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Managing guards or operatives involves different management functions.
Supervisors and managers carry out these functions on a daily basis. The functions

Planning: Planning means looking ahead, conceptualizing future events and

making decisions today that will affect tomorrow. Plans can vary from immediate
tasks to long-term objectives, from simple to complex, and from departmental to
company-wide. Planning is not a function reserved exclusively for top
management, but one of the functions of every manager.

Organizing: Managers must organize people, materials, time and jobs to achieve
the organization’s objectives. Organizing involves:
 Determining what activities that need to be done
 Grouping and assigning these activities to subordinates
 Delegating the necessary authority to the subordinates to carry out the
activities in a coordinated manner.
Note that before you can organize, you must plan.

Directing: In addition to planning and organizing, a manager must succeed in

directing the activities of others. This deals directly with influencing, guiding, or
supervising subordinates in their jobs. Directing cannot be performed alone. It
must be executed with planning and organizing.

Coordinating: Few tasks can be undertaken without coordinating the efforts of

several people – inside and outside the organization. It is the job of the manager to
ensure that the various tasks are scheduled and implemented in an efficient and
economical manner.

Controlling: Whenever people undertake activities, some form of control is

necessary. Orders may be misunderstood, rules may be violated, or objectives may
unknowingly shift. Controlling consists of forcing the tasks to be undertaken to
conform to prearranged plans. Thus planning is necessary for control.

Staffing: Hiring new employees is one of the most important functions and
responsibilities of security managers. The standards of care and attention applied in
hiring security applicants must far exceed those used for other applicants. Not only

that, the very standards set for the applicants, as an individual, must be higher than
for other employees.

Budgeting: A budget is a plan stated in financial terms; it is a realistic estimate of

the resources required to implement a plan; it is an allocation of resources to
achieve planned objectives. The security department requires funding of their
activities, which means that they must make a budget to achieve the objectives of
the organization for which those activities are to be carried out.

In summary, it should be noted that the management process is not a series of

separate functions but a composite process.

Characteristics of the Successful Manager

A manager should:
1. Be able to think clearly and purposely about a problem.
2. Be able to express himself/herself clearly, as his/her chief physical act is
3. Possess technical competence to manage effectively.
4. Possess the ability to think broadly.
5. Be a salesman, selling an idea – convincing others of its worth.
6. Possess moral integrity.
7. Be emotionally stable, keeping his personal feelings out of business problems.
8. Possess skills in human relations and have insight into human motivation and
9. Possess organizational ability.
10. Be dynamic.

The Role of the Security Supervisor

Supervision is comprised of but not limited to hiring, training, discipline,
motivating, promoting, and communicating. Each of these is a specific skill. One
definition of supervision is the task of getting others (subordinates) to get a job
done, the way management wants it done, when management wants it done
willingly. The supervisor’s job is therefore to get other people to accomplish tasks.

Supervisor as an Inspector: An adage says, “Employees don’t do what you

expect, they do what you inspect.” This is not because they do not want to do or do
not care to perform their tasks, but because of human frailty. Human failure is not
limited to line employees but to every level of every organizational structure, to the
top. Therefore, from top down, ach ‘supervisor’ must inspect the work of
subordinates – Director inspects the Security Manager, the Manager his middle
managers, the middle managers his supervisors, and supervisors their subordinates.
Dealing with Individual Employees: The supervisor must deal on an individual
basis with each subordinate because every employee is different. Human
differences mean that they should be handled differently. Some may require more
supervision than others, some respond to persuasion, some to command. Some
want to set goals, some want goals set for them.

Supervisory Authority: A supervisor must have commensurate authority to carry

out his responsibilities. The supervisor represents management and must be given
the necessary authority to make that representation meaningful.

Supervisor as the Go-between: The supervisor is the vital link between the
employee and security management. He represents management’s needs and views
to those below and at the same time the responsibility to represent the needs and
views of his subordinates to management. Failure to discharge this function
objectively, faithfully and timely can have disastrous results.

Supervisor’s Span of Control: The number of employees a supervisor can

manage, that is, span of control depends on a number of factors. These include the
level of skill possessed by the supervisor in handling people and delegating
responsibility, as well as the job description of subordinates. The widely accepted
span of control standards are ratios of supervisor to employees as follows:
Ideal - 1:3
Good - 1:6
Acceptable - 1 : 12

One Boss: The principle of unity of command is the traditional way of saying
every employee must report to only one superior. Where a person is being directed
by more than one superior, there would be conflicting instructions and confusion
resulting in diluted performance.

