Articles by Brent O’Bryan
Companies that have developed a culture of openness can provide and receive feedback at all levels The nail that sticks out gets hammered down” is an old Japanese saying that encourages an unspoken rule of conformity combined with an authoritarian hierarchical structure. Brent O’Bryan, SPHR at AlliedBarton Security Services, explains that a winning formula for both the organisation and an individual is a culture actively exhibiting healthy behaviours and practices, combined with a zero-tolerance policy for any inappropriate or troubling behaviours. Many metropolitan cities wrestle with significant violence on the streets. In such cities, law enforcement and the state attorney’s offices face the headwind of a “stop snitching” culture. When criminals and bullies are accepted as commonplace and have greater influence than the law, their actions will not be reported, and the perpetrators themselves will ultimately not be held accountable for their actions. An anti-snitching philosophy also infiltrates many workplaces as criminals, or at least those who have yet to be found guilty, and bullies become the employees sitting in the next cubicle or office. Or worse, they become the boss. Aligning organisational culture with policy People who feel they are in a safe and secure environment are capable of achieving great things If individuals see something but say nothing, or if organisations discourage, intentionally or otherwise, the active reporting of concerning actions and behaviours, chances of violence in the workplace increase. So, what can an organisations do to transform from a “see something, say nothing” culture to a “see something, say something” culture? Organisational culture, policy and practices need to be objectively evaluated, and if necessary, changed. The culture of an organisation will always trump policy when the two are not aligned. And, culture is often best defined by the accepted behaviours and practices in an organisation. While the printed or preached culture may be a positive one, if the reality of what is practised every day is not, senior leadership needs to take steps to make the desired culture a reality. Driving an organisational culture change The following are some areas that business leaders in human resources and other senior leadership roles should review, analyse and work collectively to change. Tame Senior Management Bully Squads If leadership fosters a workplace bullying culture, then this attitude and behaviour will trickle down, permeate and dramatically alter the work culture in an extremely negative fashion. Human resource leaders, in particular, need to demonstrate to senior management that the adverse culture fails to foster productivity, teamwork and creativity – three vital objectives that every company wants to fulfil. Human resource leaders may consider corporate wide surveys, implemented by a third party vendor, that poll employees anonymously. If employees know that they can vent their frustrations and share feedback anonymously, without fear of losing their job, real change can start to occur. Companies with a secure work environment increase productivity Create Leadership Development Programmes Nurturing in-house talent with a well-defined leadership development programme makes employees feel more connected to the business, eases the chain of succession and empowers employees to be more creative, connected and engaged. Just as there are companies in many shapes and sizes, leadership development programmes differ dramatically from company to company. The end goal of these programmes is that employees have an opportunity to improve their skills through classes and workshops, have access to promotional opportunities as they arise, and feel a sense of community and kinship with their company. Leadership development begins with recruitment as human resource professionals seek individuals who can successfully lead their company’s mission. Develop Culture of Openness Companies that have developed a culture of openness can provide and receive feedback at all levels. A 360-degree feedback initiative can be a valuable option but is only recommended after a company has begun its journey to developing an open culture. If the workplace still fosters a ‘see something, say nothing’ ideology, employees will not be forthcoming for fear that their confidence won’t be kept, or that the source of negative or constructive feedback will be too easily identified. A third party survey company should be brought aboard to confidentially assess feedback by employees at all levels of the organisation. Establish reporting mechanisms It is important for an organisation to establish clear reporting lines. These should be made especially clear in policies and procedures and communicated frequently. The expectation that employees report inappropriate, violent or suspicious activity can only be realised when there are measures in place that allow and encourage reporting. Leadership effectiveness is dependent upon the ability to gain the trust of the people who work for them. This also assumes that the one holding the trust – the employee – will perform certain desired behaviours, and that the leader has both the desire and ability to “walk the talk.” People who feel they are in a safe and secure environment are capable of achieving great things. It is up to their leaders to tap into this fundamental optimism and allegiance, and move them forward to success. By building a successful culture where employees feel safe, not threatened, and not maligned by their bosses, they will flourish creatively and be more productive. By developing a culture where employees understand the range and varieties of workplace violence and its warning signs, they will feel empowered to do something about it.
