Security guard management software has a lot of benefits for private security companies. Unlike pen and paper reporting, it allows for full transparency and accountability of your officers and services. Through tools like automated reporting and client portals, private security businesses can maintain professional, streamlined operations.
Security company owners/operators know that each contract has its own unique needs and vulnerabilities that determine how a guard tour should take place. One of the ways that guard management solutions maintain communication of those needs and vulnerabilities is through specific tasks that are set-up for each property your security guards are securing.
Let’s dive a little deeper into what tasks are, how tasks work, and the most common task use-cases.
What is a task?
A task is a specific action that is designated and sent out through the issue monitor for a specific property. This could include checking a light fixture, ensuring back entrances are locked, or weekly check-ins with maintenance crews.
Oftentimes, tasks are assigned to individual security officers. However, property tasks, like the ones used in Silvertrac, are designated to a specific property and then automatically assigned to whichever security officer is logged-in on-site.
With these property-based tasks there is no need to worry about the tasks not being completed if the security guard is late, no-shows, or swapped shifts with someone. Property tasks leave minimal room for error and decrease the manual labor of updating a task when guard changes occur by increasing communication across your entire team.
How do tasks work?
Tasks are created and assigned to a property in the issue monitor, typically by a security supervisor or system administrator. Because the task is assigned to a property, the task will automatically go to the on-shift security guard at the time the task is to be completed, or if there is not a guard logged in at that time, the first officer to log-in at the property will receive the alert as soon as they log-in.
This automation simplifies the administrative work that would go into assigning tasks by officer. The system is set-up so that the property is covered and tasks are assigned appropriately - no matter what personnel changes occur.
Prior to a task alert going live, this may mean that the issue monitor shows the tasks are unassigned to a person. This will update as soon as the system identifies the security officer who is on-site at the time the task is meant to be completed. Tasks are also easily editable so that supervisors can update a task with new details or additional training tips whenever they need.
Because tasks are managed in the issue monitor, security supervisors and admins can pull Daily Activity Reports (DAR) to see an overview of every task assigned to the property.
It’s great that the system can identify and auto-assign a task to the security guard at the time of log-in, but it’s no secret that guards don’t always execute their duties on time.
Just like the security officer will have received an alert to take action on the task, if that task is left open, a supervisor will receive an alert that the task remains open and incomplete.
Overdue task alerts are just another function to assist in maintaining transparency and officer accountability while increasing communication throughout your security business.
Task Descriptions & Common Use Cases
Task descriptions are the ultimate communication tool. At their core, tasks simply communicate what needs to be completed on a guard tour. However, when set-up properly, tasks can be used to not only communicate a specific task, but also include best practices, training tips, and site-specific reminders.
Some of the most important training for security guards is on-the-job (OTJ) training. Utilizing well thought out task descriptions can be helpful reminders for new hires and good reinforcers for guards that have been on your team for some time.
OTJ training may look like adding in protocol reminders in the description for tasks that only occur every few days or weeks. After a few tasks with protocol reminders, a supervisor may prompt the security officer to submit the actions they took to complete the task and not include reminders anymore.
Another good use of task descriptions is including best practices on how to communicate with individuals on a property. If you run a guard tour in a residential area, a task may include non-verbal communication reminders (smile, say hi, etc…), or if a guard is patrolling an area that is known to have volatile transients, the task may include non-violent de-escalation tips.
Listed here are the most common task use-cases and examples of how to make the most out of each task description.
Task Description: Attention officer: At this time please begin your lockup duties. Check all doors and windows and be sure they are properly secured for the night.
Task Description: It is important to report malfunctions to building management as soon as possible. When a maintenance issue is found make sure to report it under the maintenance tab in Silvertrac. Be sure to include quality photos and a note describing the issue. Please remember not to report the same incident more than one time.
Task Description: Attention officer: Please remember to take your scheduled breaks throughout your shift. You can use the break room to eat your meal but please remember to be professional at all times. Although you are not on duty you are still on the properties and you should act accordingly.
No matter what type of property your security guards are patrolling, tasks are an important part of maintaining transparency and accountability within your business. If you aren’t already using our top-rated security guard tour software, request a demo or start your 14-day free trial today.