5 Strategies to Improve Productivity within the Security Workforce

1 June 2021
Improve Productivity

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, we must develop strategies to increase productivity whilst responding to daily challenges.

Staying productive and learning new skills can be tricky, especially when you are working within the security industry. Security professionals are likely to be active in their own personal development as well as the growth of their team. However, in tough situations where resources are slim, being more productive as a security professional does not necessarily mean working harder, it means working smarter.

Increased productivity has benefits for both the company and the individual team members. A productive team has a greater output than a non-productive team, and individuals attain a greater sense of personal achievement when tasks and projects are completed to a high standard.

Productivity is extremely important – every minute saved can make a big difference. There are numerous strategies that you as an individual can implement to improve your productivity. Implementing the right systems in your own workflow is critical for maximising efficiency and getting more done within a shorter amount of time.  By following a few simple strategies and guidelines, you will be able to achieve maximum productivity and performance with minimal effort.

This is exactly why we should all be aiming to work smarter, but not harder.

This article will explore different ways to improve skills development and performance through productivity techniques that are meant to increase effectiveness, quality, efficiency, and habit-building.


1. Understand the basics of productivity

While it is not a given, a security guard’s primary responsibility is to provide a workplace where people can function productively.

Every day, security professionals work on the frontline to keep the rest of us safe. This is a heavy burden to carry, so it is essential to stay productive, alert and motivated.

Productivity means spending time effectively and doing so with consistency. There are dozens of different methods that all professionals use to remain productive at home or at work, including:

  • Time-blocking
  • Short stints of mental focus
  • Removing external distractions such as phones, social media and email notifications
  • Setting daily goals and prioritising tasks that will help you reach them
  • Rewarding yourself and celebrating when tasks or projects are finished

We’re all individuals, so it’s important that you find some productivity techniques that work well for you, as what works well for one person may not be suitable for another. When you’ve discovered a productivity method that suits your way of working, you need to be consistent with it! This is now your chance to develop productivity as a lifestyle habit, which will ultimately result in:

  • Reduced stress at work or at home
  • A greater sense of personal achievement
  • Feeling happier and healthier

2. Improve and develop your skills over time

Becoming a competent security professional requires continuously improving your skills and gaining relevant experience. “Learning a skill” isn’t necessarily something that happens overnight, many skills can be easily learned but need practice and real-time experience for those skills to be refined.

Security professionals use an array of different skillsets such as:

  • Physical security
  • Installation and configuration of security systems
  • Leadership and management
  • Data analysis
  • Incident response
  • Cyber security including data protection, ethical hacking, network security and digital privacy
  • Communication
  • Collaboration and teamwork

Most of these skills include a mixture of theory and practice. Theory can be taught, but your level of practical knowledge can only improve over time. The longer you spend on an activity, the more time you’ll have to refine your knowledge and skills in that area.

From a productivity standpoint, practical skill development is an individual and team-level objective and can be incorporated into staff’s daily/weekly/monthly outputs.

3. Explore and practice new skills and strategies

The world is constantly changing, bringing uncertainty with it. New threats emerge that require the security industry and law enforcement to react swiftly.

For example, cybercriminals are devising new ways to scam victims online, harvest personal data and cover their tracks in the process. It’s a security professional’s job to stay ahead of criminals and prevent malicious activity before the threat becomes reality.

For cybersecurity professionals, exploring new skills and strategies is vital as the nature of cyber threats are always evolving as criminals find new ways to exploit existing systems.

Keeping your knowledge up to date is crucial and helps you be more productive at work as the security landscape changes rapidly. It’s easy to become complacent in the age of convenience, so you have to be open to using new methods that you may not have used before.

4. Incorporate the use of digital productivity tools

Digital productivity tools, apps and software can help keep us on track when pen and paper just won’t do!

Productivity software is a massive industry with millions spend on research and development, but there are so many options available it can be overwhelming to choose!

Your choice of digital tool will depend on many things, such as whether you work in an office or field-based role, if you’re home-based or work remotely from another location, which device you primarily use at work and of course, personal preference.

It’s also possible that your employer has access to certain software for staff to use.

Some popular digital productivity tools include:

  • ToDoIst – a to-do list app that lets you sort your tasks into lists by priority, project and due date
  • Trello – task-tracking and project management software with several organisational features
  • Microsoft 365 – a range of productivity tools, including Outlook, Microsoft Planner, ToDo, SharePoint and Teams

No matter which tool you choose, make sure that it suits your own workflow and aids your productivity, rather than becoming another task to manage!

5. Invest time in additional training

Security professionals need to constantly be learning and expanding their skillset in order to stay relevant in their industry. Training has so many huge rewards and increased productivity is one of the greatest benefits.

As a manager planning your team’s activities, it’s often difficult to justify sending people away from their posts for extended periods of time to attend training. However, there’s a large return on investment to be had for upskilling staff. Also, many classroom-based courses are now delivered online in either live or pre-recorded sessions.

Ambitious team members will always want to develop their professional skills, but traditional classroom-based training is time-consuming. It requires staff to take extended periods of time away from their duties, usually travelling a considerable distance to attend. Travelling to attend training is often considered inconvenient for the individual having to take time away from their families. At the same time, it also disrupts business whilst team members are away at training courses.

E-learning takes less time to set up, both for employers, training providers and staff. So, an individual could enrol on a course and get started straight away.

E-learning is often far more convenient to attend as there’s no travel involved and it can be completed anywhere, which, in itself, increases productivity for the attendee. Learners can participate in training from their home or regular workplace, without having to take extended time away from their post. Learning in this manner is less disruptive to routines and workflows, which encourages staff to be more productive in the long-term.

Want to know more about security training?

Our training can provide valuable insight and personal skills which can be applied in the real world, in real situations.

Our range of security courses have been designed for individuals that want to develop their security knowledge through accredited professional development, with each course designed to increase the skills, knowledge and experience of security professionals and those that want to enter the security industry as a new career.

We also offer corporate training for any organisation wanting to improve their staff’s security knowledge and awareness. Our courses can help better prepare your organisation to deal with such incidents.

Remember, the aim is to work smarter, not harder!

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