In-person training sessions were mostly canceled during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the need for training continued, and in some cases increased, as the security industry sought to adapt to the changing business climate of a global emergency. So how well did we as an industry adjust? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How has security industry training changed in the last year?
Allied Universal, global security and facility services company in North America, has recently announced a broad array of new all-inclusive capabilities and divisions, which will be showcased at the Global Security Exchange (GSX) conference (Booth #523) slated for September 8 – 12 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. Allied Universal recently launched HELIAUS, an advanced artificial intelligence platform, and announced new divisions such as Allied Universal Technology Services, Allied Universal Risk Advisory and Consulting Services, and Allied Universal Event Services. Allied Universal smart services “We are proud to be ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving industry by delivering all-encompassing capabilities to our clients with the ultimate goal of providing top-notch security services,” said Steve Jones, CEO of Allied Universal. “Our tech solutions are the most highly advanced, comprehensive and integrated in the security industry.” For more than 60 years, Allied Universal has been offering manned guarding services that include armed and cleared security professionals, vehicle patrol, visitor management/concierge, K-9 services and guarded touring and management software. HELIAUS advanced AI platform HELIAUS focuses on creating an ecosystem around the company’s manned guarding security services" HELIAUS: The Power of Insight into Action - “HELIAUS focuses on creating an ecosystem around the company’s manned guarding security services that brings together rich data and advanced artificial intelligence to predict not only what's going to happen but to give recommendations on how to prevent it from happening and drive better outcomes,” said Mark Mullison, CIO of Allied Universal. “The sophisticated location-aware workflow engine ensures that these recommendations are acted upon.” “Allied Universal Technology Services offers clients electronic access control, video surveillance, fire/life safety, alarm monitoring, emergency communications, technological threat management and response, and other smart tech innovative solutions, including a broad array of hosted /managed services via Allied Universal’s Monitoring and Response Center (MaRC), and the Global Security Operating Center (GSOC-as-a-Service),” said Carey Boethel, President, Allied Universal Technology Services. Risk assessment and prevention Allied Universal Risk Advisory & Consulting Services – “We have combined risk assessment, prevention, and investigative practices, developed over more than four decades, with the extensive experience and knowledge of industry-leading consultants into a centralized practice with strategic focus on reducing risk,” said Ty Richmond, President, Allied Universal Risk Advisory & Consulting Services. “We help customers determine where and when risk is most likely to turn into threat and the most effective means to combat threat—arming organizations with the knowledge to make critical business decisions that ensure better risk management outcomes. We also have a network of more than 10,000 armed and unarmed high-level off-duty officers located throughout the country to respond to any threat, disaster or emergency.” Single-source security solution Allied Universal Event Services is a single-source solution for staffing, consulting and security for all events"Allied Universal Event Services - “Allied Universal Event Services is a single-source solution for everything from temporary staffing, consulting and security for all events,” said Steve Claton, President, Allied Universal Event Services. “Our event services team has a successful formula for addressing convention and trade show's complex challenges from a security and staffing perspective. “ Allied Universal is proud to present sessions at GSX 2019 which include: Brent O’Bryan, Vice President of Training & Development is scheduled to be on the following panel: "Are the Lines Blurred? Transforming the Human Factor“ on Tuesday, September 10 from 11AM to 12:20 PM, Location: X Learning - X1 - Booth 3601. Paul Caruso, Vice President, is scheduled to present a session, titled “Balancing Culture Against Control,” with Keith Moser, Manager of Security Operations, Housing and Residential Services, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on Tuesday, September 10 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Room S403 A Brent O’Bryan, Vice President of Training & Development will discuss “How to Use Emotional Intelligence to Build a World-class Security Presence” on Wednesday, September 11 from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m., Room S405 B Mark Mullison, CIO will discuss The Change Driver: AI on Wednesday, September 11 from 11:30 to 11:45 AM, Expo Floor/X Stages. Paul Caruso, Vice President, will discuss “On the Witness Stand,” with Kevin Davis, CPP, Assistant Director of Public Safety, Harding University, on Wednesday, September 11 from 2:15 to 3:15 p.m., Room S404 D. Caress Kennedy, CPP, Regional President, Northeast Region, is scheduled to participate on a panel discussion titled “ASIS Certifications and Your Career” on Wednesday, September 11 from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., ASIS Career HQ - Booth 2115.
