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Safety & Security for
Meetings & Events 

Chapter 6
Staff Management/Performance, Training, Coordination and Development


 

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6

STAFF MANAGEMENT, TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT

Provide your employees with the best tools and information necessary to perform their tasks. From part-time workers to law enforcement, ensure that you have the right contracts, plans and role expectations for all of your staff and outside resources.

 


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    Staff Management, Training, Coordination and Development Blogs

    6 - Staff Management, Training, Coordination and Development
    Training and practice are critical components of any safety and security planning process.
    6 - Staff Management, Training, Coordination and Development
    Here are some best practices to ensure all event staff and volunteers are equipped and properly screened.

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    STAFF MANAGEMENT,
    TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT

    1. Best Practice:

    Personnel (full-time employees, event staff, volunteers, etc.) that are properly screened (background checks), trained, equipped and motivated are the keys to a successful event safety and security program.

     

    What needs to be done before recruiting/selecting/hiring employees and event staff? • Determine staffing requirements (supervisory vs. workers)

    • Develop organizational/ personnel structure
    • Define roles and responsibilities
      • Determine span of control (i.e. 1 supervisor for every 8 staff)
    • Identify special skills (certifications)
      • EMT
      • Communication
      • Fluent in other languages
      • First Responders
      • Computer skills
      • Riggers
      • Equipment operators

     

    Objectives:

    • The proper, hiring, training and staffing of the venue and event is extremely important.
    • Because all employees will have some effect on safety or security, whether that is their main function/role or not.

     

    Implementation:

    Most of these practices are applicable to both employees and volunteers.

     

    Individuals with customer service skills are a plus.

     

    Consider recruiting law enforcement, military, fire and Department of Corrections applicants for security/safety positions.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This must be done but is scalable based upon venue/event size. The threat, intelligence and history can be determined by a risk/ theft/vulnerability assessment.

     

    This is requires collaboration, as many of the workers/personnel are employed by the venue, hotel or transportation company.

     

    So each component should follow this from their perspective.

    1. Best Practice:

    Maintain an adequately sized, equipped and trained safety/security force based upon venue/ event and risk assessment.

     

    Objectives:

    Sufficient personnel to adequately address safety and security.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This will depend upon RTV Assessment.

    1. Best Practice:

    Create staff Performance Management Plans, as they are a valuable tool for staff development that would:

    • Clearly communicate goals, objectives and expectations
    • Allow staff to perform self-evaluations
    • Utilize a spreadsheet for event comments on staff and incorporate into annual/season plans
    • Identify individual short and long-term goals
    • Utilize strong skills and develop weaker skills

     

    Objectives:

    Continual evaluation and improvement.

     

    Implementation:

    Each component should have this.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Many venues and lodging have these plans for employees.

    1. Best Practice:

    Document exercises, indicating the scope and duration, names of personnel who participated, actions for improvement and recommendations for plan modifications.

     

    Objectives:

    Liability protection.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This helps multiple components work together to address any potential incident. Many venues hold these exercises.

    1. Best Practice:

    Find creative ways to establish a cadre of safety and security personnel.

    • Develop a cadre of staff that can handle all events
    • Reward positive behavior

     

    Objectives:

    • Addresses high turnover. Easier to train and maintain.
    • Much more cost effective from a training/consistency standpoint.

     

    Implementation:

    Contracting is one possibility. Select, train, test, deploy.

     

    Since money/pay is not always a big factor for recruiting and retention keep it interesting and exciting by finding ways to offer staff opportunities/ rewards.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This is generally for larger events, but is also applicable to smaller events with security concerns.

    1. Best Practice:

    If using volunteers, establish a Volunteer Director to actively manage volunteers.

    • Make sure there are clear roles and responsibilities as well as:
      • Number of volunteers in any area will determine amount of supervision/ span of control (1 to 8 is optimal)
      • Plan for attrition/no shows (example, 15%), continue to monitor performance and adjust
      • Establish volunteer communications–both directions
      • Create a volunteer application process–selection is important
      • Survey volunteers for special skills
      • Languages, EMT/CPR certifications, volunteer event experience
      • Seek law enforcement/ military/first responder experience
    • The language that is used in volunteer job descriptions or application process must be appropriate
      • Try to not have volunteers do the same job as paid employees
    • Create a Safety and Security Volunteer Handbook - keep it as brief as possible and include pictures (short and simple)
      • People can lose interest and feel overwhelmed if there is too much information
      • Update this after each season if necessary

     

    Objectives:

    • Volunteers are not an option for all venues.
    • Coordination and management of volunteer staff.
    • This can create labor problems.

     

    Implementation:

    Volunteers can be a huge force multiplier if effectively trained, managed, nurtured and inspired. They can also be the source of major headaches if not.

