Monthly Archives: January 2020

Prioritise team cohesion

Regardless of the industry in which you work, stress is a significant challenge for all organisations.

The 2018/19 Labour Force Survey outlined that self-reported stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 12.8 million lost work days in the United Kingdom in 2018/19.

On average, each person suffering from stress, depression or anxiety took 21.2 days off work. Reducing the impact of stress in your organisation will mean your team are more content and more productive, so it makes sense to consider what more can be done.

Team cohesion

This could be one counter measure to stress, it seems logical that the greater the level of team cohesion, the more resilient the members should be to external stressors and the less likely they should be to generate friction themselves. So how to improve team cohesion? One suggestion is below:

  • Shared experiences

That feeling when your group aim is achieved – the big project is delivered just in time, objectives met and the feedback is positive. It wasn’t easy but you all got it done somehow. Such experiences tend to lead to stronger bonds between members and a greater level of trust through experience and success. Perhaps the greater the challenge the stronger the bonds?

It is often said “you don’t get the same bonds you had between people in the military in the civilian world”, this might be true but why? Perhaps it is the nature of the challenges you surmount in the military, usually more physically demanding and intense than most challenges in the office. Teams are often co-dependent, so you have no choice but to trust one another, you normally have a common objective to achieve that unites and sometimes it is unpleasant – wet, cold, perhaps dangerous etc. The shared success in achieving the objective leads to a greater sense of relief, joy, gratitude and ultimately stronger bonds between team members.

All teams and their leaders should pursue shared experiences within the work environment but ideally outside of the office too. Taking people outside of their ‘comfort zone’ to solve problems and succeed together should increase team cohesion and trust. Teams and individuals should become more resilient to workplace stresses. Doing it in the cold and the wet is the cherry on top!

So, what has all this got to do with providing security? Our aim at Watchword is to establish team cohesion and trust with our staff, clients and partners so we can collaborate effectively, deliver the best possible service and achieve more together. This might mean better integration with your Facilities team to support events organisation or understanding the key personnel in your organisational hierarchy to give a more tailored service, whatever your specific requirements, we will support.

The importance of values

In 2017 we decided what we wanted to achieve with Watchword Security, we looked back at the principles instilled in us during our time in the military and some of the most valuable lessons. The Army has had a strong focus on the concept of ‘values’ for many years. Values drive behaviour and therefore decision making, the results of daily situations are dictated by the individual ‘on the ground’ influencing the outcome, which may lead to success or failure in his or her individual area of responsibility and perhaps beyond.

The Watchword Security values:
Respect for our customers and our employees.
Trusted staff with the integrity to do the right thing every day.
Working practices which promote self-discipline and the highest standards.
Loyalty – we are loyal to one another, our customers and our partners.

Our aim at Watchword is perfection in our service, and in some respects, we are getting there.

For example, one of our team who has been working on his site for nine months has never been late or ill during that time and says he never will be. Aside from making him a pleasure to work with and making us proud of the organisation, this is unusual in the security industry.

This principle applies universally, the military were (arguably) relatively quick to realise this due to the consequences of getting it wrong, but the same applies to other organisations and teams.

So why would someone be so adamant about never being late (or ill!)? The answer is his values, his personal values are aligned with the organisations, our aims and objectives follow suit. The result is a level of customer service that exceeds expectations. Our team member takes pride in knowing the security of the site is his responsibility.

When considering how to achieve this alignment in values, there are perhaps two options:

Hire people who hold personal values aligned to yours and those of the organisation.
Share the vision of the organisation you aspire to be and support the individual to understand the importance of the values in their role.

We firmly believe in option two in the absence of option one, whilst some people might not spend time considering values, most people want similar things from their professional life:

A sense of belonging – meaningful teamwork.
Autonomy
– ownership of their area and to be trusted.
Competence
– to be equipped for the task and have opportunity to develop.

Provided the three points above can be achieved and a meaningful conversation held about the related values, our goals should be mutual. If the result is our team members never being late, then the first step in delivering excellent customer service is achieved.

Security is our Watchword

After seven years serving as an officer in the Army and several years in industry, I am now working full time as a Director of the company I started in 2018, Watchword Security. This has been an aspiration of mine for over 10 years and it is exciting to be in this position.

Watchword provide security services to commercial and private clients who need a team they can rely on. We provide a high-quality service; we are an organised and values driven team who take pride in our exemplary customer experience. We are accredited by the National Security Inspectorate for ‘manned guarding’ and recipients of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Bronze award.

All organisations need similar characteristics in order to succeed. Perhaps some of these characteristics could be defined as values – determination, loyalty, teamwork, leadership, effective communication and problem solving to name a few. Having left the military to work in industry, the similarities between success ‘on the battlefield’ vs succeeding in a competitive marketplace are remarkable.

Our aim is to make security one less thing for you to think about. Connect with us by following the Watchword Security business page on LinkedIn.