- Does the firm provide pre-deployment training to their guards?
- Does the firm offer integrated security solutions?
- Does the firm take a strategic approach?
- Does the firm embrace proactive and reactive tactics?
- Does the firm maintain a strong company culture?
Choosing the right security company in Toronto for your needs can be a game-changer. That’s true for any business or organization that requires ongoing protective services—from commercial and office properties and retailers to condo communities and institutions such as post-secondary educational or healthcare facilities. Effective security coverage can help mitigate the risk of legal liability, theft or vandalism, can help enhance your brand and proactively highlight opportunities for improvement in areas such as security technology integration and emergency response protocols.
But all too often, organizations struggle to find security service providers they can rely on. That’s because many security companies take a passive approach when providing coverage. They often face chronic staffing shortages due to high employee turnover, will win new business, and then struggle to fill positions. This typically results in frantic recruitment leading to the deployment of ill- or untrained guards who are disengaged. The resulting poor on-site performance would be familiar to many organizations that have cycled through a number of security providers: guards who fall asleep at their monitoring stations, who show up to work missing their proper uniform, or who fail to complete basic duties during a guarding shift.
It’s not entirely the guards’ fault. In many cases the performance expectations are low, the employee coaching is non-existent and the consequences for the ensuing poor performance are almost entirely absent—until the situation gets so bad that the employee is fired and the process starts over again with the next recruit.
Want to avoid turnover in security providers, along with the risk associated with sub-par security service? Then be prepared to conduct careful due diligence when hiring your next security company. Here’s a checklist of questions that every organization should ask to help make the process as simple and streamlined as possible:
Does the firm provide pre-deployment training to their guards?
It’s important that before a guard is assigned to a client site, they are fully briefed on the technical and personnel/community details relevant to that property, any technical considerations (e.g., use of fire panels, elevator control panels, etc.) and challenges those guards may face during a shift. Additional training points include risk and liability mitigation, fire response procedures, and incident reporting.
Does the Toronto security company offer integrated security solutions?
From High-definition TurboHD and IP cameras to biometric identification and verification systems, leading security companies will be equipped to help address the full scope of your security requirements. Consulting, procuring, and installing relevant technology is a critical piece of the protective services puzzle. So, too, is being able to service that equipment and help you stay a step ahead by making regular upgrades and system enhancement recommendations. If a firm can’t offer integrated security solutions, they aren’t delivering a comprehensive suite of services.
Does the security company take a strategic approach?
From the moment the Wincon Security supervisory team engages with your organization, their discussions will centre on your strategic operational needs. Some of the most important considerations include:
- Your operational requirements and objectives (think everything from proprietary information and building access points to vulnerable areas and product/personnel specifications)
- Your immediate security staffing requirements
- Your integrated security technology needs
- Whether you have an emergency preparedness and disaster response plan (and if not, how we can help you develop one); and
- Any other detail that may enhance our service offering
At that point, we develop a comprehensive security plan designed to service your needs. If a Toronto security company isn’t prepared to discuss strategy, but simply offers to assign guards to watch over your property or business, don’t expect them to meet your coverage needs.
Does the security company embrace proactive and reactive tactics?
It’s easy for a security company to react to a situation after it occurs—think of a slip-and-fall incident or a burst water pipe in a mechanical room. It’s another for that same firm to train its security professionals to think and act proactively, to spot potential issues (including legal and compliance liabilities) before they occur and, when necessary, to respond to incidents in a timely and effective manner. It takes ongoing reinforcement to ensure that security personnel are on the constant lookout for potential problems and take the opportunity to address these issues before they result in otherwise preventable incidents.
From fire response, report writing and de-escalation training to comprehensive first aid/CPR/AED certifications, our guards are well-equipped to deal with situations on a proactive and reactive basis. That includes completing the industry-mandated security training program for guards in Ontario. Not every firm trains to this level or has such stringent security guard qualification requirements, so be prepared to ask questions to ensure that a prospective security provider is equipped to meet your expectations.
Does the firm maintain a strong company culture?
Ask about how the firm works to boost employee engagement, retention and professional development. If those aren’t priorities, then it’s time to look for another provider. Top security companies in Toronto will go out of their way to properly train and motivate their employees while reinforcing a culture of service excellence. In our case, we have team members that have been with Wincon Security for more than 20 years. That’s a testament to our commitment to our people and their professional success. Not many firms can boast that kind of employee retention track record—and it’s a clear indicator of strong company culture.
Remember that it pays to take the time to conduct the necessary due diligence and select the right security company to protect your people, property, and assets. It’s a process that can require research and vetting, but when you find the right provider, the investment is fully worthwhile. Just ask the clients that have been with Wincon Security since the day our company was founded 30 years ago.
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Winston Stewart, President and CEO