High turnover rates, low personnel retention, and employee engagement have always been a challenge for security firms and corporate security departments. According to the Bureau of National Affairs, $11 billion is lost annually due to overall employee turnover (not just in the security industry). However, the connection between employee engagement and high turnover rates has been well researched, surveyed, and documented. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability, and organizations with high employee engagement outperform those with low employee engagement by 202%.
Security officer turnover rates reach as high as 400% in the physical security industry. Without a doubt, security companies need to offer competitive wages to reduce churn. Here are a few other tips to help reduce turnover rates, increase engagement, and retain your best security officers.
TrackTik’s Top Ten Tips for Retaining Good Security Officers
- Increase wages
Offering competitive wages to your security officers is critical. High turnover is often the result of low wages and few hours. According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, the average yearly wage for a security officer was $31,050 in May 2020, which makes living on a one-income salary difficult in most U.S. cities. If increasing wages isn’t a possibility, consider increasing the benefits to which your security officers are entitled. Consider offering financial wellness packages that allow officers to access a portion of their wages before payday with an app like Rain.
- Equip them with tools that empower them to reach their full potential
If you want to retain your security officers, you need to set them up for success. Start by providing your officers with the tools and technology they need to perform their jobs effectively. Implement a solid guard tour system that your security officers can access via their mobile devices. Checkpoint tours are a smart way to keep boredom at bay while ensuring your officers are performing their duties. A security workforce management solution allows officers to log an incident, display a message, open a report form, capture images, and video, ask questions, or trigger an incident alert at every checkpoint.
- Offer wellbeing and mental health support
It’s essential to invest in your security officers’ physical and mental health by providing them access to the mental health and well-being services they may need. The companies that know where to invest their time, energy, and resources and communicate that to their clients will stand out as they embrace future challenges.
- Provide ongoing training and support
Prepare your security officers for real-life scenarios by delivering practical, interactive training. Make sure the training is engaging, interesting, and relevant to the duties expected of your officers. Consider outsourcing training with a company dedicated to providing customized security officer training like Defencify.
- Listen to your officers
Take an interest in your security officers. Ask them about their everyday lives, their families, and the activities they pursue outside of work. Take note of their birthdays. Small gestures, even a simple “Hello, how are you? How’s the family?” goes a long way towards making your officers feel appreciated and respected.
- Offer incentives and opportunities for advancement
Recognize the contributions of your security officers by increasing their wages periodically or regularly. Reward them when they’ve effectively completed their tasks and tours or gone that extra mile for a client. Identify the officers that stand out in the team and consider giving them more responsibility with a promotion to team lead. Host office parties and include team-building activities and games. Use gift cards as incentives or offer paid days off.
- Ensure schedules meet your security officers’ expectations and family obligations
Unchecked scheduling and attendance problems can lead to a lot of manual work to fill vacant shifts and no-shows, distracting you from value-added tasks. Worse still, it may lead to errors such as a mismatch between resource allocation and client requirements and unnecessary overtime spending. Regular no-call no-shows may also be a symptom of a wider malaise among your personnel or a structural problem in your operations. To retain your security officers, offer them shifts that suit their lifestyle and family obligations.
- Create a strong culture
77% of employees agree a strong culture allows them to do their best work, 76% see the impact in productivity and efficiency. Another 74% draw a correlation between culture and their ability to serve their customer base. Build a culture in which your security officers feel valued and appreciated. Schedule regular meetings with managers and supervisors and encourage managers and supervisors to do the same. Actively work to stay engaged with your teams by sponsoring everything from game nights to karaoke sing-alongs. Encourage officers to check in with each other to ensure that everyone in the company is engaged and actively contributing to the culture.
- Determine your security officers’ long-term goals
Identify the security officers who may want to move into more supervisory or leadership roles. Make sure your officers don’t get bored with their duties, or they will start looking for new opportunities. Create paths for promotion or plans to move them into new positions. Take a page from Pablo Rosa Jr., who transitioned from security officer to founder of the Rosa International Group – a security company that provides services within the retail, hospitality, and multi-tenant property sectors.
- Provide strong leadership
Great leaders know that creating a culture of engagement starts at the top. They prioritize engagement as a competitive advantage and a point of differentiation. They communicate with their managers regularly, openly, and consistently. They also rely on the right metrics and hire and mentor great managers.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
The security industry is notorious for high turnover, and recruitment is ongoing. As a security manager, it’s traditionally been difficult to walk the line between tight margins and keep your best resources. But with today’s technology, it has become easier to create an environment that favors retention.
With actual scheduling data driving your payroll preparation, you can use this payroll-ready data to run accurate, regular payroll that positions you as a responsible and reliable employer. Equally, by limiting overtime, you can make progress on distributing your shifts more evenly, therefore keeping more of your people happy.
Finally, tracking and analyzing operational data can help you recognize and reward high-performing individuals on your books and incentivize fidelity in ways that make sense for your business model.
TrackTik was founded in 2013 and quickly established itself as a market leader with the mission to build better software so its clients can run smarter businesses. TrackTik’s cloud-based technology enables security organizations to connect frontline staff, back office management, and their clients to drive improved operational efficiency and data insights. TrackTik helps security professionals make automated, data-driven decisions with its seamless approach to system connectivity. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with offices in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, TrackTik offers four integrated suites of tools – Security Operations for Guarding, Back Office Management, Mobile Patrol and Dispatch, and Business Intelligence & Reporting Analytics, to help security service companies follow the progression of guards, reduce manual tasks, lower costs, and demonstrate value.