Back to Basics on Security
In reviewing video and talking to our employees we've discovered how this happened, and it represents a breakdown in some fundamental disciplines that we must reiterate.
- Front Desk Security: Challenging Strangers - We use the reception desk to give a positive first impression of the company. That won't change. However, these nice ladies don't know everybody, and sometimes people get ill with them if they stop someone who turns out to be an employee or long-time contractor. I have given them instructions beginning noon today to ask, "Can I help you?" anytime they don't know someone. Since they can't know everybody, some employees may get asked and that's okay. I urge you not to be offended as these ladies are doing this (a) under instructions from me and (b) for your safety.
- Front Desk Security: Requiring Name Badges - All non-employees are required to sign in daily to wear a visitors badge at all times. That is not a new policy, but one roundly ignored in some parts of the company. Beginning at noon today that policy will be strictly enforced. Nobody thought a thing about the young woman walking through our building because its not unusual to see temps, contractors, family members, etc... in the building without a badge.
- Children in the Building - Five people who saw this very petite young woman thought she was someone's teenager because its become so common to see children in the building. Our Handbook is specific and has not changed in eight years that the workplace is no place for kids. Visiting for a short period of time and escorted the entire time is fine. Staying with you after you've picked them up from sick day care just long enough to arrange alternate care or wrap things up and go home is also fine. Hanging out here with you half a day, or wandering the halls, or sent to your workstation unescorted from the front desk has to stop.
- Noticing People Who Look "Wrong" - You know what I'm talking about: sometimes you just see someone who looks out of place. Every employee in this building should feel empowered to say, "Can I help you?" and make eye contact with a stranger not wearing a visitors badge. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, call Facilities or HR and we'll do it for you.
I'm the first to acknowledge that our security is bass-akwards and has been for years. We should have swipe badges for access into the building. We'll make our fifth annual attempt at that with the next budget cycle, or anytime this year that we think the money might be available. Until then our security is each other and the array of security cameras operated by Scott Holloway's fine staff. Meanwhile please come see me if being asked who you are or asked to wear a visitors badge offends you. Just don't fuss on the nice ladies at the front desk.