Chris Hedenskog, a candidate for a Masterâ€™s Degree in Organizational Security Management at the University of Denver, sent this paper that examines the positive impact an ongoing security training program has on an organizations culture. Addressing how the information age has changed the world of security, this paper will explain why this training is necessary for the security industry to keep pace with the increasing level of threats to an organizations assets. Using the latest research, an explanation of how to design an effective training program is discussed. An explanation of how a training program can be used to motivate employees, and develop successful teams will be discussed. The benefits of which will clearly demonstrate how an ongoing and effective training program positively impacts and organizations culture.
Chris has been employed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the Inmate Systems Management field for 11 years. While working with the Bureau of Prisons, he served as a training officer. And previous to the Bureau, he was a training supervisor at UPS for five years, and prior to that, served in the Army in combat operations.
â€œHow effective security training positively impacts organizational cultureâ€
As organizations strive to find ways to positively impact their culture, investing in an effective security training program is one of the best ways to accomplish this task. The benefits associated with an ongoing and effective training program are numerous. In discussing the benefits a training program offers an organization, Author Elaine Biech in an article, Four Reasons to Invest in Training states, â€œ it attracts talent, it keeps you competitive, saves you money, and fosterâ€™s buy-in. (Biech 1). All significant contributions to an organization striving to compete in a global marketplace. An ongoing training program is of particular importance to the security industry. As Johnson states, â€œAll human beings and their organizations have a fundamental need and goal: security.â€ (Johnson, 4). Without a safe and secure work environment, â€œ productivity decreases, and stress levels increase. (Johnson, 5). This basic function security provides an organization has been challenged dramatically with the rise of the information age. As global competitiveness increases, â€œmore aggressive competitive intelligence gathering developed.â€ (Kovacich, Halibozek, 59). This is a difficult issue to manage since, â€œthe connectivity of the internet has made the concept of borders and jurisdictions and incredible challenge in combating this problem.â€ (Nasheri, 1). Technological advances have increased the threats to an organizations assets in four ways, â€œ anonymity, security (or insecurity), privacy (or the lack of it), and globalization.â€œ (Nasheri 32). As technology advances, organizations must commit to an ongoing and effective security training program to protect their assets against these increasing threats.
There are many ways to motivate employees, but â€œperhaps the most important thing is recognizing that positive motivation does not just happen.â€ (Forsyth 22). Creating motivated people, â€œ requires continuous consideration and action.â€ (Forsyth 22). The foundation needs to be based on positive attributes.
In an interview, author Steven Covey discusses five essential elements to achieve this goal. First, employers must create an environment where employees are empowered to advance their skills to be equal with their opportunities. Next, it is essential to encourage informal and formal training inside and outside of the organization. Coaching and mentoring programs must be established to encourage employees and show the organization cares about their development. Leaders are crucial as role models, they must foster a learning environment and create opportunities that encourages employees to constantly learn and improve. The last step deals with rewards, achievement must be celebrated in the organization, this leads to encouragement for the employees. (Covey 1). Adding to the value of the last step, Forsyth states, â€œ perhaps nothing is more important than a feeling of achievement: nothing except that achievement being recognized.â€ (22). An effective training program provides employees the motivation to learn, the coaching and mentoring programs needed to promote their achievement, and the means to recognize employees achievements. Ultimately leading to a positive impact on the organizations culture.
Developing successful teams
Organizations are always looking for ways to increase output. Which is why developing successful teams has become increasingly important as, â€œ teams are being introduced worldwide as a means to increase productivity, quality, and employee job satisfaction.â€ (Robbins 305). The development of successful teams requires an effective and ongoing training program to develop the common characteristics necessary to achieve success. To develop these successful characteristics, an ongoing training program relies on decades of research in areas such as: roles, norms, cohesiveness, size and composition. (Robbins 306-11).
It is necessary to understand the dynamics associated with these characteristics for teams to be successful. For example, does the size of a group make a difference? The answer is yes. Research indicates, â€œsmaller groups are faster at completing tasks then larger ones.â€ (Robbins 309). However, if the goal of the group is related to problem solving, â€œlarger groups consistently get better marks than their smaller counterparts.â€ (Robbins 310). Understanding the complexities associates with team achievement requires a dedication from the organization to an ongoing training program. The research in this area is vast, however, failing to understand the complexities involved in team oriented work are doomed to failure. The necessity of this ongoing training program is increasingly important in todayâ€™s world of mergers and acquisitions across the globe.
Kovacich and Halibozek state, â€œsecurity needs to be an active member of the merger and acquisition team.. from the start of due diligence effort right through the integration of the newly acquired or merged business, security has a role.â€ (111). The complex issues surrounding teams separated by geography, culture, and language barriers establishes the need for an effective training program.
