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Archive for 2013

Emergency Situations

On Monday evening November 18th a severe storm hit an area north of Toronto. At 9:50pm, I was sitting reading a magazine, next to my son who was playing on his X-box. All of a sudden the TV went black and all the lights went out. I quickly looked outside and didn’t see any lights in the neighbourhood. I walked over to the kitchen where we keep an ‘easy to grab’ flashlight. I told my son to wait in the living room and I went down to the basement where I keep an additional flashlight. When I came back, my son and I decided to brainstorm the possible consequences and things we needed to take care of, since we had no idea how long it would last. Our list included items such as; check if the schools are open in the morning and to use our smartphones as alarm clocks. At 5:30am the next morning, the power was restored just before I was planning to take a freezing cold shower. It appeared that the power had been out for 50,000 households. I explained to my son later that we are prepared for an emergency. We always have jugs of water and extra food stored. We also have a large gas burner and several gas cylinders, so we can at least get by for a week with a family of 4.

This may explain why I was surprised to find out that many companies don’t have any emergency plan in place. This means when an emergency happens the thinking and preparation still has to start. Knowing that emergencies mostly strike unexpectedly and that many companies and people may be detrimentally affected; it implies taking a huge risk. Preparations for emergencies including security needs are essential. It may be a good idea to enter into several agreements with security vendors so you know that your company will receive support since aid may be limited. Involving vendors in the early stages of the thinking process makes sense and prevents you from ‘staying in the dark’ if an emergency situation occurs.

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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Cultural Fit

Seven years ago I emigrated from Western Europe to Canada with my family and many assumptions about my new home. Although bothcountries are considered western, I was surprised to encounter so many cultural differences. Though we could have chosen to emerge ourselves in associations of the old country, we decided to adapt our lifestyles to become at least partly Canadian. This approach made our integration easier. Noticing this approach, people from our neighbourhood started to accelerate the process by inviting us to typical Canadian events like curling, Thanksgiving and hockey night in Canada.

Within the security industry finding a ‘cultural fit’ is equally important. When done right, the selected security guard has enough interest and motivation to become part of his new work environment. The difference in settings is enormous, from a busy store in a shopping mall to a quiet remote mining site. Paying attention to customer specific requirements and culture as well as a candidate’s background and interests pays off. This approach will lead to higher customer satisfaction and lower turnovers simply because there is a fit from the start. This is a life lesson that has helped me change the way we do business.

Posted in: Protective Services and Investigations

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