In a previous blog post, we discussed the benefits of a happy safety/security team. In this post, we present six ways that managers and supervisors can help with building trust in the workplace, and ensure their officers are happy even when departmental budgets are tight.
1. Respect and Support
One of the biggest reasons officers may feel dissatisfied with their jobs is a lack of respect and support in the workplace. Many officers receive little respect in their day to day duties and all too often are treated as if they’re not an essential part of the company. As the eyes and ears of an organization, they can offer a lot of insight into operations and should be empowered. Showing officers more respect, and asking for their input helps with building trust in the workplace, and demonstrates that they’re a valuable part of the organization, leading to increased engagement.
Support is equally important for job satisfaction. When managers take an active role and provide clear direction and support, officers are less likely to be frustrated in their duties. Showing support is also crucial for solidarity and camaraderie. For example, officers need to be backed up by management when they enforce an established policy, even in difficult situations. If supervisors do not demonstrate that they have the backs of their officers, trust can be at risk.
2. Praise and Acknowledgement
The job can be extremely stressful and officers rarely receive the praise or acknowledgement they deserve. Receiving acknowledgement for a job well done helps with building trust in the workplace and motivates officers to continue to give their full attention and ability to their duties.
Security officers who go above and beyond the call of duty should be immediately acknowledged and praised. Officers must know that they matter and are making a difference. Many agencies install an “officer of the month” program to recognize employees for their achievements and reward them with a small gift.
3. Meaningful Work
It’s difficult to give your all to a job if it’s not meaningful. People need to feel like they are making a difference and that is especially true in the safety and security industry. Most officers chose their career because they wanted to help people and keep them safe. When a job has some meaning behind it, it’s much easier for a person to feel energized and want to go to work every day instead of dreading it and slacking off. It’s important to remind your officers that what they are doing is important and meaningful.
4. Professional Equipment & Environment
It is said that if you want someone to act as a professional, you must treat him or her as one. This includes providing officers with professional-grade tools and equipment, law enforcement software, and a professional working environment. Giving your officers old, beat up, or malfunctioning equipment tells them that they are not valuable enough to receive reliable equipment. Officers should also be given a work environment that is neat, orderly, safe, and adequately sized to accomplish their duties.
5. Work/Life Balance
A healthy work/life balance is an important aspect to any job, but especially for safety and security officers who work in high stress situations. Officers require time to rest, relax and unwind after a stressful day of work (possibly more so than other jobs).
Officers who don’t have time to rest may come to work sleepy or stressed out, and are less likely to perform at an optimal level. A high stress level also makes people more likely to make mistakes or respond to situations inappropriately or unprofessionally. If adequate breaks are given, officers are able to rest and come back to work refreshed, happy, and ready to take on the job to the best of their ability.
6. Growth Opportunities
People strive to have, do, or be something more. If an officer doesn’t feel like they’re progressing in their role or organization, they’re likely to find a place where they will. Moving up in an organization, based on rank and/or compensation, contributes to the feeling of achievement and moving toward a goal. Demonstrating that an organization takes the care and wellbeing of their officers seriously shows respect, understanding, and commitment.