Encourage staff to participate in cross-functional projects that may not appear to have a direct security element to them. These projects will give that staff person the opportunity to interact with peers and even perhaps senior managers outside the security function in a non-confrontational context (unlike what they might experience during an investigation). It begins to give them a better flavor for the business the organization is in, and that sort of experience is invaluable.
4. Make use of internal training. Security leaders should look within their organization for opportunities to send their staff to internal training. HR departments often have a wide variety of development programs. Those are useful because they again provide the opportunity for staff to get to know people outside the security apparatus and get a sense of the organization's culture and tone, as well as the expectations of a future leader or manager.
5. Consider external growth and development programs where possible. There are many external programs out there that deal in managing personal growth. In these programs your staff members will complete self assessments that can help management identify gaps in skills, understanding, and perception of responsibilities. This type of information can help the security leader map out development programs and training, courses and classes that will address those gaps.
6. Don't neglect international employees. As organizations have become more international, many have moved from hiring expats to hiring local talent at international sites. We are seeing a lot of international talent quickly emerging, but we're also seeing that those very talented staff members are jumping from company to company every couple of years (or less) for small pay increases. In many areas they feel this is the only way to advance their careers.
It's important for corporate functions to identify emerging talent internationally and to take an opportunity to develop that talent as well. Bring them to the corporate home country for a while, make them feel they're really wanted and needed in the organization, and make them feel they don't have to jump to the next company to get ahead. I think at some point -- and we've seen this in a few organizations -- that the key performance indicator will be when the Global 1000 organizations start replacing their VPs and directors of global security with people from outside their immediate country who have been developed in the organization. If they are viewing themselves as international organizations, they should have an international footprint in staffing.
You'll notice that many of these steps don't require any investment beyond some thought and time. Yet the return on that small investment can be a lasting legacy for you and continued growth and profitability for your department and your organization.
About the author: Jerry Brennan is co-author of the book Security Careers, and content expert faculty for the Security Executive Council. He is also founder of Security Management Resources, the leading global executive search firm specializing exclusively in corporate security. The new edition of Security Careers includes more than 70 security job descriptions and career paths; up-to-date compensation trends for each position; tips on how to get the best compensation for yourself and your staff; comprehensive lists of certifications, member organizations and job resources; and resume tips and samples.