Automatic Shifting in Line of Command: There are sometimes there are exceptions
to the unity of command. Two situations that would require another supervisor are:
1. Emergencies, and
2. When failure of a ranking employee to take command would jeopardize the
department’s objectives or reputation.

Functional or Staff Supervision: Although every employee has his own

supervisor, there are occasions and conditions where an employee must perform at
a time or location outside the immediate control of the supervisor. During such

times they can be under functional or staff supervision, which is essentially
advisory in nature.

Supervisory Training: One most common problem of the security industry is the
failure to properly prepare or equip new supervisors with the tool to discharge their
responsibilities. It is necessary for the new supervisor to be given training – could
be library research, a workshop, a seminar or other form of training sessions, in-
house or commercially conducted program - on the fundamentals of his new
assignment before he takes over such responsibility.

Hiring Security Personnel

This is one of the most important functions and responsibilities of security
management. An applicant must possess certain minimum standards. Hiring is a
step-by-step process that eventually leads to the applicant’s acceptance of a job
offer. The steps include;
• Recruiting activity – for entry and non-entry levels
• Initial interviewing
• Secondary interviewing
• Selection of candidate
• Background investigation of candidate
• Job offer

There are basically three things that management wants new employees to know:
1. What management wants them to do,
2. Why management wants them to do it, and
3. How management wants it done.

There are two basic strategies to training: On-the-job training and formal
classroom training.

On-the-job Training: This can be a totally unstructured, unplanned, ill-advised

teaming-up of new employee with whomever is available or it can be a meaningful
and informative process that adequately prepares the novice to perform
satisfactorily in a relatively short period of time. The difference lies in properly
structuring the experience and careful selection of the trainer. Structuring means
identifying what the new employee should know, determining how much time it
will take to expose him or her to that information, and ensuring the trainer indeed
follows the plan detailing what is to be covered.

Formal or Structured Training: This is done in a classroom setting, which could
include lectures by experts or leaders in the field or professional trainers, role-
playing with video playback for assessment and analysis, training films etc. Formal
training should include the testing of trainees’ understanding and comprehension
of materials presented with required minimum scores.

The Supervisor’s Role in Discipline

There are many dictionary definitions of discipline. Majority of these explanations
emphasize punishment or control, both of which are aspects of discipline.
Discipline is a responsibility of the supervisor. Some weak supervisors shirk their
disciplinary responsibility out of fear that enforcing the regulations will hurt
relations with subordinates. The supervisor who is fair and consistent in his
treatment of employees will gain rather than lose respect through being firm and
expecting conformity to the rules. The supervisor who understands the employees’
psychology needs will generate less reactive hostility, and consequently experience
less resistance, than the supervisor who approaches the employee with insensitivity
and harsh tactics. An important key is to recognize the individual differences
among employees, handle them on that basis to win their loyalty and support, and
then motivate them to greater personal success.

Motivation and Morale

How to motivate employees to do more and better work and to keep them happy
and interested in their work is a great challenge to managements.

Motivation Theories: They include:

Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X” and “Theory Y”
The Autocratic Theory (Absolute power and knowledge)
The Custodial Theory (Provision of economic benefits)
The Supportive Theory (Supportive work environment)

Demotivators: There is a close relationship between motivation and morale.

Highly motivated people enjoy good morale and vice versa. Dr. Mortimer R.
Feinberg, professor of Psychology identified some factors he called the Ten
Deadly Demotivators.
1. Never belittle a subordinate
2. Never criticize a subordinate in front of others.
3. Never fail to give your subordinates your full attention, at least occasionally.
4. Never give your subordinates the impression that you are primarily
concerned with your own interests.
5. Never play favorites
6. Never fail to help your subordinates grow, when they are deserving
7. Never be insensitive to small things.
8. Never “show up” employees.
9. Never lower your personal standards.
10.Never vacillate in making decisions.

It would be difficult to treat all that is needed to manage guards/operatives in just a
paper. I have however tried to touch on all areas where the manager is expected to
affect the operatives or staff under them. I have intentionally left out issues of
operations, policies and promotion.

Thanks for your attention

E. Ogaga Ovbioghor, FIIPS