SIS Blog

The Importance of Employee Training in Alarm Monitoring Operations

by | Aug 23, 2023

Government agencies know how vital it is to invest in top-notch security. In pursuit of establishing a strong baseline of security across the organization, they will often strive to secure the best technology, systems, and software their resources allow. 

But no security system is flawless, no matter how technically sound or technologically advanced, because every system relies on the humans who use it. Sometimes, these are your security personnel–and sometimes, they are regular employees. They are the people who may not necessarily be on your security team, but who come into contact with the various alarms and systems you’ve installed and who can sometimes mistakenly activate them, cause false alarms, or misunderstand how best to respond to a potential threat.

A strong security strategy should take into account the need for regular employee training to fortify your alarm monitoring operations. In fact, preparing your employees in incident response, situational awareness, and even customer service can take your security strategy from strong to nearly impenetrable. Here’s why: 

#1. Increased Confidence Means Increased Efficiency

When an alarm is triggered, your employees shouldn’t have to wonder “what’s next?”.  At the very least, everyone should be familiar with your emergency response procedures for a variety of threat scenarios. The right training can empower employees with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to efficiently respond to any emerging threats. If they’ve been well-trained, they can better identify false alarms, respond to genuine emergencies, and reduce the chance of error or misunderstanding in what can often be tense, time-sensitive, and critical situations. 

#2. Better Training Means Better Public Safety and Security

Perhaps more than other organizations, government agencies are often in the unique position of having to protect critical technologies and infrastructure, sensitive information, and of course the safety of both their employees and the wider public. While no security breach should be taken lightly, a breach of any kind at a government facility can have significant and wide-ranging repercussions. And when the stakes are so high, everyone has to be on their best game when it comes to security. Thorough training ensures that your employees have the skills they need to handle emergencies, prevent or minimize critical incidents, and ensure the fastest possible response to keep your people and facilities from sustaining serious damage.

#3. Advanced Technology Requires Advanced Training

Alarm monitoring operations have evolved dramatically over the past several years, and we’re seeing agencies make use of everything from AI-assisted video to flag false alarms to semi-autonomous robots to patrol perimeters. As the potential and power of these technologies grows, government agencies will need to offer regular training that can keep pace with both its opportunities and its risks. People will still need to understand what triggers alarms, what their security technology’s limitations are, and all the ways things might go wrong. The more complex the systems, the more opportunities there can be for errors, misunderstandings, or overlooked risks.

For example, it can be easy to start believing that the system can and will catch every possible threat–but if you do, you risk letting your guard down and missing potential problems that may arise. As technology advances, so should the vigilance of your team.

#4. Evolving Threats Require Evolving Knowledge

Your alarm monitoring operations do not exist in a vacuum, which is why you can’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to your security strategy. The nature of threats is that they constantly evolve, and if you don’t keep up with the pace of these changes, or understand how to combat these emerging risks, you will leave yourself vulnerable. The core of every good employee training strategy should be about more than knowing which buttons to push, how to respond to various threats, or which dashboards to monitor for what. It should also be about how to stay vigilant and anticipate potential threats before they emerge.

Your adversaries are always adapting to your defenses and finding new ways to break through them–and if you and your team cannot anticipate that, you may be doomed to experience it firsthand. Regular training should ensure that your employees stay up to date on the latest security threats, techniques, and best practices.

#5. Training Pays for Itself

It may demand an investment of time and money, but regular and thorough security training can more than pay for itself over time. Just consider the cost of a single missed threat–and the damage it can wreak–because your employees were unsure how to respond or couldn’t respond quickly enough. Such a mistake can mean anything from irreparably damaged government infrastructure to stolen sensitive information, technologies, or personal data.

The (much smaller) upfront costs of training your staff mean you can be confident that your well-trained team will respond to risks efficiently, minimizing the costs you’d incur due to human error, unnecessary false alarms, or inefficient response. A well-trained team can also pay off in terms of long-term retention: investing in your people shows them you care about their professional growth and their value to the organization, and can boost job satisfaction and morale. This, in turn, can lead to higher retention rates and a more dedicated workforce. 

#6. Humans Can Be Better Than Technology

Despite the alarms and sensors you may have in place, sometimes your first and best line of defense are the people who can be your eyes and ears across the organization. Training them to offer excellent customer service and to be aware of unusual behavior or suspicious people on premises can lead to them picking up on potential threats before a single sensor can detect them. This kind of “human intelligence” can be invaluable to a government agency which must be prepared to spot and neutralize threats before they make themselves obvious enough to trip a single alarm. Don’t underestimate the power your people have to stop suspicious activity. The training you provide can give them the tools and confidence they need to respond appropriately.

Remember that the best security systems can only go so far–but your people will get you all the way there. That’s why it’s important to continually invest in the training and skill-building they need to feel confident and competent in responding to security incidents. The small upfront investment is often nothing compared to the potentially ruinous results that come with a lack of training, and no company should ever be in the position to say, “This could have been prevented if only we’d prepared our people for it.” 

For this and any other security questions, we’re here to help. Please reach out to us to find out how you can make your security strategy stronger, whether it’s to get ideas for better staff training or to test out our government-trusted security software. We’re happy to help.

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