     

    If using volunteers, the Volunteer Director is an important position, so hire carefully.

     

    Do not look for people just to fill openings, look for a cadre upon which to build a team.

     

    This could be a collaborative effort with the industry between: event, venue, lodging and transportation.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Applicable to events using volunteers.

    1. Best Practice:

    Create relevant training programs that are required for all personnel.

    • Establish a Mentoring Program for on-the-job training of new or replacement personnel

     

    Objectives:

    • Training of staff is extremely important. Testing is as well.
    • Reduce legal liability

     

    Implementation:

    Training should be conducted prior to every event (i.e. on event day before gates open).

     

    Conduct annual training of all staff. Test or quiz staff to determine the effectiveness of training. Challenge staff during the year with questions. Encourage staff to review policy and procedures on a regular basis.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This is regardless of event size.

     

    It is your team and they reflect your business, quality of capability is important.

    1. Best Practice:

    Specify basic training requirements.

    • Create a catalog of needed skills and required training to include guest relations, problem-solving and basic security procedures (i.e. access control, situational awareness, screening, etc.)
    • Offer CPR/AED training for everyone

     

    Objectives:

    Specialized training.

     

    Implementation:

    Consider handouts, online modules or classroom presentation.

    1. Best Practice:

    Establish an events handbook that clearly explains expectations, rules and guidelines.

     

    Objectives:

    Documentation and protection for legal liability.

     

    Implementation:

    Hard copy or online.

    1. Best Practice:

    Set-up periodic refresher training for full-time and event staff, at least annually.

     

    Objectives:

    Things change; programs and personnel need to stay current.

     

    Implementation:

    Document this training.

    1. Best Practice:

    Hold annual training for security personnel on proper screening and inspection techniques for patrons and their belongings. Maintain training records.

    • Annual security awareness training of non-security staff such as registration/ check-in, food service personnel, room monitors and others must also be conducted, with a record of training maintained
    • Conduct assessments to evaluate awareness and compliance

     

    Objectives:

    Regular documented training.

     

    Implementation:

    Consider hosting lunch and learn programs throughout the year and invite different speakers/ trainers.

    1. Best Practice:

    Develop, implement and maintain an effective staff training/learning program that covers training ALL full-time staff and event supervisors.

     

    Objectives:

    Security and safety knowledge and awareness.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Regardless of event size.

    1. Best Practice:

    Document ALL training and retain these records in paper and/or digital format for at least 5 years or as required by state law.

    • Training records should include: a
      1. Date and location of training b
      2. Time of day and duration of each session
      3. A description of the training
      4. Name and qualifications of the instructor
      5. List of attendees and their signatures
      6. Results of any evaluation or testing

     

    Objectives:

    Good records retention policy.

     

    Implementation:

    If contracting services, the third-party vendor or service provider contract should require documentation of training records for those individuals working the venue(s) including elements a – f.

     

    Conduct random checks for verification.

     

     

    1. Best Practice:

    Document ALL drills/ exercises and retain these records in paper and/or digital format for at least 5 years or as required by state law.

    • Exercise records should include: a
      1. Description of drill/ exercise b
      2. Date held c
      3. List of participants
      4. List of equipment tested or employed in the exercise
      5. Name(s) and qualifications of the exercise director(s)
      6. Any lessons learned to improve planning and response

     

    Objectives:

    Good records retention policy and reduce legal liability.

     

    Implementation:

    If contracting services, the third-party vendor or service provider should provide documentation of training records for those individuals working the venue(s), including elements a – f.

     

    Conduct random checks for verification.

    1. Best Practice:

    Establish a Continuous Improvement Cycle program.

     

    Objectives:

    Keeps staff motivated, increased their desire to learn and help improve job performance.

     

    Implementation:

    Consider doing this multi-venue or on a regional basis.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Recommended for all events.

    1. Best Practice:

    Establish a Continuous Improvement Inventory of metrics for event/venue safety/security and incident management systems.

     

    Objectives:

    Consistency.

    1. Best Practice:

    Establish a program to reward positive behavior/ execution/practice of what they have learned.

     

    Objectives:

    This keeps staff motivated.

    1. Best Practice:

    Establish a succession plan and train people so that they can step in and assume a key role if/when needed.

     

    Objectives:

    Proper planning.

     

    Event folders must be meticulously prepared for every event. It allows successor to fully understand event preparation and execution.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    The larger the event, the more critical this process becomes.

    1. Best Practice:

    Have staff record what they know and how they accomplish their goals (basically an Operational Manual that is done over time).

     

    Objectives:

    Give successor the ability to get up to speed quickly.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Self acknowledgement and awareness also produces effective change where appropriate and pride in their role.

