Security guarding companies in the UK has always had the issue of staff turnover. The turnover of security staff can be down to many factors such as low pay. not ideal working conditions, lack of engagement by contractor management and long hours to name a few. The pandemic and the great resignation can also be mentioned as contributing factors to security guards retraining to work in other professions.
Recent articles cite that the turnover of security guards is around 80%. That is an eye watering number. The truth is that winning new security contracts and offering security guard services is only possible when you have the best security officers to secure sites.
Security companies need to embrace the new age where security guards have more power as there are more security job vacancies than security guards in London. Security guards need to be treated as family by security companies. They need to be treated as a name and not a number, respected and recognised for their commitment to professional security standards and the security company they work for. Our three steps to create and retain the best security guard teams are to;
Create Company Culture
Establish Structure Through Expectations
Pick the Right Supervisors
If you follow these three steps to building a successful security team, you will be on your way to managing a stable security business with limited staff turnover and be able to concentrate on new security contracts as a result.
Importance of Security Company Culture
People that have their own business will call it their extended family (as they often spend more time with security colleagues than their own family. A good company culture is one of the core points to a fluid functioning security company. It all starts with a concise, meaningful and powerful mission statement.
What type of culture depends on what you want your security company to be known for? Is the security company going to project the image of strength, intelligence or an amalgamation of both. What kind of businesses have you worked for and what experiences do you remember favourably? Use your previous experiences to create the winning formula that lets your personality and leadership style shine through.
People do business with people and whilst people work for money, they work for good people and good businesses for longer as security guards will have more loyalty. They will also have the propensity to feel part of the security firm and that they have career prospects and when the security company does well so will they. As part of a good security company culture is it important to share success with the security team. Show that your security company cares and offers opportunities so that people stick around.
Set Expectations For Your Security Teams To Promote Structure
Now you have set the tone for your company culture it is much more straight forward to define the company culture and lay out how you might expect your security teams to respect that culture. These expectations need to be clearly defined through established structures in every area.
Reporting, command chains, customer interactions, and disciplinary measures for not achieving standards are a few examples.
Your supervisor team should get involved in communicating, facilitating and managing company expectations. Experienced security supervisors should be aware of what works and what doesn't. Good security supervisors opinions will aid you in making wiser choices about the application of structure. Additionally, when security supervisors participate in the planning process, they develop a sense of pride and commitment for their job.
Once you have structures in place and expectations set, make sure they are clearly and regularly communicated to the entire organization. When expectations are made clear, employees will be able to better meet them. Plus, there will be no surprises when you inevitably have to talk to an security guard about coming up short.
Pick Security Supervisors That Suit Your Style of Management
A security operation might succeed or fail depending on who is in charge. So how do you choose the best candidates for the position?
Promote Qualified Supervisor Candidates
In the contract security sector, managers frequently end up being the employees who have been there the longest or the security officers who have the greatest experience. This does not necessarily imply that the officer would make the best manager or supervisor.
Make certain that any security guard you're thinking of elevating to a supervisory role is genuinely interested in the post. Nothing is worse than a boss who doesn't want to take on extra responsibilities or feels unqualified.
Still, it's crucial to consider qualifications. No matter how much an officer wants to be a supervisor, promoting someone who lacks the skills to handle difficult situations might have a negative impact that is much worse than the positive one.
All of your company's employees should receive high-quality training, and this should be a top priority. Your security staff will see that you are prepared to invest in them if you place a strong emphasis on training. Additionally, it will increase each security guard's capacity to advance to supervisory roles in the future.
Creating Career Paths to Security Leadership
Another excellent structure to use is this one. Giving ambitious security officers a clear path to advancement and increased pay will inspire them to work more, which will ultimately be advantageous to your business.
Potential supervisor candidates will get on-the-job training by performing some of the duties associated with a leadership position after completing a predetermined number of hours on duty as a multi-site security officer.
Work with your current supervisors to talk about what skills and experience they think is necessary to be a great leader. This is one of the best ways to figure out who is most qualified to be promoted in the future.
Work with your present managers to discuss the knowledge and expertise they believe are required to be a successful leader. One of the finest ways to determine who is most qualified for a promotion in the future is to do this.
Start by developing a workplace culture that inspires employees to show up for work. Create a structure based on that culture that makes expectations apparent to everyone in your organisation at every level. Most importantly, make an investment in developing a solid supervisory security team to assist with and carry out these objectives.