The recognition highlights the significant impact of learning and development on employee success Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and Santa Ana, California, based Allied Universal, a facility services company in North America, was awarded the prestigious Brandon Hall Gold award for the Best Launch of a Corporate Learning University. Now entering its 22nd year, the Brandon Hall Excellence Awards includes a rigorous judging process. Entries are evaluated by a panel of independent senior industry experts, and Brandon Hall Group senior analysts and executive leadership based upon the following criteria: fit the need, program design, functionality, innovation and overall measurable benefits. Empowering employees “Allied Universal is proud to be honoured by Brandon Hall as this recognition highlights the significant impact of learning and development on employee success,” said Brent O’Bryan, Vice President, Corporate Training, Allied Universal. “When our employees – at all levels – are prepared, knowledgeable and engaged they are best positioned to help our clients succeed.” The company is a long-time Brandon Hall award recipient. Past Brandon Hall honours include a 2015 Bronze award for Best Advance in Competencies and Skill Development; 2013 Bronze award for Best Custom Content; 2012 Silver award for Best in Compliance Training; and 2009 Silver award for Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management. Save Save
As the security industry continues to grow, recruiting must have more sophisticatedscreening and hiring processes, and a commitment to hiring quality personnel The physical security industry today is driving focus on finding the right talent. Deborah O’Mara, SourceSecurity.com's dealer/integrator correspondent, in an exclusive Q&A with Brent O’Bryan, Vice President of Training and Development for AlliedBarton Security Services, discuss the challenges that security companies face while recruiting top talent and practices the physical security industry should adopt to attract qualified security officers. Offering security training and education to hire top talent SourceSecurity.com: How important is it for the security industry to attract top talent today? What are some of the ways in which they should do this? O’Bryan: People want to join growth-oriented job sectors that offer continual training and advancement. The physical security industry and the systems integrator community can attract talent by demonstrating the path to leadership and the training and educational opportunities they offer. Physical security officer companies offer on-the-job training that is site-specific and customised for each client. The curriculum consists of numerous training modules covering various topics important to clients, the employee and the security industry in general. Ambitious employees can take advantage of a wide variety of courses and training, both online and in the classroom setting, from industry-specific curriculum to personal and professional development. The physical security sector demands that the security officers’ and managers’ qualifications merit the position. Today’s security officer requires a balance of formal education and industry-specific training to be competitive and effective in their position. Learning continues throughout the career of a security professional. Course work ranges from demanding advanced Master Security Officer courses, e-learning, scenario-based learning and executive leadership modules, classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Security officers receive significant and ongoing training. Training can include fire safety, terrorism awareness, emergency planning, and evacuation procedures. In addition, officers participate in industry-specific training geared to the market they serve whether it is a petrochemical installation, government facility, shopping mall, hospital, commercial building, residential complex, industrial facility or college. Security companies offer on-the-job training for their officers that is site-specificand customised for each clients’ needs Combining security technology and management experience SourceSecurity.com: What are some of the new and emerging disciplines that are needed, such as IT expertise, integrated systems expertise? O’Bryan: The physical security sector has benefited from advances in technology. Integrated technology solutions enable more complete and easily searchable databases for visitor logs, real-time incident reports and recordable security officer tours. Security officers monitor state-of-the-art security software and hardware, quickly identifying unusual activity enabling immediate responses. Digital devices and integrated video surveillance allow security officers on patrol to effectively monitor the entire facility. Additionally, security isn’t the only area of expertise needed in the security industry. The behind-the-scenes support and infrastructure that allow for seamless security programs require professionals in a variety of fields from IT to accounting, legal, HR and more. That, coupled with the business and management experience needed by security managers, positions this industry as a robust opportunity for job seekers looking for meaningful careers. Career advancement in the security industry SourceSecurity.com: What are some of the unique challenges to both the systems integration and end-user communities in attracting talent as the economy improves? O’Bryan: The physical security sector needs the current generation of high school and college graduates and returning military veterans to take a fresh look at this market as it presents meaningful career opportunities. As the security sector continues to evolve, we need to actively promote our growth and advancements so that professionals see value in