Operations

'Bandit Shield' Discourages Would-be Robbers

Program compiles robbery prevention best practices into a comprehensive training program.

April 12, 2012
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Follow proper security procedures

Common-sense safety procedures can help prevent credit union robberies. The “Robbery Prevention and Preparation” manual used in CUNA’s Staff Training and Recognition Program advises credit unions to take these precautions:

• Observe confidentiality. Sometimes even a tidbit of information—“We’re shorthanded because of vacations”—can tip off a potential robber to an opportunity. Employees should never discuss credit union or member business with others, not even their own families.

You can’t tell what information might be passed along to someone who might use it to hurt the credit union.

• Have two employees open the credit union each morning. While one employee remains in his or her vehicle, the other should check the perimeter of the building to make sure no one is lurking nearby and to look for signs of forced entry.

Subscribe to Credit Union MagazineThen the first employee should unlock the building and make sure no one is hiding inside. If no one is present, the employee gives a predetermined “all clear” signal, such as opening or closing a shade or blind, turning on a light, putting a sign in the window, or giving a hand signal.

 Restrict keys. In general, employees should not have keys to the credit union. Exceptions include the security administrator and employees responsible for opening and closing the credit union.

All others arriving in the morning should be admitted by one of the opening employees.

• Be wary of deliveries. If a delivery person, police officer, repair person, or other individual claiming to have business with the credit union arrives prior to normal business hours, verify the person’s identity before admitting him or her.

• Be attentive as the business day winds to a close. Robbers may enter a credit union a few minutes before closing and hide in the restroom or other area.

Pay particular attention to the last people in line, or those lingering in the lobby.

For more information, consult CUNA’s training resources.

LIBBY VERTZ is an intern in CUNA’s business-to-business publishing department. Contact her at 608-231-4096.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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