06/07/2004 - 22:00

Establishing job security

06/07/2004 - 22:00


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Establishing job security



Honesty, hard work and people are the driving motivations for MSA Security patrols manager Janine Dennison.

This year’s recipient of the Family Business Awards Youth Commendation, Ms Dennison believes that a philosophy of looking after staff has not only served the business well, but helped to mould her career.

Ms Dennison started working at MSA Security, which is run by her father, MSA managing director John Dennison, while completing a psychology degree at university.

She initially approached her father for part-time office work, as she wanted to improve her computer skills.

Five years later Ms Dennison holds the senior position of patrols manager, with responsibility for 300 security guards and other staff and more than 500 dedicated clients and 30,000 alarm response clients – a role she undertook at the age of 22 after working her way through the ranks.

Initially employed with MSA as an assistant to operations in 1998, Ms Dennison has also held the position of senior guards’ coordinator.

Her responsibilities in this area included rostering, coordination and supervision of 300 security officers and 70 permanent clients.

During this time her responsibilities also included the role of on-site field coordinator for a number of major special events, such as the Heineken Classic Golf Tournament, the Millennium New Year’s Eve Gloucester Park Spectacular, and the New Zealand Maori versus Australia rugby union match in 2002.

In 2002 Ms Dennison was promoted to operations executive.

At the age of 22 she became the assistant to the patrols manager. But it was a short-term role because less than six months after taking the position Ms Dennison was required to replace the patrols manager, who left the company.

 “When he left, it was a big decision to let someone so young in such a senior and strategic management role,” she said.

“It made sense as I was the next in line, but there was some concern, so they decided to put me on as acting patrol manager for three months.”

While she concedes that some of the security guards were not a receptive to the boss’s daughter taking on such a management role at such a young age, Ms Dennison believes honesty and communicating with staff had turned that perception around.

“I knew it was going to be hard. There was a lot of negativity in the field about being the boss’s daughter,” she said.

However, Ms Dennison said her training in psychology as well as her innate nature as a “people person” had taught her how to listen and how to deal with people in a range of situations.

Further, Ms Dennison said she had been afforded no favours in securing the positions she has held at MSA – having to go through the application and promotions processes for each role she has undertaken with the firm.

Ms Dennison has also undertaken additional training since joining MSA, including firearms training, and finance and management training. She also undertook electronic alarms training while studying for her psychology degree.


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