Staff Retention in Security – the importance of engagement
Recruitment will be a challenge into 2022 and beyond, making staff retention more important than ever. Employee engagement can be a key retention tactic for both your staff and your customers. It’s important to begin engagement from hiring and onboarding and continue it throughout your team’s career with you.
Employee engagement should always be a top priority for a security contractor. We’ve seen engagement positively correlate to job performance and fulfilment of contract SLAs.
When those things are achieved, the odds of retention – in both employee and customer contracts – increase. While this has been a long-time challenge for guards working the frontline, whose very nature of work keeps them on premises rather than in the office, generally speaking, it’s also now becoming more and more applicable to the workforce at large. Contract management and office roles are now becoming more dispersed as the option and flexibility of remote work becomes long term. As the landscape of the workforce continues to evolve, it’s important to examine engagement as a pivotal part of business strategy.
Begin with onboarding
Whilst the current hiring climate is challenging, successful engagement begins with hiring the right candidate for an open position. Do what you can to streamline your hiring process to attract applicants, but don’t forego your core criteria for the sake of filling an opening. Employees without the right qualifications or certifications, or the desire to learn, are set up to turn over quickly – some before even beginning work. That turnover is costly, especially if you don’t stop the cycle from happening again. Make sure company mission and values are easy to find and understand, and company culture is relayed accurately so that a new hire has a clear expectation for the way things are done during their tenure.
Throughout onboarding, into the first few months of work and on a regular ongoing basis post-hire, provide feedback to staff. KPIs on your contracts are directly dependent on the work your guards and contract management staff deliver. Quality of work can only improve when direct feedback is given based on what’s going well and what isn’t. And, just as personalisation and tailoring is so important to individual contracts, personalised approaches to each staff relationship should be a primary goal.
Build engagement with active staff
From a supervisory perspective, it’s important to continually engage with employees throughout their tenure with your company to counteract dysfunctional turnover – that is, when your best employees leave. Support individual interests and skills, and shape rostered tasks and shift around them.
Understanding your workforce and supporting them in achieving a schedule of work that fits to their needs and skills goes a long way, both in terms of developing a good relationship with your guards and increasing productivity. If a guard is posted to patrol a premise or event they have familiarity, certifications or affinity for, they’re more likely to produce desired results for their business and stay on.
It’s also important to value mental health as a part of the workplace. A workplace environment that develops employees’ sense of purpose and supports them through challenging times resulting in fatigue, burnout or uncertainty, plays a massive role in protecting and building good mental health.
Make it possible, where you can, for your workforce to have more control over their work experience through shift management and scheduling flexibility. Enable guards to view available shifts so they can fill gaps or swap shifts without having to submit paperwork for manager authorisation. Provide easy-to-use tools to check how team members are feeling physically and mentally, like an employee self-service portal. Use technology to your advantage when and where it makes sense to make those check-ins more reasonable.
Employee engagement is often the first step towards achieving employee and customer satisfaction. Implement strategies early on in your employee lifecycle and revisit them often to ensure minimal turnover and strengthen retention. Your future profits will be grateful you did.
Managing Director TEAM Software