Updated: Jan 4
As we confront the tenth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, all industries have had to adapt in some way to keep their day-to-day operations afloat. The security industry is no different, as integrators and installers alike are having to alter their workflow, from communications to operations, to maintain productivity in this time. And with the past week boasting the highest number of cases in the US since this pandemic’s beginning, it is important that we continue to evaluate how the presence of COVID-19 will continue to affect the industry.
As this second wave of Covid-19 hits, industry professionals are getting more creative with how to navigate the difficulties of their current workplace. Below are a few tangible practices being implemented to tackle these challenges.
1). Schedule Weekly Zoom Meetings
One of the greatest areas of improvement during Covid-19 is the uptick in emphasis on internal and external communication strategies. While many offices have implemented video conferencing for certain communications, it may be useful to take that a step further and schedule weekly team meetings. While helpful in boosting company transparency, it can also be a consistent point of contact that keeps all employees up to speed on daily tasks being done and bigger projects in the works.
2). Offer Digital Diagnostics
Clearly, the way that we communicate isn’t going back to “business as usual” for a while, which begs the question: how do we serve our customer’s needs best in the meantime? While your office might have a maintenance call line, it may be worthwhile to introduce a video conferencing portion to address incoming maintenance and service requests. To avoid “boots on the ground” work, creating a digital video chat option may allow your team members to quickly address questions and concerns from customers while minimizing exposure.
3). Complete Daily Worker Health Checklists
The U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA recommends enforcing six feet of distance between workers if possible, and mandating masks for workers as each site sees fit. While these regulations are the ‘new normal,” these changes are still causing worker burn out and add additional stresses to everyday business. To combat this stress, implementing a checklist with all updated health policies and procedures will help your team continue to be vigilant about health protocols while taking the stress of remembering off their shoulders. Additionally, having regular check-ins with staff members about their physical and emotional wellbeing will allow management to maintain a clear view of employee satisfaction and anticipate problems before they arise.
4). Prepare Virtual Training
Another significant change during COVID-19 is the way product testing and training is done. As education goes largely virtual, there is a lack of hands-on teaching that is customarily a part of an integrators training for the products they promote. COVID-19 has inhibited the ability to gather for group trainings, or even learn more about upcoming products at trades shows and conferences. Where there is a lack of in-person communication, there is an uptick in technological outreach. Having presentations ready and available for any new installations or projects will save you and your team from scrambling to make other means of communication work during a busy installation.
5). Create Additional Information Materials
Product training is now almost entirely digital, which may mean more specs, drawings, and models are needed to provide additional information for all parties involved. This shift to digital business is shining a light on the absolute need for functional and instructional technical data for installers to use as a resource. It is a necessity to reevaluate all your instructional material to make sure they are as clear and informative as possible. Additionally, finding new ways to provide instruction can further aid in instructing installers remotely. Creating short videos with technical answers may be a great solution to replace in-person communication. Whatever works for you team, it is important to address these communicative gaps before you are met with a customer needing the information.
As always, the security barrier industry will have to adapt to the changing needs of the consumer and further communicate the value of their services in the face of Covid-19. These practices are helping businesses continue to succeed and find new ways to bring vital security products to customers.