Don’t Keep Your Security Team Wondering: Communicate Their Effect
Don’t Keep Your Security Staff Wondering: Communicate Their Effect
By David Lammert I Pinnacle Placements – December 14, 2020
Security Managers and leaders: You expect your staff to deliver the best work possible and help the company to succeed. But do you know if every team member truly understands how his or her contributions have a direct impact on the firm’s overall failure or success?
In today’s fast-paced business environment, chances are that many of your employees aren’t making this important connection. A recent survey by Robert Half revealed more than half of professionals (53 percent) wish they had more detailed insight on how their day-to-day duties make a difference to the organization.
Gen X employees feel the most disconnected
The survey’s findings also point to a potential staffing management issue that many employers will want to move swiftly to address: Only 38 percent of professionals who are 35 to 54 years old — essentially, the Generation X demographic — said they see a direct correlation between their efforts and the company’s performance. This compares to 44 percent of employees who are ages 18 to 34 years old (primarily millennials — Generation Y and Generation Z) and 59 percent of workers over the age of 55(baby boomers).
With many Gen X workers now serving in leadership roles and more moving into these roles daily, this gap poses risk and vulnerability if not addressed. The fact that so many workers who are ages 35 to 54 — a group that often serves as key contributors, managers, and top executives — lack a complete understanding of how their responsibilities help their organization’s bottom line should be of great concern to everyone involved in the organization.
Studies, backed by common sense also show that when workers have a sense of connection, they are more engaged, make wiser decisions, and can identify innovative ways to meet goals and improve productivity.
Another alarming find from the survey also showed that just over half (51 percent) of respondents from the 35 to 54 age group said they would like more insight on how their work makes an impact.
The immediate question is why is this not a higher percentage? Digging deeper, possible conclusions could be that Gen X professionals in some organizations do not have someone working above them who could or would want to provide this perspective. Others may not be comfortable asking their manager to provide such insight, as they might be worried that admitting they do not completely understand how their work makes a difference will somehow reflect poorly on them.
All staff involved in the security function of an organization must be able to visualize how their work fits into the ‘big picture’.
Even though millennial and baby boomer employees appear to have an easier time connecting their contributions to the bottom line, the survey findings highlight the need for security managers and leaders need to do more to ensure that workers across all demographic groups in their organization understand how their work adds value. And failing to prioritize these efforts could harm the business, including low morale, poor productivity, and high turnover rates just to name a few.
Managers and leaders within the security function who do not have regular conversations with staff about how their work affects the company are missing a major opportunity to improve efficiency and effectiveness while developing internal candidates to strengthening the security talent bench.
Good communication from management is essential to ensuring that security-related staff knows how they as, individuals, are making a difference at the firm. With that in mind, here’s some advice for helping employees better understand how they make a difference:
Discuss appropriate company-wide and security department performance and goals with security staff members at all levels.
Sharing this knowledge directly can also inspire workers to boost their own engagement.
Find ways to keep the dialogue open and ongoing.
Staff meetings, performance reviews, and regular check-ins all provide opportunities for security management to communicate how individual employees’ contributions benefit the entire business.
Security leaders should also seek out external perspectives to benchmark their team’s performance and learn best practices from other firms. Security Executives can check in with their networks and with consultants to see how managers at other companies are communicating with their staff members about their contributions. Tapping outside resources for insights can yield ideas from a diverse set of organizations and lead to meaningful best practices that have a long-lasting impact on professional development and overall success.