When providing security services to a client, few items are more important than the security guard daily activity report.

After all, your clients aren’t going to be in the building at all hours to observe your guards as they perform their rounds – your clients don’t want that, and your team certainly doesn’t want to have clients interfering with their work. As such, these daily reports are one of the best ways to remain accountable to your clients and prove the worth of your team.

Of course, not all security guard daily activity reports are created equal. While modern software options can help automate and simplify much of the reporting process, there are still a few key things you can do to perfect your guards’ activity reports and ensure that you provide valuable information to your clients.

1. Consistent Activity Input

Clients value accountability, and as such, it is essential that guards show that they are consistently active throughout the duration of their shift. Even if there are no major incidents to report, inputting normal observations (accompanied by a timestamp) shows the client that your team is actively patrolling and ready to act should an incident occur.

2. Include Photos or Videos

The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” is especially relevant to a security guard daily activity report. Digital reporting software makes it easy to add photos to reports so clients can quickly assess an incident and provide further instructions when necessary. Live video capture can also be especially helpful during a serious incident. Of course, there’s no need to inundate a client with photos, either. Photos or videos should be added to a security daily activity report when it will be useful to the client — such as when an unauthorized vehicle is parked in the employee parking lot. Any photos or videos included in a guard’s report should include a timestamp and description.

3. Descriptive, But Simple Reporting

Sometimes, guards may struggle to find the right balance in providing enough description regarding their shift activities. It is important to remind your guards that while clients want a thorough report of all observations made during a shift, they also want to be able to quickly read any important information. Descriptions of the patrol should be concise by avoiding flowery language or unnecessary adjectives, but they should also include the who, what, when, and where for all activities. These descriptions should only include the facts — opinions and speculation are not helpful to the client.

4. Avoid Jargon

Similar to the previous point, guards would do well to avoid 10-codes and other jargon that would be difficult for a client to understand. While certain codes and abbreviations are suitable for communications between security team members, many civilian clients have trouble understanding what these terms mean. Avoiding jargon will reduce the risk of clients becoming frustrated with your team’s reporting.

5. Easy Navigation

Clients won’t always have time to read a complete report — quite often, busy clients will only wish to scan through an activity report for items of interest, or simply to ensure that your team is doing its job. Separating distinct activities (such as escorting an employee or turning off lights) with different entries and timestamps will make it easier for clients to scan this information. Consider conferring with each client to determine color codes or keywords that can be used to further simplify this process.

By following the above reporting techniques, your guards can become more efficient in their reporting as they provide useful, easy-to-read information to your clients. Not only will this provide a satisfactory accounting of your team’s work; it will also increase client satisfaction as you send reliable, usable information.