Q&A with Richard Evans
Regional Vice President
Q: Can you please provide a quick snapshot of your career path at Allied Universal?
A: I joined Allied Universal as a Regional Vice President in 2013 when the company was known as Universal Protection. Previously, I worked in the retail industry where I was responsible for more than $2.5 billion in business at Target Corporation.
Q: Career aspirations?
A: I would like to continue to grow with Allied Universal and prepare members of my team to become future leaders of this company as well. The development of talent is essential to the health and growth of any organization, and I would like to have an impact on filling key positions at all levels.
Q: What is your perspective regarding diversity in the workplace?
A: The challenges that we face every day in the workplace are often overcome and solved by the workforce. When more than one person focuses on a problem or an objective, favorable results are usually more accelerated and comprehensive. It is natural to be attracted to people who think as we think, who look like we look, and who have similar backgrounds. For this reason, we have to be intentional in hiring and job placement or meeting rooms will quickly fill up with individuals who all look and think the same. The voices of many become one, and the ideas of one leader evolve into the only course of action. One path solution soon become dead ends, which cost organizations time and money due to the lack of vetting of ideas before inception.
Q: Can you please elaborate on this?
Have you ever sat in a room where intelligent people of different races, ages, abilities, religions, backgrounds, gender, and experiences attacked a problem? It is truly a thing of beauty to see ideas forged in iron tempered into steel through open discussion and input from the group. As a leader, I have a responsibility to hire the best people for the team. I also have a responsibility to incite an environment that encourages everyone on that team to use their voice to give rise to debate, solutions, and progress whenever appropriate.
Q: Why is it so important to recognize diversity in the security industry?
A: The security industry is a global business. Most business, government, and residential sectors have some form of security in today's world. Each of those sectors has a continuously growing and diverse workforce. This workforce represents all of the customers of the security industry. A diverse security workforce that mirrors our customer base can establish a foothold for overall success.
Q: How have your approached difficult situations surrounding diversity?
A: Knowledge is power, and education is the key to unlocking that power. Unfortunately, I have often found myself in rooms where no one else looked like me. In those situations, it is my responsibility to give and to receive. In those moments where conversations or agendas become immersed in the veiled, and sometimes not so veiled mindset, I listen first. Listening and understanding is my responsibility to receive, and then I explain the importance of diversity and what it truly is.
Q: Can you provide an example of when you made your direct reports feel a sense of inclusion?
A: My direct reports understand that their opinion matters because I make it mandatory for them to disclose their thoughts. Soon after the merger with AlliedBarton, I met with my entire team. During that meeting, we discussed plans for the year and expectations. I told everyone in attendance that I needed their input, and if they ever disagreed with anything that I said, they had a responsibility to discuss it with me. Inclusion comes from knowing that you are an integral part of the success of the team. When people know their opinions are important, they know that they are as well.
Q: What are the benefits of working in a diverse environment?
A: Working in a diverse environment has been proven to increase productivity, creativity, and innovation. Diverse teams provide diversified solutions and ideas that can help keep organizations at the forefront of problem-solving and product implementation. The adage that "iron sharpens iron" is true. A group of intelligent people who think differently make each other better, and it is usually a spectacular environment to work in every day as well.
Q: Outside of work, are you supporting the community? Any non-profits that promote diversity within the community?
A: I coach middle and high school football and basketball. The good news here is that sports teams tend to be diverse. Talented individuals from all walks of life come together to achieve one goal. No one cares about your background, race, socioeconomic standing, or religion on a sports team. All the team cares about is if you can do your job well and make those around you successful. What a great business model.