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Rus Slater

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covered in training or recruited for?


As a memebr of the public I have noticed a behavioural trait in a particular employee group and wondered if anyone can tell me whether this is a learned trait via L&D interventions or a "competence" that is sought out at recruitment interview stage.

The employment group: People who drive and ride "shotgun" in armoured cash delivery vehicles

The behavioural trait: Complete and total disrespect for other road users, the environment and the law

The indicators: a) "parking" wherever they want; blocking the road, boxing in parked vehicles, blocking the pavement, blocking crossings. b) jettisoning unwanted cigarette butts, sandwick wrappers, drink cans, tabloid papers out of the window whilst driving along the road

(I appreciate that these people have a responsibility to maintain unpredictable activity to genuinely foil armed raiders)

Can anyone answer this conundrum?

5 Responses

  1. Traits and Learning

    Hi Rus

    I like your question as it highlights an interesting dilemma in recruitment: to hire people with the appropriate personality traits for a job, without those very same traits being their biggest irritation. I suspect in the case you have outlined that their irritating behaviour is mostly a result of their ongoing traits but also encouraged by the learning interventions they have received. The role would require people who are assertive, resilient and willing to be confrontational with criminals. To have these traits may well be an indication of the deeper psychological trait of low ‘Agreeableness’ (one of the ‘Big 5’ personality domains). When they start the job, they would be trained to deal with difficult situations and learn how to handle challenging people, so their preferred behaviours are further encouraged. Perhaps they need further training to help them to learn when to curb the disagreeable behaviour – even though this goes against their nature.


  2. Statutory Security training

    All people working in the security industry have to undergo a mandatory training syllabus and pass numerous exams before they can apply for their licence.

    They are trained in the basics of working in the security industry, the specifics of their chosen field (eg. security guarding or door supervision etc), managing conflict and then for the relevent fields, they also now have to do a module on Physical Intervention (disengagement and holding).

    Part of every person’s training includes customer care as a vital part of professionalism and managing conflict.

    However, as in all fields, there are those who have the attitude that if I’m wearing a uniform/have a badge – I can do what I want.

    This seems more like ‘White van man’ syndrome than anything else!  🙂


  3. professional drivers

    I worked in the logistics industry for a number of years training drivers – not the same drivers you refer to but similar. They had tight deadlines and delivery targets to work to and sometimes took shortcuts, but we emphasised in their inductions and other training how they were the face of the company, the visible embassadors, and what they did reflected on the brand.

    I would say that responsible companies like this are aware of the impact of such behaviour, and that if a complaint were received they were regularly taken quite seriously.

    Generally these guys (and girls!) were solid employees who wanted to do a good job, and those that weren’t up to it didn’t last long, but it does depend on the culture of the organisation! Don’t tar them all with the same brush!

  4. I appreciate the comments……..

    …I suppose it raises a couple of philosophical questions though; who is the customer?~ "I fill up the cash point at CMCumming bank….if I box in some bloke parked outside he isn’t my customer is he?"~ "Yeah, I’ve got a schedule to maintain, I haven’t got time to put my litter in a bin, I’ll just chuck it out of the window instead"


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Rus Slater


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