Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
December 23rd, 2021
Author: Lizzi Goldmeier

How to Manage Staff More Effectively with Video Business Intelligence

Staff managers where many hats; they are responsible for ensuring the safety and well-being of their employees, optimizing productivity, investigating workplace claims, and mitigating risks and costs such as worker compensation claims. To aid in achieving these goals, managers need to leverage video surveillance to understand employee engagement and staffing requirements, optimize the workspace to prevent incidents, and effectively investigate injury or harassment claims. Video content analysis software aggregates video data over time to provide business intelligence that helps managers understand trends, make decisions and develop strategies and contingency plans. Using the technology can help businesses gain a competitive advantage and plan strategically for the future, based on quantitative trend data.

Intelligently Deploy Staff based on Traffic Insights

Video analysis and alerting can be used to uncover traffic insights, which in turn help managers deploy their staff appropriately. By using video surveillance alongside analysis and alerting, staff managers can visualize traffic patterns and volumes in heatmaps and dashboard reports to accurately identify peak and off-peak pedestrian and vehicle traffic times and schedule staff based on actionable data.

Count-based alerts enable managers to define rules and trigger alerts for a predefined period of time when a specified number of objects or a concurrent number of objects are detected. They can also configure real-time alerts to notify when a crowd or queue is forming, to proactively deploy staff to alleviate bottlenecks or service delays. When a threshold number of people within the area of the dressing room or checkout is crossed, an alert can be triggered for an operator to assess the problem and mobilize store associates. Aggregated intelligence shows where, when, and how long customers stand in particular areas, so a manager can strategically plan sufficient staffing and key signage to prevent queues and crowding.

For instance, retail managers can enable an alert to tell them when a customer has been waiting at a check-out counter for longer than one minute or if more than three customers are waiting in line at a time. This information could help them to better disperse staff throughout the store to solve the issue in the moment. By using video analytics to uncover trends and patterns throughout the shop, retailers can ensure that employees are distributed and interacting where they are needed most.

Over time, management can study trends such as, check-out wait times are slowest on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and therefore proactively build their staffing schedules accordingly. Understanding these trends not only helps better serve customers, but helps the store reduce labor costs when appropriate.

Proactively Identify Misconduct with Real-time Alerts

To improve workplace safety and proactively monitor safe habits and behaviors, managers can configure rule-based, real-time alerts to notify them of certain conditions that indicate a workplace mandate is being violated. For example, video analysis technology can be used to trigger alerts when a person is detected in a pre-defined area without proper personal protective equipment, like a hard hat or a face mask.

Managers can leverage the system to monitor occupancy throughout a building or a certain area and trigger an alert if a pre-set occupancy threshold has been exceeded, to ensure worker safety. This feature could be useful in ensuring that employees are following pandemic-related occupancy protocols, adhering to safety standards like how many people can be on a loading dock at one time, and more. Video analysis and alerting can be used to help managers track employee movements throughout the facility, detecting employees based on their uniforms or face recognition, matching associates against the employee database. By examining this data, a manager can understand whether these violations are isolated incidents or frequent issues that need remedying.

To prevent theft or accidents, video surveillance can be configured to alert when people are detected in an area that is normally off-limits. One activity for which alerts can be configured is illumination changes: When lights are turned on during off-hours – coupled with the detection of people at unusual times – can indicate potential misconduct or criminal behavior. Through real-time alerts, appropriate security decision-making and immediate responses can be triggered. Additionally, managers can create a watchlist of images of approved, recognized employees for triggering notifications when non-authorized personnel is detected attempting to enter the area.

Rapidly Investigate Workplace Incident Claims

In addition to ensuring quality customer service, managers are also tasked with their employees’ wellbeing while they are on the job, and that includes navigating through incidents such as harassment claims or workplace accidents. Video surveillance coupled with analytic software can aid managers in quickly investigating staff incidents by searching through relevant video footage with precision and speed.

Rapid forensic review of post-incident footage can help managers validate claims or clear false claims, reduce litigation, and understand incidents post-event. For example, video data and analytics can be used to detect proximity between people, which can help a manager investigate whether an employee under investigation for harassment was ever in close proximity to the claimant. Or the same technology could be applied to post-incident footage while investigating a workplace injury claim. Video analysis could uncover whether the incident occurred as described by the employee and could even be helpful in determining improved safety procedures to prevent future incidents.