You’ve been given the keys to the palace, which speaks to the trust your boss has in you as a manager, but can you actually keep your keys organized and secure? Here are just a few of the most common mistakes made by managers when they’re entrusted with the keys to the office.
1. Giving Away Too Many Keys
If you supervise a busy, bustling staff, you might be tempted to distribute keys to multiple team members so that you aren’t the one who has to drop everything when someone needs something unlocked.
Resist this urge. You open yourself up to professional liability with every key that you hand out. What’s more, you can never be sure that your employees aren’t making copies of their copies. Sometimes it’s for fraudulent activity; sometimes it’s for personal convenience; either way, you don’t want that many copies of your office keys floating around.
2. Not Retrieving Keys During the Termination Process
Firing employees is never easy, but if you aren’t re-collecting the keys you’ve given them once the termination process is complete, the situation can go from unpleasant to downright disastrous. It goes back to the idea of not having multiple copies of your keys in the wild, especially when they’re in the hands of a disgruntled employee who has no more reason to be loyal to you. If you can’t get your keys back, change whatever locks the employee has access to just to be safe.
3. Not Changing Locks
Speaking of locks, changing them should be a semi-regular activity for you. It’s good security. Not only will it limit access to protected places since only new, up-to-date keys fit inside, but it will also ensure that your old locks aren’t compromising security because they’re worn out or whittled down. Depending on their age, material and construction, locks that have been in use for a while can erode and loose their efficacy. They can also incur damage to their cylinders and pin tumblers. All things considered, it’s just common sense to change your locks after a while.
4. Not Seeking Out More Secure and Updated Options
There are many options on the market besides just a simple unsecured mechanical key system. If you wanted to go all out, you could have a full access control system installed, however these are typically more expensive seeing that wires need to be run to each door. There are much more cost effective, simple electronic locks in which the power is actually in the key itself. You are able to program each key to access only the doors you want that employee to have entry to as well as set certain times that the key will be able to work a door. This means that the key is not active after hours or on that employees off days. Also, the very second that you terminate an employee, you can shut the key off, taking their full access away immediately. The best part of a system like this is that every single time that key touches a door cylinder, an internal audit happens. You can see which employee opened or tried to open which door at what time. One of our favorite brands for this is Medeco. A local locksmith who is a Medeco certified dealer can help you install the system as well as educate you on the simplistic software that controls the access. Once you install a system like this, you never have to worry about re-keying the locks again!
5. Breaking Keys (If You Stick With a Mechanical Key System)
You put the key inside the lock. You try to turn it. Suddenly, you hear an awful grinding sound and the key feels lighter in your hand. You’ve just broken it, and it’s the fourth time this month.
There are many reasons why you might be a habitual key breaker, and only some of them can be blamed on you. For example, while it’s entirely your fault if you’re jamming keys inside locks with the force of a hurricane, it’s notyour fault if the key has been in use for many years and finally cracks because of stress. This is a common and natural occurrence that only careful handling can fix, so if you’re a manager with a key-breaking problem, it’s time to get gentle. Also having a locksmith help maintain your lock if it becomes “sticky” or difficult to turn can save you from the pain of having to deal with broken keys.
These are just a few of the most common mishaps that managers create with their keys. If you’ve been guilty of any, try not to beat yourself up over it; managers are only human, and humans make mistakes. The most important thing is that you learn from your failures and fix your bad habits. That’s what being a manager is really about.