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How to be an effective employee.

MANY TEXTBOOKS, SEMINARS, and college courses have focused on how to be an effective supervisor. Little attention, however, has focused on how to be an effective employee.

All too often the supervisor/employee relationship has been examined on a large scale. Equal time should be devoted to studying the supervisor/employee relationship on a smaller scale--the day-to-day effects of the supervisor/employee relationship.

To achieve long-range, high-quality supervisor/employee relationship. daily interpersonal relationships must be developed first. The supervisor/employee relationship must function as a cooperative team effort that enables both sides to recognize the benefits of strong, positive working relationships. Both parties must strive continuously to improve and strengthen the quality of this partnership.

As a security manager, here are some points you can share with your security officers on how they can be more effective employees:

Job selection. Employees should choose a job that interest them and for which they are qualified. Supervisors want employees who are proud of their occupation, speak favorably about it, and are willing to recruit other qualified applicants for openings.

Supervisors want employees who do more than scan classified ads. They want people who have done some research about the occupation, are knowledgeable about the company, ask questions about working conditions, consider what they can contribute to the company, and are interested in a career with the organization.

Work quality. Effective employees accept assignments as challenges. They complete tasks so the results reflect favorably on both employee and supervisor. Both should also share recognition for a job well done.

It doesn't take much more effort, if it takes any more effort at all, to do the job right the first time when it is expected. Employees generally have a keen sense of where their mark is on the work-quality spectrum.

Supervisors want employees who take pride in their work, are good team players, and look for solutions, not problems. Supervisors want employees to put forth their best effort daily.

Appearance. Appearance is important in any job but even more so in security. Appearance affects employee performance significantly, and it affects the response of other people employees come in contact with on the job.

Appearance is more than a clean, neat uniform, which certainly is an important start. Appearance also includes personal hygiene, posture, ability to speak clearly and intelligently--it is an employee's total image that determines how others perceive him or her.

Supervisors want employees to project a positive image, one that earns respect and reflects that employees know their job--which, in turn, mirrors the image of the organization.

Confidence. To do well in a job, employees need self-confidence. Confidence can be strengthened by seeking out opportunities to gain more experience and by taking advantage of educational and training opportunities that are available.

Supervisors want employees to have confidence for a number of reasons. For example, an employee's self-confidence has the potential for making the supervisor more effective. It gives the supervisor the chance to further develop employees to take on more challenging assignments since the supervisor believes the employee is capable of handling them.

Report writing. Report writing is an important and necessary task in many jobs, including that of the security officer. Too often security officers are trained to fill in the blanks on an incident report form. They are responding to the who, what, when, where, why, and how for an incident, but they may not understand why report writing is essential.

These reports serve as statistical analysis directed toward prevention and sometimes apprehension. They are imperative to building useful and beneficial record files.

Supervisors know the importance of quality report writing and should insist on high standards. Supervisors want complete, thorough, and accurate information so the report gives a clear picture of what really happened and what was done about it.

Patrolling. Patrolling is much more than walking or driving from point A to point B to point C and punching a time clock. Effective patrolling is as important to the safety and welfare of the security officer as it is to the accomplishments of the security objectives in general.

Supervisors want security officers to be observant during patrols. Security officers should patrol with a meaningful purpose in mind and constantly ask themselves such questions as, Does that person belong in this area? Why do I hear running water? Why is that box on the dock?

Effective patrolling could be the deciding factor in saving a life--maybe even the officer's--and that is the most important reason for doing it right.

Punctuality. Security officers are given specific schedules and appointments for several reasons. Those time requirements include

* getting to work on time in consideration of coworkers and avoiding unnecessary overtime pay,

* not extending break periods either before or beyond the allotted time,

* meeting people at appointed times,

* getting reports in on time,

* completing all types of job assignments on a timely basis, and

* responding promptly on receiving an assignment.

Supervisors want employees who are punctual because supervisors are responsible for managing their work load with a set number of personnel. Supervisors rely on employees to be on time so they can focus on other, more important concerns.

Work space. Whether security officers work a fixed post or a mobile unit, they are responsible for keeping their work space clean and orderly. Most security posts contain manuals, post instructions, memos, various forms, office supplies, telephone directories, and CCTV monitors--all of which are important resources for security officers in their jobs.

Supervisors want security officers who regularly review the resource information so they are knowledgeable about post procedures. Supervisors want updated information filed properly in the appropriate manual and outdated material disposed of properly as well.

When a question or a situation arises that a security officer does not know how to respond to, he or she should refer to the available resources for the answer. Supervisors want security officers who will inventory post supplies and place orders before supplies run out.

Communications. Effective communication is best described as shared understanding. If a message is not understood, communication has not been effective. Effective communication is important in face-to-face conversations, during telephone conversations, and during radio transmissions.

Supervisors want security officers to communicate constantly with other employees and with supervisors because people work together better when they communicate. Good communication with visitors is also good public relations.

Comprehension. While security officers receive an abundance of resource information, receiving the information is only half of the process. They must understand the information and know what to do with it once they receive it.

Sometimes elaborate procedures are set up to ensure officers receive the information, but a fallout occurs when it comes to verifying whether officers understand the information. Supervisors may assume security officers understand the information when, in fact, they don't or they haven't bothered to read the material. Supervisors, therefore, need to follow up and ask officers questions and make sure they understand.

Cooperation. Security officers are called on to work with other security officers as well as employees in other departments. Supervisors want employees to work with others willingly. They want officers who are team players. Employees who are team oriented focus on positive aspects of the supervisor/employee relationship and get the job done.

Roger Earl Frankey, Sr., CCP, is facilities security supervisor for Philip Morris in Richmond, VA. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:security agencies employees
Author:Frankey, Roger Earl, Sr.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Words:1225
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