    1. Best Practice:

    Adopt standards and seek certifications for event/venue security staff involved in safety and security roles, management of same, as well as other event day positions.

     

    Objectives:

    Improves performance.

     

    1. Best Practice:

    Make sure to check staff certifications and document them.

     

    Implementation:

    May be verified by entity or department.

    1. Best Practice:

    Conduct a background check on all personnel working in ANY capacity in the venue.

    • Understand privacy issues regarding employment, interviews and records
    • Ensure that background checks follows state and federal laws
    • Ensure hiring standards and process are legally defensible

     

    Objectives:

    Staff represent the event/ venue. They must not be any issues with staff that negatively impact the venue.

     

    Implementation:

    Programs are available and can be developed to allow potential employees or volunteers to obtain and pay for background checks.

     

    Include background check requirements in any agreements for contracted staff (i.e. security, parking attendants, concessions, etc.).

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This is essential for all size events.

    1. Best Practice:

    Ensure personnel meet certain basic skills based upon the roles and responsibilities of their job.

    • Use an online application process
    • A job-related test can assist in evaluating candidates

     

    Objectives:

    The right people for the right position.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This is essential for all size events.

    1. Best Practice:

    Ensure personnel meet basic social communication skills/image (dress), including foreign language skills, as they will be interacting with patrons/ customers.

     

    Objectives:

    Image and branding. Quality guest services.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This is essential for all size events.

    1. Best Practice:

    Specify all details of required expectations of performance, roles, skills, qualifications, certifications and measurements/ metrics in contracts.

    • Set high standards and hold contractor to those standards–ensure they know the standards when they apply/compete for the contract
    • Do not let them sub out to another company
    • Conduct due diligence on potential contractors
    • Require references and check them out
    • Work with venue administration to ensure purchasing rules and procedures are in compliance

     

    Objectives:

    • Set expectations, standards or knowledge and performance.
    • To avoid poor contractor performance and legal issues later.

     

    Implementation:

    Make sure to specify exactly the who, what, when, where and how; if there is a dispute the venue will have the legal basis to hold them accountable.

     

    Be specific regarding contract items. List training requirements, uniform, code of conduct, etc., as part of the contract.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Hold contractors to the standards you set forth in your contracts.

    1. Best Practice:

    Obtain documentation for third-party vendors on an annual basis:

    • Proof of background checks
    • Proof of liability insurance/bonding
    • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance

     

    Objectives:

    To protect the organization.

     

    Implementation:

    Maintain copies of this documentation.

     

    1. Best Practice:

    Integrate third-party contractors into planning, training and unified command structure.

     

    Objectives:

    Avoid “us and them” as it will be defeating.

     

    Implementation:

    Best if they participate in exercises.

     

    1. Best Practice:

    Ensure that security staff employed at the venue, who are not active law enforcement personnel are licensed and/or certified by a state regulatory body where licensing and certification is required or available.

     

    Objectives:

    Be in compliance with laws.

     

    Implementation:

    Keep track of licensing and certification renewals to ensure they remain valid/current for contract services. If not up-to-date, it may invalidate insurance coverage.

     

    Check these annually.

    1. Best Practice:

    Ensure contracted staff is given venue familiarization/orientation and understands policies and procedures.

     

    Objectives:

    They cannot help patrons if they do not know the layout of the venue.

     

    Implementation:

    This is important for effective incident response, as well as customer support.

    1. Best Practice:

    Assign a supervisor to observe and evaluate overall staff performance during the event.

     

    Objectives:

    Verification.

     

    Implementation:

    Provide feedback to contractor.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This person should have been involved or knowledgeable with the RFP and contract.

    1. Best Practice:

    Schedule meetings between all parties to facilitate coordination and an understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.

    • This should occur on a regular basis

     

    Objectives:

    Eliminate potential friction.

     

    Implementation:

    Include in post orders.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    For larger events or security sensitive events.

     

    Building relationships in the various cities of your events establishes a familiarity between event planner and public safety.

     

    This is also important if you are using private security so there is a relationship to de-conflict potential issues.

    1. Best Practice:

    Prepare and employ post orders for all staff (fulltime, part-time, contract, volunteer).

     

    Objectives:

    Assists event day staff (i.e. part-time, seasonal, volunteer and third-party contractors) with their role, responsibilities, methods of communication and EAP.

     

    Implementation:

    Post orders help ensure consistency in job responsibilities and security.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Certainly for larger events requiring a safety and security staff/team.

    1. Best Practice:

    Post orders should include post description, role, responsibility, communication, emergency procedures and equipment for that post and map/diagram of the venue.

     

    Objectives:

    Awareness.

