Quickly skimming through the headlines on my phone while sipping my freshly brewed Italian coffee before heading to the office – this is how a typical day starts for me.
But over the past few months the headlines have started to feel quite different. They are very much focused on security.
With all the negative news popping up in front of our eyes every day I have started to wonder; how we can achieve a secure world without creating a society in which people are suspicious of everything and everyone?
How can we ensure access control and our ever increasing security measures at the entrance of our office buildings, do not come with costs of denying our visitors and clients a warm welcome?
Let me attempt to tackle the question on how we, as businesses and in society can tackle security issues without losing the human touch
On a day-to-day basis, the level of buildings security seems to have heightened within companies and organizations: Where is the warm welcome? It appears to be put to one side while certain measures are double-checked.
The dilemma posed is simple: if someone is coming to your office for the first time, they have to get past the security. It invariably involves a wait while you hear from reception that your client has arrived. Your client’s first impression will be dictated by how they are greeted downstairs.
But no matter how well trained and polite reception staff are, they will still have to take on an interrogatory role and force the client to wait while they confirm with you that these people are who they say they are.
Harnessing the speed of modern communication
The way to bypass this barrier lies in the speed of communication and the fact that you and the client know each other already. Instead of the client running the necessarily frosty gauntlet of reception in the traditional manner, what if he could contact you and then you contact the front desk in advance, thus opening the way for a smooth entry to your company?
The difference is subtle but absolutely central:
Instead of arriving as a stranger and a vague potential threat, the valuable client arrives at reception to an actual welcome; We know who you are, we’ve been expecting you, we’re looking forward to your visit and your visitor badge is already prepared.
New technology means new opportunities
Security has certainly moved up the league table of priorities in recent years, but that is only because there are new threats now that weren’t there before. Security nowadays hasn’t really changed insofar as the office building or the institution still has to be kept secure.
The levels of technology that we possess today have been developed at a stunning speed. Ideas that were pure science fiction only 20 years ago are now mundane and workaday occurrences. With all this technology being used in so many applications, surely there is some app that will bridge that gap: the gap between humanity and cold risk analysis that seems to be getting wider and more entrenched every day?
Striking the right chord for future
Of course there is. Something that will strike a chord with just about everyone is the simple belief that, generally speaking, people are good and civil to one another. Behind the security framework lies that human warmth.
There are, as mentioned already, a few issues when it comes to security and these issues must be dealt with. However, once they are processed, then there is no barrier to a warm welcome. The hugs, the hand-clasps, the fist-pumps, the smiles and the hearty handshakes… they can all emerge with confidence once we’ve all gotten around the security issues.
First impressions are vital. In business, the first impression can literally mean the difference between getting that contract or not; between the client taking to you and your business or feeling that it wasn’t for them.
If we can extend a warm welcome to our clients, then we have an edge in this slightly edgy world. We have clients that we can embrace and welcome as warmly as we might welcome perhaps not an old friend, but at least as we might welcome your best friend’s son or daughter when meeting them for the first time.