Security A La Carte? Have it your way at Provident Security

mike_bigHe’ll drive you to the airport, water your plants, install a security and fire system, and if an alarm goes off, a guard will be at your house within five minutes, guaranteed.

Did it snow for the first time in two years while you were on vacation? No problem, he’ll shovel the walk so it looks like you’re home

These are the services(some, like snow removal and gardening, are a la carte) that differentiate Provident Security from its competition, said owner Mike Jagger. “The fewer people who know the house is empty, the better,” he said. “We have keys to 80 percent of our clients’ homes.”

Provident Security is a home security company located here in this urbane corner of the Northwest, Jagger started as a security guard working high school dances to make money while he was in college. That part-time job morphed first into a guard business and then into a full-service security company with close to 200 employees and, “to ensure that verification time, we needed to build our own central station,” he said.

Jagger does not release any financial data, but he’s amassed 6,000 clients in 11 years and his geographic reach is limited to the West side of Vancouver (he does monitor some of his Vancouver clients second homes).

His employees are pretty happy, too, according to the British Columbia Business Journal, where Provident was number 11 on its list of the 25 best places to work.

Provident Security is a 24-hour business and it’s not an easy job responding to other peoples’ emergencies, Jagger said, but if they’re not consistent they’ll be out of business, he said. “Someone can be paying us for five to six years and then at 2:11 p.m. on a Thursday, we have a split second to justify every penny they’ve ever spent with us,” he said. “The motivation of employees has to go beyond the paycheck, they’ve got to enjoy taking advantage of an opportunity, everyone has to recognize how important the service we provide is.”

To be considered for the list, companies in British Columbia must have at least 35 employees, and employees answer 40 to 50 questions on a Web-based survey: The surveys are made available for employers and Jagger has, in turn, given copies of Provident’s results to his employees.

The survey identifies where employees think the company is doing a good job (flexible work schedules scored well) and where improvements need to be made.

Jagger said he gave the survey to employees so there’d be “full disclosure …so we can celebrate where we’re doing a great job and also see where we didn’t do as well and where we need improvement. We need everyone to take responsibility to make this the best possible place to work,” he sad.

Published February 5, 2008 · Security Systems News · Written by Martha Entwistle

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