Successful security practitioners, working as both in-house and on-site contractors, should see an important part of their role as to continuously educate their colleagues and clients on new security issues or updates, using a variety of formal and informal methods.
Not all security training has to be through e-mailed policy, online learning programs, or through classroom sessions; there are less structured approaches. Most employees are familiar with YouTube and are used to watching short videos on their phone. It’s possible to create a passable and newsworthy video on a security-related topic using a smartphone or the camera system on your desktop computer and some basic editing software. While most people expect Hollywood-quality in their entertainment choices, they are more forgiving for company or security department-created videos as long as they are short (no more than 5 to 7 minutes) and to the point.
Employees can also be given the opportunity to attend so-called voluntary “lunchtime learnings” or “brown bag trainings,” where they can eat their lunch in a training room, conference room, or board room, and hear from an in-house or outside speaker on a variety of security topics. These 30- to 45-minute sessions should be timely and relevant and feature cutting-edge information on the issues employees are concerned about. This could include personal Internet security; workplace cybersecurity; home and workplace security tips; active shooter and workplace violence prevent ideas, based on a review of recent national or local cases; protecting employees from identity theft; and even basic first-aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), or automated external defibrillator (AED) training; self-defense, or pepper spray training. Some of these courses may require the expertise of a local subject matter expert, and these short sessions can be filmed for later review by employees who didn’t attend but who are interested in the topics.
One lunchtime learning topic that could partner the Security Department with the Human Resources Department is on the value of the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These details about this confidential counseling service are often either unknown or misinterpreted by many employees and this copresented session can clear up the many myths about using an EAP counselor. This could include HR’s role in addressing the ease of access, confidentiality concerns, and the many subjects that are covered by EAP therapists and counselors. Security Department representatives can speak to the employees about the value of using the company’s EAP provider for issues related to workplace violence prevention—anger and stress management for employees who can self-identify they are having problems on and off the job—or domestic violence in the workplace prevention, including the value of getting therapeutic, confidential help when faced with a home domestic violence situation that could cross over to work.
Employees who work for public agencies and private-sector firms in various maintenance, facilities, repair, and other safety-oriented professions are already familiar with the usefulness of so-called “Safety Meetings” or “Tailgate Talks” (which may even take place around the back of a work truck). The managers, supervisors, and forepersons often schedule these 5- to 10-minute safety training conversations on a regular basis, so all employee know they are coming and to be prepared to attend. Security Department leaders can follow this example and keep their security-related sessions—in whatever live or recorded format they use—short, entertaining, and informative.