The most important responsibility of a security company is to keep their security guards accountable and to constantly coach them. That role normally falls to the field supervisors, who should be randomly and frequently visiting the post. Many field supervisors see their responsibility as checking up on the guard. To an extent that is what they are doing, but it should be clear what that means and that the checking up is only twenty percent of the job. It is imperative to keep security guards accountable and disciplined. If a field supervisor overlooks a violation of the uniform code the guard will not only keep violating it, but will try to stretch the limit. Therefore, supervisors should admonish security guards for the smallest violation of the post orders and of the uniform code.

It will not only send the message that the field supervisor is paying attention, but also that he will not tolerate the smallest violation. That behavior will create discipline and accountability. Nevertheless, the responsibility of the supervisor does not end with admonishing guards about violations. There should be a constant dialogue. Field supervisor should ask about challenges guards are facing and he should lend his support and experience. Field supervisors should also be in constant contact with the client about the performance of the guards. That way he can positively reinforce good behaviors and coach on discipline issues.

Positive reinforcement is the most important aspect of coaching. It shows the employee that his positive behaviors are appreciated and noticed. That way he will continue the positive behaviors. It will also send the message that the supervisor is not only focusing on negative behavior. In case the guard needs corrective coaching the previous positive reinforcement will make the security officer more likely to listen and to change his behaviors. It is also very important not just to tell the security officer what they did wrong and to change their behavior, but there should be a clear formula how that message is communicated. The field officer should share his observation and the possible negative effects of the behavior on the overall security of the client. He should give an example of how the behavior should be changed and the positive effects of that behavior. After getting the employee’s agreement he should get a commitment to the right behavior.

Coaching and discipline are extremely important, because the security officer at the post will be making the decisions in emergency and contingency situations. If they are well prepared and have been practicing the right behaviors it is much more likely that they will take the right course of action in such a situation. Every security company should repeat that message to their field supervisors frequently. Coaching is not easy and if field supervisors are not encouraged and held accountable to constantly coach the right way, the security officer’s skills will not improve and service and security levels will be low. A company that encourages constant coaching and discipline will ultimately provide better service to their clients, will improve their guards’ skills and be more successful in the market place.

Author's Bio: 

Charles Willis is a security consultant for a security guard company in Los Angeles that provides onsite security guards. He has provided security consultations to many Fortune 500 companies and has been working in the security industry for decades.