Research indicates, â€œalthough teams that are large, virtual, diverse, and composed of highly educated specialists are increasingly crucial with challenging projects, those same four characteristics make it hard to get anything done.â€¦â€¦ the models for teams need to be realigned with the demands of the current business environment.â€ (Gratten, Erickson 1). Understanding the complexities associated with integrating teams in this changing environment is essential for security to provide the services required by the organization. The training program must effectively address the barriers associated with these complex teams. Gratten and Erickson state in, 8 Ways to Build Collaborative Teams, the following elements necessary for success:
1: Investing in signature relationship practices
2: Modeling collaborative behavior: executives set the tone.
3: Creating a gift culture: mentoring and coaching.
4: Ensuring the requisite skills
5: Supporting a strong sense of community
6: Assigning team leaders that are both task-and relationship-oriented
7: Building on heritage relationships: meaning place at least a few people who know each other on teams.
8: Understanding role clarity and task ambiguity. (Gratten, Erickson 1).
Team building exercises
For organizations, implementing a team concept is not without challenges a â€œsubstantial barrier is individual resistance.â€ (Robbins 328). For teams to succeed, â€œindividuals must be able to communicate openly and honestly, to confront differences and resolve conflicts, and to sublimate personal goals for the good of the team.â€ (Robbins 328). Robbins suggests, â€œselection, training, and rewardsâ€ as the primary options managers have when reshaping individuals into team player. Organizations must rework their training programs to focusing on team aspects to be successful. (Robbins 328). When conducting team building exercises, Miller suggests in, Quick Activities to Improve your Team, seven steps team trainers must follow to be successful:
1: Select a good activity for your team
2: Prepare for your team building activity
3: Explain the team building activity to your team
4: Check for understanding before beginning
5: Run the activity
6: Debrief the activity
7: Reinforce the learning back on the job.( Miller 28-32).
An organization will face itâ€™s most difficult challenges in creating team players when, â€œ the national culture is highly individualistic, and the teams are being introduced into an established organization that has historically valued individual achievement. â€œ (Robbins 328). To overcome these barriers, executives must commit the organization to the team concept, and lead by example.
When organizations establish an effective training program, that program will motivate employees and build successful teams. The success generated from increased moral, and teamwork will positively impact the organizations culture, and by extension, increase its competitive advantage. On the flip-side, without an effective training program, organizations will be unsuccessful in their attempts to turn individuals into team players, and the opposite will occur. Employees will become less motivated, teams will be unsuccessful in accomplishing their goals and the impact on the organizations culture will be negative, the consequences of which could be drastic.
The role of the executive team, in this process, cannot be understated. Leading by example and fully committing the organization to this approach is paramount to the success of this, and all programs the organization undertakes. With teams being introduced worldwide, the importance of sustaining this team environment is crucial to success. Without training being an ongoing process this approach will fail. A successful and effective security training program is designed to achieve high performing results and make the transition from individual performers to team players successful.
One of the primary goals in developing any training program is to ensure that the training and the desired results are linked.â€ (Johnson 187). In the global marketplace, â€œ mergers and acquisitions are a fact of life.â€ (Kovacich and Halibozek 109). Security is a major player in determining the success of that process. Providing the training necessary to work with diverse people, cultures, and environments is crucial to their success.
In addition, as technological advances continue, â€œ training is necessary to fill in the skill-gap.â€ (Johnson, 172). An effective and ongoing training program is essential for security to keep pace with the changing world. Through proper design, based on the latest research, this training program will motivate employees, develop successful teams, and positively impact the organizations culture.
Biech, E. 2007. Four Reasons to Invest in Training. Nonprofit World. Vol. 25, Iss. 6, p30-30.
Covey, S. R. 2007. The Power of One, Training, Vol. 44, Iss. 9, p72-72.
Forsyth, P. 2006. Motivating Your Staff [positive staff motivation]. Engineering Management, Vol. 16, Iss. 1, p22-23.
Gratton, L. Erickson. T. J., 2007. 8 Ways to Build Collaborative Teams. Harvard Business Review. Vol. 85, Iss. 11.
Johnson, B., R. 2005. Principles of Security Management. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Kovacich, G. L., Halibozek, E. P., 2003. The Managerâ€™s Handbook For Corporate Security: Establishing And Managing A Successful Assets Protection Program. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Miller, B. C. 2007. Quick Activities to Improve Your Team. Journal for Quality & Participation. Vol. 30, Iss. 3, p28-32.
Nasheri, H. 2005. Economic Espionage And Industrial Spying. NY: Cambridge University Press.
Robbins, S. P. 2000. Managing Today! 2.0 Edition. New Jersey: Prentice- Hall.