Adam Corn - The Security Trainer
In my last article, Onboarding your Physical Security Team like a Pro, I explained how a proper onboarding program is a great way to set your new teammates up for success. But, what happens when your onboarding and On-the-Job Training programs are complete and your new security teammates find themselves alone, sitting behind your company’s front desk, or posted solo by the loading dock, or even sitting behind a computer screen in a Global Security Operations Center (GSOC)? Won't it be difficult to provide them with training they need while they are at their posts?
Of course, you could carve out designated training days, but that means their posts and shifts will have to be backfilled by outsourced security contractors, straining your budget. You could provide short training lectures during the start of shift roll call, but let’s face it: team members attending shift roll calls prior to an 8- or 12-hour shift are better served by a daily mission brief and a review of the Be On the Lookout (BOLO) list. A shift roll call is simply not an optional place for learning.
This conundrum of when to make space for security teammate training may seem daunting. But do not fret...
I have a solution summed up in just 3 words: Daily-Micro-Training
Daily Micro Training Modalities:
A Daily Micro Training is a learning experience that can be provided in ten minutes or less. It can be in one specific modality or a combination of many different modalities. For instance, it can be a short animated instructive training video or an e-learning module presented on a computer screen, smartphone, or tablet. It can also be a short but highly structured conversation between two colleagues. Lastly, a Daily Micro Training can also reference a particular part of the Post Orders Guidebook containing all current security policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS).
The main strength of the Daily Micro Learning is that it just focuses on the job the security teammate has been assigned on any particular day. A strong Daily Micro Learning should be concise, brief, and have clear learning objectives accompanied by a short knowledge check, or quiz.
In my experiance, the most effective Daily Micro Training comes in short, instructive, animated training videos which walk the security teammate through a fun and relatible story. Adult learners retain the most information when instructions are exemplified through a job-relatable story that evokes emotions such as happiness and or anything that promotes humor.
There are many animation programs available which your security training team can use to create short instructive animated training videos. These videos can be shown to security teammates at their post by a member of the security training team, mobile security unit, or their supervisor.
The Train-the-Trainer Program:
The professional responsible for conducting a Spot Check on security posts is often a shift supervisor or mobile security unit whose job it is to check the integrity of security posts and even relieve security teammates temporarily while they enjoy their mandated break times. In most cases, these professionals can be additionally deputized to be the security team’s Daily Micro Training Instructors. But in order for this program to be effective, these professionals need to be impactful trainers. That is why there must be a well organized Train-The-Train (TTT) program.
A proper TTT program provides security instructors with the fundamental principles of adult learning, the most effective ways to highlight learning objectives and to explain those learning objectives so learners understand and apply them to their work. Candidates for a TTT program should be people who want to be there, who are excited about training and mentoring others, and who have a positive attitude about the job at hand. These individuals should be equipped with the knowledge of how to be an instructor and with the tools they need for the job, including instructive animated training videos, a tablet to show them on, and a notepad for note taking and knowledge checks.
The Post Check & Training Program:
Once the shift supervisor or mobile security unit has completed the Train-The-Trainer Program, they should conduct security team post checks and deploy Daily Micro Training experiences for security teammates standing their posts.
The post check should ensure security teammates are performing their roles professionally and appropriately, in a way that reflects the safety and security policies and SOPs in their current state. Establishing and maintaining a random post check program will promote a greater degree of professionalism, safety and security awareness, and adherence to the stated post orders schedule.
Once the post check is complete, the Daily Micro Training experiences should play out this way:
The credientialed shift supervisor or mobile security unit should initiate the Daily Micro Training experience by reviewing a Daily Micro Training experience on a tablet, phone, or laptop.
Once that is complete, the trainer should perform and document a knowledge check (quiz) that is assigned to the security teammate.
The trainer should then record the material the security teammate has been quizzed on, how well they performed, and how well they paid attention, and to areas where the security teammate can improve upon in the future.
A Final Note:
I have been in the government and corporate security onboarding, training, and development program building business for twenty years. As always, if you have questions or would like me to build a corporate security training program for your company or organization, you can reach out to me anytime to request my services.
Adam Corn is a designer and manager of Global Physical Security Programs for the leaders of the Tech Industry (Facebook, Google, Fitbit, & GoFundMe) in Silicon Valley. His specialties include global security leadership, building effective training programs, and promoting highly impactful diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEl&B) programs.