At my place of employment we have recently been discussing our access card policy. We have different access cards for guests and employees, and anyone not wearing an access card is assumed to be an enemy combatant.

What we are struggling with is what we shall tell the employees to do when they find someone without a (visible) access card inside our company's premises. As I see it there are three alternatives of things to tell them:

  1. Challenge the stranger about the lack of access card (and escort them to the reception).
  2. Do not challenge them, but report them to the reception.
  3. Do nothing.

Are there any studies, best practices, guidelines or similar that offer any advice on which scenario is the optimal one to teach the employees? I'm assuming that #1 is the theoretically optimal one since it takes immediate action and prevents potential further damage, but that it is also the most difficult one to implement since making people confront strangers is difficult to train, and offer a lot of risk for little reward.

  • there's a 4th option: ask the stranger politely
    – schroeder
    Oct 12, 2016 at 19:11
  • how easy is it for unauthorised people to gain access to your premises?
    – schroeder
    Oct 12, 2016 at 19:14
  • 1
    @schroeder It is allowed to challenge people politely. :) Getting access should be difficult, but probably not impossible. Oct 12, 2016 at 19:21
  • If it is difficult, then a more forceful challenge makes sense. I think the advice will depend on a number of factors specific to each organisation.
    – schroeder
    Oct 12, 2016 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


Not sure if there are any best practices, but here are some tips.

  • First of all, your top level managers should always be wearing one, and if not, accept to be confronted by their staff. They should actively encourage people to do so.
  • When you find someone unknown in the building without access card, ask them politely that they seem lost and you want to help. Then ask who they are with and escort them to your colleague. Then also inform your colleague about getting a visitor badge for their guest.
  • When you find someone known (as in a colleague), say they need to wear their badges. If they refuse, inform his or her manager about the situation. And again, management should encourage the wearing of the badges.
  • Sounds lame, but make wearing one part of the ongoing HR-process for KPI and performance of employees.

But start with the people first. What culture is your company? Is it open and transparent, or is it more hierarchical or more like a flat company in which people organize themselves? And then start from there on.

  • 1
    For point #2, you should escort them to the reception area or another place that it's acceptable to be without a badge. Anything else invites social-engineering attacks.
    – Mark
    Oct 12, 2016 at 20:02
  • @Mark I agree, especially in the cases when a they are wondering around by themselves.
    – user120967
    Oct 24, 2016 at 19:04

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .