Being a good security guard is one thing, but being a good security manager requires a few extra qualities! In this blog, we list 10 of the most important qualities that make a good security manager. 

Table of contents
  1. Being Prepared
  2. Being Knowledgeable
  3. Having Good Instincts
  4. Being Able to Motivate Others (and Be Empathetic)
  5. Having Moral Courage
  6. Thinking Quickly
  7. Being Both a Leader and a Team Player
  8. Having Strong Communication Skills
  9. Being Honest and Having Integrity
  10. Being Experienced
  11. Connecteam: The Security Management Tool You Can’t Afford to Miss Out On 
  12. The Bottom Line: What Makes a Good Security Manager? 

While nobody can deny that security workers have a tough job, being a good security manager can be even more challenging. 

While being a security guard can really help you to prepare for a managerial position, the two jobs aren’t the same, and so the qualities of a good security guard aren’t necessarily the same as the qualities of a good security manager.

But what makes a good security manager? Most of the time, it requires the skills and experience of a security guard with everything that’s required of a manager in any other setting. But if you’re looking for what makes a good security manager, here’s a closer look at the most important qualities of a good security manager in any setting.

Being Prepared

You never know what might come your way as a security guard, and that state of perpetual preparedness is only multiplied by the number of security guards you might have on your team (and making sure each of these security guards are trained properly). The thing that really makes a good security manager is knowing how to be prepared for every and any eventuality, whether that be a simultaneous, coordinated attack or even just one of your security guards going off sick. 

The best way to be prepared? By having a contingency plan always ready to go, for every job and situation. Also, making sure you have all documentation ready and stocked in one centralized, digital place, for security guards to use and refresh their knowledge on – such as having a digital, easy to fill out and submit incident report form

Being Knowledgeable

A security manager needs to be knowledgeable about what the job entails, preferably from previous experience serving as a security guard. Every entity or location will have different security needs that are specific to their situation.

A security manager will need to understand the ins and outs of these security needs in order to perform their job responsibilities. For example, what are the security threats for this location? What are the risks being posed to the security officers? Are there any specific skills or experience that security officers need to perform their job? What are the security goals of the organization and the client? There are also the questions that only someone with enough experience on the job would be able to answer, such as how security guards can remain compliant and on the right side of the law in potentially tricky situations. All of these questions and more require a knowledgeable manager.

Having Good Instincts

At a certain point, security managers should have so much training and experience in this field that recognizing the security needs of a location becomes instinctual. They will immediately know what to do, especially since security needs can change over time. This is why keen knowledge and great instincts are two non-negotiable qualities of a good security manager, and being a good manager in general.

Being Able to Motivate Others (and Be Empathetic)

As with any manager, the ability to motivate is one of the key qualities of a good security manager. In fact, one of the biggest differences between the people who move up to management positions and those who don’t is the ability to keep themselves and others motivated

Security managers can’t always count on their security offers to be self-motivated, which is why they need to have the ability to motivate others. This often requires getting to know the security guards working under you on a personal level in order to understand what makes them tick. What is going to inspire them to always bring their best effort and the best attitude to the job?

That doesn’t mean that a security manager has to be a master manipulator or even a people person. However, they need to have a positive outlook on things and offer encouragement. This is where the experience of working as a security guard can come in handy – that they can empathize with their team. They will understand the long hours and the stress of the job, not to mention how difficult it can be to feel motivated and inspired some days. In many ways, this is one of the most important qualities of a good security manager.

One of the easiest ways to motivate employees is by recognizing a job well done, and offering praise where praise is due. Having an easy way to get in touch with security guards, as well as deliver news, praise or recognition to the company as a whole is an effective way to do this. 

Having Moral Courage

Unlike security guards who work in the field, security managers need to have the moral courage to do what is right for the business, not just what is right in the moment while on the job.  

That means being able to tell their employees, superiors and even their clients exactly what they need to do, not what they might want to (especially when it comes to keeping their workers safe during an international emergency, like a global pandemic). Having moral courage is a tricky quality to detect; it rests on the security manager being able to take proactive decisions for the good of the whole, even if these might be unpopular with some. That and, you’ll only be able to see this particular quality on display in challenging times! 

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Thinking Quickly

Being a good manager in any setting requires the ability to make important decisions on the spot, and that is also a big part of what makes a good security manager. If there is a sudden emergency or an ongoing event in which the situation can quickly change, security managers need to be able to think quickly and make good choices. Again, this is why having experience working as a security guard can be important. Previous experience in this field can help to inform decisions, allowing managers to think quickly, even in a stressful situation.

