested on things from knowing the building layout to protocols in your building’s SOPM.
2. Weekly meetings to ease the transition
Weekly meetings aren’t meant to create more work for you, but to ensure you are pleased with the progress. Your security account manager will work out a meeting agenda so you can discuss your concerns.
Days 60-90: buttoning up your onsite security
Polish up your security team
By the 90 day mark, your security team should be smoothly operating. You should only feel like complimenting the guards, and you don’t have to intervene.
If any concerns arise at this point, be sure to bring them up immediately.
This is the point where you and your account manager will debrief on the 90-day training period, and you’ll button up any open issues.
After 90-days, the account managers will be available to you and your staff as the first line of communication.
- They’ll continue to set up regular meetings to assess the staff’s performance
- The managers will coordinate quarterly training so your guards keep up a prime performance.
Moving forward, the security agency will want to schedule quarterly meetings with you to make sure your security staff stays up to par.
A competent security guard company will pick up the pieces during a switch
A lackluster security vendor isn’t just a burden, it can be a serious threat to your residents. If you choose to get rid of a security partner whose guards sleep on the job or make residents feel more uncomfortable than secure, make sure your replacement can fulfill your needs.
Once you put the transition into the hands of a new security vendor you can trust, they will take the reins and put together a team you’ll be happy with. You won’t regret what little time you need to invest in hiring a new security services company if your current vendor needs the boot.
The more you invest in a quality security vendor, the more valuable an asset your residential property will become as a whole. And, more importantly, your valued residents and patrons will feel more at home rather than more on guard.