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Q&A with our Operations Manager – Jawed Bukhari

Please tell us about your career prior to joining Guardforce and what made you join the company?

Before joining Guardforce I worked with the British deputy high commission in Karachi, Pakistan as a trade and investment officer for approximately 13 years. I was looking for a new challenge and that is when Guardforce entered the scene looking to expand into the challenging market of Pakistan.  Whilst dealing with the company’s md helping to start a set up in Karachi, I observed the quality process of the company and the procedures that are followed in achieving the highest service standards. This appealed to me. Then I closely studied the security sector in Pakistan and in the UK and found it very interesting.  The MD of Guardforce was searching for a suitable person to help expand into other markets and I was looking for a new challenge.  It was like being in the right place at the right time with the right person. So I joined Guardforce in 2005 and still working here.

As a Central Operations Manager can you tell us what do you most enjoy about your work?

This may sound a bit dramatic but yes I do like the challenge of the job, the last minute dash, the adrenaline rush and the most important think is “people”. I am a people person so this gives me a dual edged challenge, i.e. dealing with staff and their issues and, customers and their ever insatiable demands. It keeps me going.

As an experienced Operations Manager, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to join or has recently come into the security guarding industry?

For sure, this is not everyone’s cup of tea. So if you have decided to join the security industry then have perseverance and be ready to take face any situation thrown at you. Above all, I always inspire my team by telling them to “have pride in what you do” and the rest (professionalism, respect and progress) will follow. Security guards are still treated as the scapegoats by the end users. This does take its toll on the morale of the security officers as when they are being perceived at the bottom of the line. However, I have noticed that officers who take pride in their work have always been respected by their employers and customers, those who act professionally earn the deserved respect and career progression. So my advice is keep your head high and always do the right thing.

Have you set any goals for the next two years with regards to your work?

My goals are very clear – find new sustainable business, achieve a self-development plan and training and development of staff. Adhere to the company’s policies and devise ways of improving service deliver standards to match with the industry requirements and to keep customers satisfied and happy.

You have a wide range of responsibilities within your role which includes selecting and employing the security officers, ensuring the customers are satisfied with the service they are receiving within your operations. Can you tell us any incidents that you had to deal with which was very confusing but challenging for you to satisfactory resolve?

The wide scope of my responsibilities keeps me interested in my work and I get job satisfaction at the end of the day. I have faced many challenges in my line of work where I had to come up with a win-win situation for the company, staff and customer. One customer is very demanding and always asks for more from my security officers on site such as improved communication between the end users and the security officers, sharp and tactful conflict handling techniques and instant response from the management.

To meet all the sides of the demands I started with arranging a refresher training campaign for my officers in communication and conflict management techniques. Then helped them apply on site by creating different scenario. Then I set out a frequent visiting plan to see the customer and monitor officers post-training progress and responses. All this was carefully and meticulously documented. Progressed was monitored and reported on a fortnightly basis. After a quarter, the customer recognised the marked improvement in service deliver and agreed to meet up on a not so frequent basis. This customer has since offered us another new contract. So well done to my team for supporting me and thank you to the customer for being so understanding throughout the process.

What do you most dislike or least enjoy within your job?

I dislike the call outs on a most un-social time and I least enjoyed the idle time that was caused due to economic downturn and credit crunch.

What do you most like or enjoy within your job?

I like the recognition of my work i.e. when a happy and satisfied customer sends my M.D. a kind e-mail or letter commending my team’s performance and efforts. I really enjoy the team spirit in the office. I always say being a small to medium size company is an advantage for us because we can provide our customers with one tier solution and within the office we work like a family.

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