     

    Implementation:

    Post orders have been produced in various formats:

    • Booklets
    • Cards
    • Digital (smartphone)
    • Apps
    1. Best Practice:

    Post orders should be simple, such as in a bulleted format, on laminated cards for each staff member (full-time, part-time, contract).

     

    Objectives:

    Clarity and brevity.

    1. Best Practice:

    Ensure staff has the necessary tools to perform their tasks and are trained in using them.

     

    Objectives:

    Properly equipped and trained.

     

    Implementation:

    Tools should include:

    • Radio
    • Cell phone/smartphone
    • Pen and paper (small notebook)
    • Flashlight
    • Guide
    • Staff credential
    • Post orders
    • Emergency procedures

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Regardless of event size, but essential for larger events with larger staff.

    1. Best Practice:

    Consider using an event software program that assists in managing all event staff. These systems enable direct contact with individual staff, participants, vendors and sponsors with one simple email or a touch of a button.

     

    Objectives:

    Get information out and save time.

     

    Implementation:

    Various venue/event information management systems exist.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    For large events and certain smaller events, depending on status.

    1. Best Practice:

    If contracting private security, establish boundaries, accountability and partnering with law enforcement and on-board venue staff.

     

    Objectives:

    Eliminate an us vs. them environment and finger-pointing if something goes wrong.

     

    Implementation:

    Exercises can foster this process.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    For larger, security sensitive events–pre-event meeting are essential.

    1. Best Practice:

    Plan and train together to help build a team approach.

     

    Implementation:

    Lead by example and teach supervisors to do the same.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    Where appropriate.

    1. Best Practice:

    Reward positive behavior and exemplary performance as it encourages more of the same and establishes loyalty.

     

    Objectives:

    Helps with retention and positive attitudes.

     

    Implementation:

    Various types of recognition have been found to work:

    • Acknowledgement (oral and written)
    • Merchandise
    • Service pins
    • Gift cards/prizes
    • Event tickets for relatives
    • Prime parking
    1. Best Practice:

    Plan and conduct exercises of all plans on an annual basis.

    • The plans should be exercised on a regular basis to ensure the plans meet current conditions and that all will respond accordingly
    • Remember that the event can serve as an exercise
    • Designate a knowledgeable person/compliance officer to document observations (i.e. what worked, etc.)

     

    Objectives:

    Exercises are extensive operations or maneuvers, intended to train personnel, assess capabilities. Evaluates knowledge and skill.

     

    Exercises have many benefits:

    • Reduce problems, mistakes or omissions that can occur during an actual crisis
    • Time spent producing and participating will pay off when a crisis occurs
    • Helps eliminate “it can’t happen here” attitude
    • Teach venue executives the complexity of preparedness and decision making during crisis situations

     

    Implementation:

    Exercises are scalable. There are four main types:

    • ORIENTATION
      • Provides overview of plan
      • Familiarizes participants
      • Use with new plan or team members
      • Informal, easy and low stress
      • Planning cycle 30 days, duration 1 hour
    • TABLETOP
      • Scenario in narrative format
      • Practices team building and problem-solving
      • Addresses one issue at a time
      • Somewhat detailed with a medium stress level
      • Planning cycle 2-3 months, duration 2-4 hours
    • FUNCTIONAL
      • Simulates scenario as realistically as possible
      • Short of mobilizing personnel, equipment and resources to an actual site
      • Evaluates specific functions
      • Typically detailed with high stress level
      • Planning cycle 6-8 months, duration 4-6 hours
    • FULL SCALE
      • Deploys personnel, equipment and resources to a specific venue
      • Evaluates operational capabilities in an interactive manner
      • Facilitates communications and coordination across organization and public and private sector
      • Very detailed with high stress level
      • Planning cycle 8-12 months, duration 6-8 hours. The FBI, and DHS offer exercise services.

     

    Applicability/Scalability:

    This applies to event organizers, venues, lodging and transportation modes.

     

     This is important large, reoccurring events.

     

    These need to be coordinated between event and venue; it is an added benefit to include lodging, transportation and public safety personnel.

     

    Online training modules can be used to augment training between exercises.

    1. Best Practice:

    Employ exercises to test plans, implementation and execution.

    • Conduct annual table-top exercises and full-scale exercises. Ensure that a gap analysis is done following each exercise and that recommended changes are implemented.

     

    Objectives:

    Testing, reinforcing and correcting.

     

    Implementation:

    Personnel must be aware of plans prior to exercise.

    1. Best Practice:

    Document exercises, indicating the scope and duration, names of personnel and organizations who participated, actions for improvement and recommendations for plan modifications.

     

    Objectives:

    For litigation purposes, lessons learned and improving future exercises.

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