written by Lilly Miller

The question of safety is overlooked by some business owners who don’t realize the simple truth – that employee productivity and therefore the business’s success depend on the employees feeling safe and respected. It’s all about prioritizing: although new gadgets and software, and, for example, equipping an office entertainment room all have their purpose, they shouldn’t be your priority.
Your employees will use the gadgets, and the clients will be impressed by them but the pang of fear they feel when going to their cars leaves a stronger impression than that gadget. Security is a very important topic for any entrepreneur so here are a few things to keep in mind when (re)considering which measures to introduce.

 

​Make the parking lot more secure

​Dark parking lots attract criminals because they offer plenty of covers to hide and surprise their unsuspecting victims while they are searching for car keys. If the person cries for help, chances are that the perpetrator will be long gone until people figure out where the voice is coming from. So, for starters, make sure the parking lot is properly lit so that it cannot provide cover to thieves.
Secondly, to prevent someone’s car from getting stolen, it would be wise to install cameras to cover the parking lot because that might help catch the thief. As a business owner, you are responsible for the physical safety of your employees and customers or clients. Besides the moral and legal obligations, thefts can create a big issue for your reputation: one shouldn’t be surprised if the business loses regular employees and customers after occurrences that could have been prevented.

Create an atmosphere of trust

​Feeling safe is not just associated with the physical realm, but also to the psychological. The building that you live or work in can be as safe as Fort Knox but if there is something inside that is causing you distress, you will not feel safe and at ease. This means that your employees need to be familiar with the security precautions that you took to, first and foremost, have peace of mind.
Also, if they know which way they need to leave and in which manner in the case of emergency, you might prevent chaos from ensuing in those moments. However, most importantly, the psychological feeling of safety comes from working in a transparent environment in which bullying and any kind of harassment are strongly discouraged. Your employees (and customers as well) need to know that they can come and talk to you if somebody is violating their rights and that you will take the necessary action.

 

Take out an insurance policy

​Criminals are not the only threat to the general security of your business. You can install alarms, cameras, motion-sensor lights but fire, flood, earthquake are some of the elements that you, unfortunately, cannot control. You can act proactively in terms of scheduling regular maintenance for the HVAC system, and electricity and water installations.
In addition to that, you can and should also take out an insurance policy. A monthly fee will ensure that the contents insurance policy covers any damage done to your business equipment due to accidental occurrences. This little investment can make all the difference in such moments and your customers will not be afraid of losing their jobs because you will have the funds to start over again. Also, since there are instances of clients asking for proof that the company they are working with is insured which is all the more reason to take this seriously.
 

Tighten your cybersecurity

​Besides protecting physical assets and people, you also need to tend to the security of your digital data. As you are aware, a lot of important data is stored on office computers, and they include business secrets and confidential information about your customers and clients. They mustn’t be divulged because that would put your business at risk as well as your reputation.
Your cybersecurity measures need to start with your employees because they have to learn how to behave responsibly online and how to identify phishing. They need to understand the dangers and consequences of opening suspicious webpages and links. Also, don’t forget to delete accounts of former employees because they might be used to leak information to your competition. Just as with your HVAC system, you need to regularly update your software to ensure it functions optimally and that your data are kept safe. And last but not the least, add two-factor authentication on all logins as an additional layer of account security.

 

Final thoughts

​Fear has been known to paralyze the thoughts and actions of many brave people; even if the danger is not imminent, the feeling of anxiety can make you feel fitful and you will not be able to focus on your work. Keeping your employees safe is not only your duty, but it also helps them be more productive.
Regarding your customers and clients, the simple truth is that they want to ensure the confidential data they shared with you are kept safe and of course, that they are physically safe on your premises. A couple of serious security-related blows to your reputation can push you out of the business so security should be on your list of priorities.