Your organization’s facility is a significant financial investment. Maintaining its value and usefulness in achieving the organization’s goals is paramount.
Today’s facilities manager is far more than the head janitor. The job requires and attracts well-educated professionals. According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in facilities management requires knowledge of:
- Organizational behavior
- Strategic planning
- Business continuity
- Emergency preparedness planning
- Environmental, health and safety management
And the list goes on and on.
While facilities managers are knowledgeable in these areas, do not expect them to be experts in all of them. Instead, organizations need to give them the OK to hire specialists and service providers.
Yet, too often, organizations skimp and require the facilities team to do it yourself. Security is one area where this happens too often.
While a facilities manager is knowledgeable about security systems and controlling access points, he may not be expert on criminal behavior, the latest in technology, and developing security protocols.
For example, an organization’s facilities team developed a protocol for alerting an employee and his/her manager should an estranged spouse enter the workplace in violation of a restraining order. However, the protocol led to uncertainty about who was responsible for escorting the employee to a secure room and who should alert police. In addition, the door on the secure room locked, but neither the door nor the adjacent walls were reinforced.
Facilities knew they needed a protocol, but they lacked the expertise to develop one that employees would easily remember and actually worked. Facilities did not know it was advisable to create a more secure safe room where a threatened employee could safely remain, even if the attacker found the location, until police arrived.
Companies hire experts all the time – electricians, plumbers, lawyers. Security is no different, and is far too important to be a do-it-yourself project.