Demonstrating Safety and Security Program Value to Executive Management with Metrics
Created by Dean Correia, Security Executive Council Emeritus Faculty
BECOMING A BUSINESS ENABLER USING PERFORMING METRICSIn today’s business environment, safety and security practitioners need to be business enablers first, with an expertise is safety and security second. They should speak the language of the organization and be able to clearly articulate how safety and security’s major annual objectives drive the success of the company by accomplishing its major objectives. If you are being asked to demonstrate the value of your function by the upper management of your organization, it may mean that management has already lost confidence in your performance. Before senior management asks this, be ready with performance metrics. Proactively focus on communicating meaningful and actionable information gleaned from your programs.
Metrics should address questions such as:
The following diagram illustrates a process that many practitioners have successfully used to create and/or enhance their metrics program. Throughout the process, keep in mind that in order for your metrics program to be sustainable and resonate with Leadership, it must continuously improve, align with the business and deliver the benefits for your company and its security mission.
DEMONSTRATING OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCEMany security leaders start out by counting activities, events or tasks. The next critical step in the evolution of your Metrics Program is to demonstrate operational excellence. The table below illustrates an example of various safety and security activity counts, which is a start, but there are metrics that will be more powerful to the business side. Presenting these to senior management that may leave them with more questions than answers. Management`s comment after seeing this table may be “So what?”
Your metrics must answer management’s pressing questions, such as “What is the cost per investigation or accident? What are retention rates? What is the impact on risk? What are the root causes? How well do you do your job? Is the risk picture improving? Simple counting seldom answers these questions. But remember, safety and security does not own the risk. Its role is to identify, assess, and offer various risk mitigation options. Your function needs to demonstrate and articulate meaningful information to the owners of the risk.
SECURITY AS A PROFIT CENTER NOT A COST CENTERAs security professionals, telling our value story remains one of our biggest challenges. Rightly or wrongly, we are often perceived as a cost center, not a profit center. I have had success getting a seat at the table over my retail loss prevention career by making it a priority to build relationships and having my teams and I have a very hands-on approach to the business. Be seen as a business enabler. Show your stakeholders how your function can make their programs even more impactful by better protecting people and assets in order to optimize profit and brand impact. Be part of their strategic planning meetings. Tour your facilities with stakeholders outside of the security function- morning, noon, and night. Go to another function’s huddle and talk about security. Engage with your stakeholders outside of a critical incident.
Constantly challenge yourself and your team to add value to multiple functions in your organizations as part of your department’s daily mission. By taking the time to learn the business from multiple perspectives, your ability to develop and drive metrics that enable the business will increase, thus enhancing safety and security’s brand value to your organization consistently.
For more information on this topic see Security Metrics: Measuring Performance
Watch our 3-minute video to learn about how the SEC works with security leaders. Contact us at: contact @secleader.com.
Copyright Security Executive Council. Last Updated: March 12, 2019
You can download a PDF of this resource below.