When you think of an average, “C” level Guard, the words mediocre or unmotivated might come to mind. But, C Guards should be considered an opportunity for growth and stability for your security company.
**Fair warning** There are a lot of letter references in this post.. I tried to minimize the references to "C" guards and "Type-A" personalities.. but there are still a fair amount.
When I managed my security company I was constantly trying to find ways to get the most out of my guard force. I did what I could to hire the top notch officers, but the high performers ended up costing more and leaving in 6-months to further their careers in military, law-enforcement, or other high paying industries.
So I got really good at getting the most out of the average guard, or as I called them, "C Guards".
Who Are Your “C” Guards?
Your C-Guards are the guys who are ready to show up when needed and willing to put forth the effort. They just lack, for whatever reason, the ability that a top-notch officer might have.
They might not have great writing skills, they might be forgetful, they might not look the best, and they might lack some social grace.
C Guards have good intentions, they just can’t seem to get to the A level with their peers because of forgetfulness, ability or something out of their control.
For example, some high-profile clients might want a younger, attractive security guard as opposed to a guard that's older or overweight. C guards make up in loyalty what they lack in expertise or appearance.
C Guards are valuable but might need a little more encouragement and oversight. They are not lazy employees that try to cut corners.
The longer you spend in the security industry, the more you will realize that 90% of the guard management battle comes down to getting the most out of your C Guards. And that battle starts in the hiring process.
Start with Hiring
A hiring strategy that only focuses on sourcing the top 10% of the available employees will most likely leave you short on officers. You have to hone the ability to train C and B level guards into top performing employees.
The first step is identifying potential C Guards during the hiring process. To find this untapped goldmine of employees you'll have to look past the resume in search of loyalty and dependability.
In my experience, the best, long-term employees had Type-S personalities.
Look for Type-S Personalities
A Type-S personality type, according to DISCProfile.com:
- is motivated by cooperation, opportunities to help and sincere appreciation
- prioritizes giving support and maintaining stability
- is calm, patient, predictable, deliberate, stable and consistent.
- may be limited by being indecisive, overly accommodating and tendency to avoid change
- may fear change, loss of stability and offending others.
- values loyalty, helping others and security
Type-S personalities make great officers, but they'll need some guidance, affirmation, and training as opposed to officers with a dominant personality type that wants to lead, suggest changes, and advance in the organization.
After an officer was hired, I used technology and an involved management style to build them up and increase their performance.
Effective Guard Management
Getting the most out of “C” guards doesn’t end with the standard training process. You need consistently demonstrate your commitment to them.
Give them opportunities to take on posts and responsibilities that really fit their personality and preferences.
Move them around to new sites periodically to show different parts of the company, until they find a role that works well for both parties. When you find that good fit, they'll likely stay in that position for several years.
Use Automation to Monitor Performance
Guard management software can help you decide what's required at a specific site and receive alerts if those requirements aren't met.
Not only does that help your officers understand what's expected of them, but it helps you get ahead of issues before it effects the relationship with the client.
With a guard management solution in place, you can put C guards on site and know that the job is getting done.
Reward Loyal Guards
If an officer continues to put in the effort and demonstrates readiness for more responsibility, consider a promotion to a higher-level role within the company. Demonstrating to guards that there is an opportunity for promotion encourages them to stay with the company.
Additional smaller-scale options for rewards could be providing recognition (an Employee of the Month plaque) or rewards (a gift certificate or movie ticket) for a job well done.
Related Content >> Here are 25 employee incentives that don't break the bank.
Win the guard management battle by investing in your C Guards.
C Guards can be a valuable asset and should be seen as an opportunity to build your company’s foundation of a solid guard force. To get the most out of your C Guards, consider doing these things:
- Hire officers with a Type-S personality that have a tendency to value stability and resist change.
- Make your C Guards feel like part of a team with training and communication with management.
- Maintain officer performance with the use of technology.
- Reward officers for a job well done by providing opportunities for growth and recognition.
Getting the most out of your C Guards is the key to developing a dependable workforce. A dependable workforce is a major contributor to customer retention and bottom-line growth.