Protecting your workforce with mobile communications
Communicating to your distributed workforce may seem simple, but there are complexities to protecting your security guards while they’re in the field.
Those complexities can be lessened with specific strategies and solutions aiming at protecting your workforce. In this article, we outline mobile technology attributes that can help deliver an end-to-end picture of communications while protecting field-based officers.
Mobile technology and employee self-service portals as communication channels
In the past decade, in-field technology has drastically changed. Mobile device use is now normal, if not standard, for distributed workforces across the globe. A workforce management solution specifically designed for the security industry can help with one of your biggest challenges as an employer: communicating with your field-based officers, no matter how dispersed.
It sounds simple. On average, people spend close to 16 per cent of their day on their phones – including time spent sleeping. As such, communication is sometimes taken for granted. However, it’s important to have company-approved protocols on how to reach officers and which channels to convey messages, gather information and act.
Specific messaging tools and protocols should also be in place to minimise personal device use on the job while giving your officers a way to transfer information to their supervisor or the contract management team.
Often this can be achieved through messaging tools integrated with your workforce management solutions. Integration also gives your back office an end-to-end picture of communication delivery, opens, responsive queries and more. Keep in mind these needs:
- One-way communications (notifications to officers)
- Responsive communications (messages meant to elicit a response)
- Communication delivery confirmation
- Quick-access messages, like SMS text or push notifications
- Message targeting, including individual, small group and company-wide functionalities (useful in instances of policy awareness communications)
- Employee self-service portals which can operate as hubs of information
These types of communications are quicker, more reliable and more secure than antiquated solutions, like radios, in supporting your field-based officers.
Improving safety with alerts
It’s not uncommon for officers to work lone or small team patrols. As such, it is critical they have quick access to tools that can signal emergency duress. By configuring SOS submission protocols that are as easy to access as book-on or book-off time-keeping options, security companies show they value their workforce’s safety and prioritise their well-being above all else.
It’s also important to consider location tracking as a method of ensuring officer safety. Often, location tracking is considered as a method of certifying proof of delivery of services to your clients. While it’s a great tool to accomplish that, it also serves as liability proof for the benefit of your officers, who are able to prove their location at given times during shifts if incidents should occur. It provides clear and concise situational awareness to their employers and their clients.
Automating communications for faster incident resolution
Officers should be able to reply to work site instructions, log progress on patrol routes, manage safety and have a direct line of communication with their supervisor (and vice versa) to ask questions and more. It’s a reality that officers sometimes face incidents that compromise safety – for themselves, or the public at large. In that case, it’s crucial to have systems in place to quickly respond to critical incidents.
Through automated configurations, you can keep officers connected to command centres, capture photos and locations of incidents, and trigger response protocols that alert supervisors, response teams and even client property managers or stakeholders of an incident in progress. Once resolved, the same communication channels can deliver reporting on incident resolutions and identify changes needed for better management in the future, if necessary.
Managing Director, TEAM Software