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How to keep your workforce informed about security

For many employees, workplace security is a topic that rarely comes to mind, particularly for those who work in quiet environments that would appear to have little or no risk of safety issues.

However, for senior managers and directors - who must assume responsibility for keeping members of staff safe at all times - it's a more complicated subject.

One of the challenges facing managers is making sure that members of your labour force have a basic level of awareness about security and its importance within the workplace.

Keeping people informed is likely to require more than putting a few perfunctory notes in an induction document or an employee contract. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your employees feel informed and comfortable about workplace security.

Promote openness and communication

If members of staff feel confident that they are working in an open, receptive environment that allows them to ask questions or raise concerns with their managers, they will be much more likely to voice any doubts they might have about workplace security.

Creating a relaxed working atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable speaking to one another - regardless of their department or level of seniority - will also make it easier for management staff to discuss security issues should they arise.

There are a number of strategies businesses can use to encourage openness and communication. These might include:

•    Discouraging emails in favour of face-to-face chats or phone conversations.
•    Holding regular meetings with teams or individual members of staff, to provide a platform where issues can be raised or questions asked.
•    Managers making a special effort to show that they are listening to staff - not just telling them what they are expected to do.

Hold interactive training sessions

If you want to make your employees more informed about any subject - whether it is workplace security or something more directly linked to the performance of your business - you must be willing to invest in training and development.

When it comes to something that might not have an obvious link to how people work on a day-to-day basis, like security, it is important to structure your training so it feels relevant and engaging.

One tried-and-trusted approach is to encourage interaction within the training sessions, which will help participants to engage with the information and reduce the risk of people switching off and promptly forgetting everything they have heard.

Focus on 'at-risk' staff

Workplace security is a universal issue and every member of staff should receive a certain level of protection at work, but it is important to remember that some individuals could be more at risk than others.

For people who spend a lot of time working alone or doing night shifts, for example, security is likely to be a bigger concern than office-based, nine-to-five workers who are part of a big team.

If you have some members of your workforce who could be more vulnerable to security risks than others, make a special effort to engage with them and ensure they have all the information and provisions they need to feel safe.

This could extend to providing remote control devices to activate an alarm if necessary, but sometimes just a face-to-face talk can be enough to reassure someone that their security is your top priority.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Image courtesy of Thinkstock

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