Addressing Social Media Policies in the Security Industry
The need for your guards to be connected through their smartphones presents a new set of behavioral challenges.
Mobile phones are valuable tools for your guards and allow you to be in constant communication with them and provide them with on-the-go essentials like forms, messages and schedule updates. Most security companies have well-documented policies on the issue of mobile phone usage during shifts but enforcing them is especially difficult.
It’s no secret that social media and smartphones go hand-in-hand. So, it’s understandable that contract security companies like yours are struggling to get their employees to abide by social media policies around on-the-job phone usage.
In 2019, the New York Times published an article around the early rise of social media app TikTok and its popularity in the security industry. TikTok allows users to post video clips up to 15 seconds long, categorizing them with hashtags. Since the app’s explosion in popularity, #securityguard hashtag alone has logged over 118,000,000 views.
In the Times article, security guards theorize the reason the app is so popular is because they are bored on the job. On the other hand, one security company owner suggested the trend could give way to undermining the respect of uniformed security guards.
Still, while rampant social media policies around usage has become an obvious issue for security companies, an employee having a smartphone has also become increasingly important. With the rise of guard management apps, it’s starting to become mandatory that the guard have a smartphone on them at all times.
Could California Set a Trend?
Guard companies in California are especially feeling the heat. Recent legislation now requires reimbursement for any phone usage while on the job. Popular ways of dealing with the new laws are to provide an earmarked monthly amount for cell phone reimbursement, but some companies are providing company-issued cell phones to their employees instead. While the latter method is obviously cost-prohibitive, it does allow for a greater ability to monitor and enforce cell phone policies related to personal usage on the job.
As it stands today, California is the only state with such laws, but history suggests more states will follow suit with compensation laws favoring the employee.