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Employee vigilance guidance

The official CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure) has brought out a 23-page document on ‘employee vigilance’.

CPNI stress the use of non-security staff as extra eyes and ears; besides an awareness campaign making all staff aware that their complacency can cost the organisation. In brief, vigilant staff put off people that are up to no good.

How your employees behave is a key indicator of your organisation’s attitude to security. Vigilant security behaviour – such as showing awareness of one’s surroundings or engaging with strangers – will show any hostile individual watching that it’s not just security guards and CCTV they need to worry about. Alert employees are just as likely to spot suspicious activity and report it. Being customer-friendly way is a strong deterrent for a hostile conducting reconnaissance. A simple “Can I help you?” conveys that staff are not only good at spotting people out of place but, critically, will do something about it by approaching them.

In a time of varied threats from diverse perpetrators, it’s important that staff understand the role they can play in keeping each other, visitors and their organisation safe, says CPNI. If you have a security control room, make its number easily and widely available. Think about giving staff a wallet card featuring the number, which they can carry around with them when they are on and off site.

Their guide offers an understanding of what constitutes good and bad security behaviour; and then helps you communicate this across your organisation. It gives you the tools to run a ‘staff vigilance’ campaign, including links to professionally-designed supporting materials. CPNI stress that to run a campaign, Security will need the buy-in from senior managers, and HR, to name two: and the right messages will have to go through staff newsletters, posters and intranets, and blog updates.

CPNI says that it has trialled the campaign framework outlined below across a variety of organisations. The advice and recommendations in the guide are also informed by CPNI’s research into reconnaissance conducted by hostiles (individuals who want to disrupt your organisation or harm your people, assets or reputation). The guidance is in terms of the five Es:

Education – how will you educate staff?

Endorsement – have you got the right people (from inside and outside your organisation) lined up to endorse the campaign?

Ease – can staff easily report anything they see that might be suspicious?

Enforcement – are your security officers briefed and authorised to challenge staff if they are displaying the wrong behaviours?

Evaluation – what are you measuring, when, why and how (so as to fine-tune and target the campaign)?

CPNI add that the guide should be used with other CPNI guidance, such as Guard Force Motivation (because if security guards aren’t supporting the general staff vigilance, everyday staff are likely to lose motivation). By combining the techniques in these guides, and by ‘layering’ deterrence messages, organisations can help improve staff vigilance and ensure that hostiles are confronted at every stage of their planning process.



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