Keep in mind that there is a difference between thinking quickly and thinking rashly. A good security manager will always understand that there are potential consequences to every decision. At the same time, there usually isn’t a lot of time to waste in emergency situations, so decisions need to be made quickly. Someone who can handle the pressure of quick decisions and actions without feeling overwhelmed will typically have the qualities of a good security manager. The job does come with a fair amount of pressure, which a security manager needs to be able to handle.

Being Both a Leader and a Team Player

Being both a leader and a team player is tricky, but once you get the balance right, it seems like the most natural thing in the world. 

A group of employees will always need someone to lead the way, to describe and execute the vision, and involve everyone in a sense of sharedness and working towards a common goal. This is an especially important quality to have when you’re just starting a security business.  

But, at the same time, people respect people who don’t just say, but do too; that is, a leader who is willing to get their hands dirty every once in a while, and lead by doing. This is one of the most important qualities that make a good security manager. 

Having Strong Communication Skills

Decision-making skills and quick-thinking often go hand-in-hand with strong communication skills when it comes to what makes a good security manager. After all, once an important decision is made, it needs to be shared with security officers and everyone else who needs to act based on that decision. If a decision is made but isn’t conveyed in the right way, it can create a confusing situation that only makes things worse. That’s why the qualities of a good security manager include communicating clearly and with conviction so that others understand what you say and believe that you are making the right choice.

Even in less stressful, day-to-day situations, communication is essential for security managers. They should be communicating with their officers and other team members as often as possible. This is the only way to ensure that the job is getting done right and in the most effective way possible. The duties of a security manager include checking in with officers to see if anything eventful has happened and to make sure they feel safe while doing their job. That relationship between the officers and the manager is critical in the security industry. This requires clear and open communication channels between the two parties because it’s critical that everybody be on the same page. A good way to do this is via 1:1 chats, or even group chats with relevant people. 

Being Honest and Having Integrity

Honesty and integrity are two of the most important qualities of a good security manager. Managers always need to be someone that the people working under them can trust. The same is true for security managers when it comes to working with clients. The things that a security manager says and does matter, making it critical that everyone can take them at their word and know that they’re being honest and doing what’s best for everybody involved. Without that, the whole operation will fall apart, and security will suffer.

On top of that, what makes a good security manager is someone who sets a good example for others to follow. If the manager works hard and is clearly a person of integrity, others will fall in line behind them. Security guards will conduct themselves in an honest and trustworthy way, which is the ideal way for them to behave on the job (especially as security guards are lone workers, usually without any other guards around on the job). Typically, that kind of behavior will trickle down from the manager, which is why honesty and integrity are such critical qualities of a good security manager in any setting.

Being Experienced

It may sound obvious, but any security guard manager worth their salt needs to have the experience from the ground up, and a lot of it, if they’re going to be successful. 

That’s because, not only do security guards have to run an organization, they have to run their people too – and that’s often the trickiest part of the business. The quickest way to gain any team’s respect is by displaying that you know what you’re doing, are prepared for any and every eventuality and remain cool and calm in the face of potential crises.   

Connecteam: The Security Management Tool You Can’t Afford to Miss Out On 

But of course, for security managers to become the best they can be, they need to have the best operational management tools available to them! 

And on that note, there is a small secret that most really great security managers work with: digital help with their daily operations and employee management. 

Because there are only so many hours in a day, and so many emergencies, employee needs and more, you need a little extra help when it comes to doing the best job possible: presenting Connecteam

a worker smiling wile his schedule is shown

Loved by hundreds of international security companies, Connecteam is the tool you need for – 

  • Cross-company communication, and private 1:1 or group chats 
  • Easy, efficient scheduling at the click of a button (no more human errors here, just seamless scheduling all the way!), including checklists and more for employees  
  • A self-serve super-intuitive employee time clock, meaning you don’t need to chase to see where security guards are, and if they’ve clocked in to shifts 
  • A centralized digital library, where you can upload important documents and forms, such as incident report forms, weapons release forms and more. 

And this is just the very beginning of what Connecteam can do for your security business. With a free-forever plan (and a 14-day free trial of all paid plans), all your employees need are their existing smartphones! 

In just 2 minutes from now (there’s no training needed!) you could be on your way to being the best security manager, with the best security business in town thanks to Connecteam. 

The Bottom Line: What Makes a Good Security Manager? 

All in all, when it comes to being the best security manager you can be, it comes down to a range of qualities that you either learn on the job and via experience, or via digital tools to help manage your employee and your business. 

Be the best security manager you can be: keep your team happy, demonstrate knowledge and understanding, and use the best tools available to you! 

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