a security career. SourceSecurity.com: What's important in particular with physical security providers to ensure they keep top talent, such as training, certification, other perks? O’Bryan: While many people don’t look at the physical security sector as a “glamour” field, the reality is that it is an industry that offers significant opportunity for education, growth and promotion. As the industry continues to grow, there is greater need for sophisticated recruiting, screening and hiring processes, as well as a strict commitment to hiring quality personnel who are a right fit for the position. The physical security sector actively promotes from within by encouraging continual training and education. Security officers must be trained and proficient in numerous security technologiesand systems integration to effectively monitor their facilities Employee engagement, recognition initiatives and formal employee feedback programs are all also critically important to retaining top talent. A strong learning culture is also essential. It is important that we, as an industry, invest in our people. At AlliedBarton, for example, in addition to the extensive training courses available to all employees, we also encourage continued learning through higher education and have partnered with several colleges and universities to offer tuition reduction programs to employees. Nurturing a leadership culture to prevent workplace violence SourceSecurity.com: Since workplace violence and active shooters are increasingly in the news, how can individual security companies be prepared in this area and perhaps also help their end-user customers in these areas? O’Bryan: Numerous studies over the years have proven the link between leadership and physical safety – especially at job sites where there is a higher risk of accidents, such as at industrial facilities. What has been less examined is the relationship between solid leadership and workplace violence prevention. Bill Whitmore, Chairman and CEO of AlliedBarton wrote “Potential Workplace Violence Prevention and Your Organisational Success,” which addresses this in great detail. We believe that strong and steady leadership is at the heart of workplace violence prevention. Any company that fails to embrace a leadership culture, with a definitive mandate on what defines leadership for each and every employee, will be more prone to an incident of workplace violence. In terms of helping our clients in their workplace violence prevention planning, every organisation should have a workplace violence prevention plan in place to help avoid a tragic event. Workplace violence happens every day and businesses that are prepared are better positioned to help prevent, respond and recover. We work with leaders at all levels to develop a plan that works best for their organisation since there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
The AlliedBarton|EDGE eLearning courses have been completed by AlliedBarton employees at all levels AlliedBarton Security Services, the industry's premier provider of highly trained security personnel, announces the completion of two million AlliedBarton|EDGE® training courses since 2009. The AlliedBarton|EDGE eLearning courses have been completed by AlliedBarton employees at all levels and help to develop skills useful in their everyday work environments. This milestone was announced in conjunction with the ASIS International 60th Annual Seminar and Exhibits conference at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from September 29 to October 2, 2014. "Learning and Development are critical to the security industry and the services that we provide to our clients on a daily basis," said Carol Johnson, President and COO, AlliedBarton. "The completion of the two millionth AlliedBarton|EDGE course signifies our employees' passion for learning as they continually seek to enhance their knowledge, and demonstrates our comprehensive and ongoing commitment to training that is accessible and engaging. This milestone is a tribute to our learning-based culture that is embraced throughout AlliedBarton and enhances our service delivery." AlliedBarton reached its one millionth course completion on the AlliedBarton|EDGE - Educate, Develop, Grow and Engage - in 2012 and has experienced year-over-year increases in completion since the online learning management platform was introduced. "Many AlliedBarton employees go beyond mandatory training to take classes in areas of professional and personal interest," said Brent O'Bryan, VP, Learning and Development, AlliedBarton. “In an internal survey, 94% of our security officers indicated that training is a critical factor to their success. The ability to respond successfully to any number of security challenges and remain relevant in our evolving world requires continuous learning. Our employees recognise that through training they can expand their skills, and they are always hungry for knowledge. Our clients appreciate the high level of preparedness and responsiveness that is the result of our training." As the most honoured security officer services company, AlliedBarton has been consistently recognised for its learning and development initiatives. That includes the LearningElite award from Chief Learning Officer magazine, which AlliedBarton received in 2014 for the fourth consecutive year. Also honoured with the Training Top 125, ASTD Best and Brandon Hall awards, AlliedBarton's training has been measured against the top learning organisations across the country. The security leader was also recognised as one of Chief Executive magazine's Best Companies for Leaders. As part of AlliedBarton's commitment to learning and development, the organisation also shares best practices with the security community. AlliedBarton presented two educational sessions at ASIS.