Officers are the cornerstone of every good security program,
so it’s vital to hire and retain the best officers. This can be a challenge
because the private security industry is notorious for high turnover.
High turnover results in increased cost. Administrative expenses, for both the client and the security company, are higher because ongoing officer training and recruitment are needed. Even worse, it has a negative impact on the effectiveness of the security program.
It can take months for a security officer to become adept and fully proficient at site-specific duties. Constant officer turnover results in new or inexperienced officers. These officers, who are unfamiliar with the site, may be less capable of detecting unusual activity. Lack of familiarity and training can hinder their decision-making ability.
For these reasons, I think it is important to share with you some of the strategies GSI has implemented to hire and retain high-quality officers.
of retaining quality guards
The national annual turnover rate for security guards is
estimated to be between 100% – 300% percent, according to the Service Employees
International Union, the nation’s largest private security officers’ union.
That means that most guards leave a job within a year, and sometimes within
Some of the top reasons for turnover are:
No opportunities for advancement
Lack of feedback/recognition/reward
Lack of leadership/Ineffective supervision
Not enough hours
Lack of training
Lack of job security
Lack of benefits
Lack of respect
GSI has been able to address many of these concerns and
lower officer turnover by focusing on 3 key areas:
Hiring and recruiting
Officer training and support
retention starts during the hiring process
Finding quality candidates is a challenge in today’s job
market. However, that doesn’t mean that we should take shortcuts. Finding the right person for the job is
essential to long term success.
Our hiring process begins with group conferences that help
applicants understand our commitment to our clients along with the expectations
and advantages of working for Guard-Systems Inc.
Applicants are then guided through the application process
where we explain our screening process and how all background investigations
These investigations include but are not limited to:
Tier Local, State and Federal Criminal Background Checks
and Identity Check
Record Background Check
Questionnaire that we closely examine includes inquiries into: employee
background, employment history, integrity, personal reliability, and work
Tier Local, State and Federal Criminal Background Checks – by our Human
After these checks are successfully completed applicants are
then scheduled for a series of interviews. In order to identify the best
possible fit for every prospective candidate, each is scheduled to meet with
our Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Client Services Manager and
This does require a lot of effort and involvement from upper
management, but it also addresses many common concerns:
understand the importance of their job
schedules meet their expectations
become familiar with leadership and understand we are here to support them
are educated on the growth of the company and the opportunity for advancement
training and support is a must
For potential security officers, successfully completing the
interviewing process is just the first step.
From there, applicants begin an even more rigorous training
program. Prior to the onset of training, we meet with our candidates to
thoroughly discuss expectations. Especially our customers’ expectations.
Once the training begins, candidates can expect to complete mandatory classroom training. In addition, GSI requires a series of on-site training courses.
The curriculum is customized according to the needs of each individual client. Training features scenario-based interactions and videos that are in accordance with the officer’s day-to-day responsibilities. Security issues literally ripped from the headlines are also thoroughly reviewed. After successfully completing the training program, testing is conducted on comprehension and retention.
Once security officers are matched with a client, based on mutual goals, the on-going field support from Branch Management, Operations, Administration and Customer Service begins. Through GSI site visits, reporting, constant contact and feedback, we’re able to give our security staff the appropriate coverage and follow-up they need to be successful.
The safety of our customers is priority one to GSI security
officers. We give our officers the support they need to focus completely on
keeping our customers’ property, belongings and guests safe.
Of course, diligence is required, but the benefits outweigh the
cost. Through our training and support, we are able to address several of the reasons
for officer turnover.
forget about corporate culture
The culture we promote at GSI also helps us to retain
quality officers. Everything we do is focused around exceeding our clients’
expectations. That is not an easy task. However, we have found that when our
officers are cared for and feel appreciated, issues are often avoided.
We ensure that we recognize the concerns of our officers by keeping management accessible to officers when needed. We also want to ensure that the efforts of our officers are recognized. We do this in a number of ways.
It could be as simple as returning a call or letting an officer know he or she is appreciated. A simple, “good job!” can go a long way. More formal methods include awards, accolades and opportunities for advancement.
This culture of appreciation, gratitude and recognition is
designed to keep officers engaged. An
“engaged employee” is one who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic
about their work and as a result, takes positive action to further the
organization’s reputation and interests.
A Gallup study found that companies with higher employee
engagement enjoyed 50% higher levels of productivity, 13% less employee
turnover, 44% higher profits and 50% higher customer satisfaction than
companies that measured in the bottom 25% of employee engagement.
That makes a pretty strong business case. Besides, we feel that showing appreciation and recognizing the efforts of our officers is just the right thing to do. It makes perfect sense from both a personal and business perspective.
Teamwork is still required
Clients often feel that reducing officer turnover is the security
company’s sole responsibility. However, teamwork is needed. Clients must also
be willing to implement the steps needed to improve officer retention. By
working closely with our clients, policies and procedures can be implemented
that protect the integrity of the security program, the officers and our
There is always work that can be done to improve officer retention. It requires constant effort and continual improvement. By focusing on the three areas of 1. hiring, 2. training & support and 3. our corporate culture, I am proud to say that GSI does better than most when it comes to retaining quality officers.
https://guardsystemsinc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Reduce-security-officer-turnover.png6281200GSI/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Guard-SystemsLogo.pngGSI2019-02-12 20:26:052019-02-21 11:36:45How to Effectively Reduce Security Officer Turnover
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We look to take care of issues before they become problems. Our proactive management approach enables us to meet the customer's needs in a consistent and responsive manner so issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.
Want to join the Guard-Systems, Inc. family? We offer above industry incentives and benefits to all employees. Plus, we have an in-house program to provide training and guard cards for qualified candidates.