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An interview with Nadine Anderson on how security and safety contribute to employee happiness.
Nadine Anderson (RAS Consulting & Investigations) speaks with Geoff Johansing about how security and safety contribute to employee happiness and productivity in the workplace. Since technology is advancing every day, so should a company’s security, as in physical security as well as from an operations standpoint, This can be achieved by having the best policies and procedures in place. The top factors that affect employee happiness, are actually the intangible ones such as interpersonal relationships, culture, and work environment. Employers should want their employees to feel as though they can respond to a situation, that they know what to do, and also have the confidence that an employer has already considered what to do if a dangerous situation should occur.
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About Nadine Anderson
GEOFF JOHANSING: Hello everyone. I’m Geoff Johansing. I run the Risk Advisor team here in Pasadena, with Insurance Office of America. I’m a property and casualty insurance agent with a focus on having my clients have happy employees, and how do we get there? I’m here today with Nadine Anderson. She’s with RAS consulting and investigations. Welcome, Nadine.
NADINE ANDERSON: Thank you for having me.
GJ: Would you like to talk to us a little bit… or tell us please, a little bit about your company? What do you do?
NA: Yes, yes. RAS is a physical security consulting and investigations firm. Ultimately what we do is we take an approach to physical security from a technology and an operations standpoint. So what does that mean? Technology is advancing every day. And as technology advances, so should your security. I’m talking about the cameras, the access control, and all of the other layers that come into play, with physical security. From an operations standpoint, we work with clients to make sure that they have the best policies and procedures in place.
NA: To make sure that they are covered from a legal standpoint. But also, that they have a standardized solution, both from a technology standpoint, but that their policies or procedures are aligned with that.
GJ: Okay, so in having a good security system, a good security program, how does that help the culture of the company? What does that do for the employer and employees?
NA: Well, we found that the top factors that affect employee happiness, are actually the intangible ones. So interpersonal relationships, culture, and work environment. And studies have actually shown that employees who don’t feel safe within their work environment are not as productive. Now, if you have an entire workforce that feels that lack of safety, your company’s never going to reach its full potential because they’re just not going to have the productive employees you’d hope to have.
And, unfortunately, and this isn’t, you know, this isn’t a scare tactic but it’s the truth. Bad things are happening in the news every day and people are more aware of situations that are occurring; active-shooter, disgruntled employees and the first thing an employee thinks is “well, what would I do in that situation?” or “could that happen to us?” And employers should want their employees to feel as though they can respond to a situation; that they know what to do. And also, have the confidence that an employer has already considered what to do with a situation if it were to occur.
GJ: So your organization, in addition to doing the physical, the cameras, and that sort of stuff… do you also help with that “what if”… How to train the employees? Or do you get involved in training the employees and staff on what to do in the event of a, let’s say, an active shooter?
NA: Yes, we become very involved with our clients. As a matter of fact, one of the services we offer is embedded security management. Because, often times, we’re working with clients who don’t have anyone specific to security, in that position. They have maybe an operations facilities person, that has a full plate, but security’s kind of fallen into their laps. So they’re able to actually, they’re able to actually outsource that solution or that service. They’re able to outsource that need – to RAS, and we’re able to provide them with full-time or part-time staff. Security director, manager, project manager, whatever the position in need may be.
So with that, we become incredibly involved with our clients from day one. We want to know what their pain points are? What their concerns are? And provide them with the best solution overall. So if that means we’re coming in and providing a physical security assessment, a security plan, RFP, facilitation, outsource security, management or training, then we’re able to customize the overall service for our client. We’ve become, you know, obviously because there are… because there are so many incidents in the news on a regular basis, we’re oftentimes contacted for situational awareness training, workplace violence, active shooter.
NA: And that’s actually, that’s a great first step for a lot of companies. So I would think that having your firm, or a security company come in and do this consulting, it would actually make the employee feel more valued because now I’m looking at my employer and I’m going, “they’re really investing a lot of money into keeping me safe.” So, I could see how that would enhance the culture. What are your thoughts on that?
NA: Yes, it would definitely enhance the culture. Obviously, the value of implementing security, you’re protecting your intellectual property; you’re protecting your company itself, but most importantly you’re protecting your employees. And people will often ask “what do I have to lose?” or “what’s the value? what’s the value of implementing a system or a solution?” And I mean, not to sound dramatic, but what’s the value of your reputation? the trust of your employees? or the lives of your employees?
GJ: I can imagine it’d be very hard for a company to come back as they were, after some big event; some let’s say, god forbid if someone was killed in an attack or something like that. Trying to get the culture back to where it was.
GJ: And I’m sure you’ve seen that circumstance…
NA: Yeah, and I mean, when it comes to security, our success is often something that can’t be measured, simply because you don’t really know what the outcome or the impact that a situation could have… could have had on your company. But, what you can see is that your company had a safe year.
GJ: I’ve had clients and prospects ask me if I put in a sprinkler system, if I put in an alarm system, if I put in a security system, how much will that decrease my premium? And it’s not much. It’s not going to decrease it much. But it may prevent something from happening which would… if that had happened… have a huge impact. It could have a huge impact on your premium.
GJ: So talk to me a bit about active shooting. I’ve, like I said, have clients that are in that space. They’ve got children. They’ve got the potential for this. What are you guys doing? A couple of examples of clients where you’ve implemented a program. Tips or something like that? That you could?
NA: So, first and foremost, training. And being aware of what to do in…and if an incident were to occur. One of the most valuable things about our program is that, yes, it’s going to be specific to the workplace, and to your workplace, or to the client’s workplace. But a lot of the lessons learned, or a lot of the information shared, are things that could actually be implemented in the real world. So you’re providing your employees with methods on how to handle a situation whether they’re in the workplace, at a park, at a concert, wherever they may be, they’ll become more aware and they’ll feel more confident in their ability to handle a situation if one were to occur.
GJ: Okay, maybe minimize the impact of something just because they’ve been trained on what to do for that sort of stuff.
NA: And also identifying… identifying pre-incident indicators. Identifying suspicious behavior and activity. What should they do? Who should they report it to? And being able to do that may stop an incident from occurring altogether.
GJ: So tell me about standardized solutions. So you’ve got a company that’s got 160 locations throughout the country, and there may be different exposures that they have. How do you guys engage something like that? An organization like that?
NA: Yes, we work with a lot of companies that are set up that way. They’re… they may be, they may have an HQ here in Los Angeles but they are a global company. Something that’s really important to them is making sure that they have the right security standards in place across the entire organization. So, if an employee is working from the Los Angeles office, or the Hong Kong office, they know that they’re still… they’re going to have the same security levels in place. And for companies that are growing, and they’re growing quickly…
NA: We work with a lot of companies that are also in that phase of rapid growth. We don’t want the lack of a security system to prevent them from opening a new location. So, if we’re able to create a perfect solution…
NA: That they’re able to somewhat cut and paste and to bring into the next location,
NA: It could be very easy for them to then move on and open additional locations.
GJ: Alright. Well, thank you. Again, this is Nadine Anderson with RAS Consulting and Investigations. I’m Geoff Johansing. I’m with Insurance Office of America, here trying to help you guys get ideas on how to engage your employees and keep them happy. Thank you!