By Abubakar Yusuf .S
Security is any activity involve in the protection of a country, building property a person or organization from an attack or danger.
Protection in this contest includes prevention, response to pre-emptive attack and measures taken to prevent spying, attack, theft and vandalism.
Museum security comprises of all actions of management of the museum that ensure the safety of its collections. Most of these management functions are performed by human trained security personnel- Antiquity Protection Officers (APOs).
Why the need to motivate antiquity protection officers?
Apart from climatic fluctuations and nature of cultural objects that lead to their decay and deterioration, insecurity has been a major challenge facing museums everywhere, therefore the need to motivate the gallant personnel charged with such a huge responsibility cannot be over emphasized.
What is motivation? Is an incentive or reason for doing something, the importance of motivation in any organization and job satisfaction is vital for the achievement of organizational goal. The consequences of organization like the National Commission for Museums and Monuments operating without any purpose of motivation towards its security personnel. This can be catastrophic, such as depression, lackadaisical attitude towards the job, which can derail its success. From the foregoing, it is obvious that for the commission to make security personnel a valuable asset, motivation should be given a priority.
Suggested ways to keep antiquity protection officers motivated
Know your officers: One of the major ways to keep the Antiquity Protection Officers motivated is to get known to them closely. You need to give attention and keep a closer relationship with them so that they can be real appreciated and cared for. If you know your personnel and their personality tracts, you will be able to assign them the right job as per their aptitude.
Give them the right tools: For the job of security personnel is not as easy one, especially if they don’t have modern tools and gadgets. Not being able to cope up with situation due to lack of tools, demoralizes them badly. Management can keep their motivation level high by providing and familiarizing them with modern-day technology. In this way, they will feel equipped, enhanced and motivated they know that when they have been invested in to perform at their best and not to exhibit any kind of laziness or show negligence.
Appreciate their effort: Showing appreciations can give a long way. It is not only needed when the officers have engaged a criminal and avoided a possible robbery or theft.
Proper training sessions for skills enhancement: Another way to motivate these gallant men and women is to make sure that their skills are enhanced through trainings. They should never feel like their skills have come to a halt. Their learning should be a dynamic and continuous process that never stops. It will not only make them more capable but also will give incentives and reasons to work more and well.
They must be compensated accordingly: At the end of the days money matters. Every employee basically works for money. If you want to keep your security personnel motivated for the long run, they must be compensated appropriately payment of overtime, cash awards on doing something heroic or carrying out a specific job on duty e.t.c. can really increase their motivation.
Considering the fact that about 80% of the present staff of Antiquity Protection Unit do not have security background in terms of educational qualification or practical experience, there is every need for continuous training in terms of seminars, workshops and acquisition of relevant educational qualifications.
Museum security should be reintroduced into the curriculum of the institute of Archaeology and Museum Studies, Jos.
Virtually all the out-stations are under staffs in term of APOs. Therefore, more personnel should be employed.
The findings of this work indicate that Antiquity Protection Officers play pivotal roles in the safety of our priceless collections. Therefore, it is imperative for the management of National Commission for Museums and Monuments to use every available resource at its disposal to keep the gallant officers in high spirit.
Yusuf write this piece from National Museum Owo
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