The Silvertrac Extra: A Blog & Podcast for the Security Guard Industry

068: Is Your Company Culture Attracting The Right Security Officers?

Oct 19, 2015 4:16:55 PM / by Chris Anderson

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Numerous scholarly studies have shown that a strong company culture translates into real financial results. All else being equal, a company that embodies a consistent and positive culture will significantly outperform one that doesn’t have the same embedded values.

This is especially true for a company in the security industry, where your employees are such a critical part of your success. As we talked about in our eBook “Why Do Good Security Officers Quit?”, defining and establishing your company culture plays a big role in attracting and retaining top-quality guards.

What Is Company Culture? 

Company culture can be hard term to pin down, but at its essence it’s about defining and embodying a set of values. Whether you see innovation, customer service, social responsibility, or any variety of other characteristics as the driving values behind your company, it’s important that all your employees understand and care about those values as well.

“If your company culture is strong… then I (as an employee) will turn around and act to your customers and to people out in the public on behalf of your company. I’ll be an extension of your company,” said Johnny on today’s episode.

This is opposed to companies with a weak culture, where the employees tend to be just looking out for themselves. In the security industry, where accountability is so important and you need to be able to trust your officers, having employees that will embody your values becomes critical.

Why It’s So Important

The quality of your culture plays a big role both in the quality of officers you attract and in your ability to retain your best employees. For instance, imagine an officer coming in for an interview, and the first person he or she deals with is a receptionist that is rude, lazy, and sloppily dressed.

If the officer is a quality guard with other options, they’re probably going to go with another company that meets their own standards. Who’s left for you to hire? The ones that don’t care about quality and probably don’t have any other options.

Even then, the officers that you do get will probably end up leaving again the first chance they get. We hear companies saying they don’t invest in their corporate culture because so many guards are gone within 90 days. We always ask, is that really the case, or are they leaving because you’re not spending the time and effort to establish your values and make them feel like an important part of the organization? 

The numbers again show the importance of culture. A company with a poor culture tends to experience up to three times as much turnover as one with a rich culture. Companies that try to cut costs by skimping on training, uniforms, etc. could actually save money by investing more in their employees and reducing turnover.

Tips For Establishing A Quality Culture 

One of the biggest things owners can do to create their corporate culture is make sure to get the little things right. An important and underrated aspect for security companies are the guard uniforms.

Not only do these uniforms project your image to the public, the guards themselves will be impacted by what they wear. Send someone out onto the site in a wrinkled, ugly uniform, and you’re implicitly sending the message that their role isn’t all that important. Especially with so many guards coming from a law enforcement or military background, where uniforms send such a strong message, it’s important to get this right.

Beyond that, it’s all about getting the right management team in place. As your company grows and you bring in more guards, it’s tough to influence everyone on your own. You have to be able to rely on managers and supervisors to embody your company’s values, treat officers with respect, and get everyone to buy in to your mission.

We can’t overstate how important this is. I told a story on a previous episode about a company that had a major issue with a supervisor. He communicated poorly with officers, punished those who complained with bad schedules, and created an overall environment of fear. Officers kept quitting and performance was so bad that clients started to complain.

That’s the impact just one bad supervisor can have. That’s why you should take your time on making management hires and have a thorough process to find candidates that will fit your culture. We have some creative ways companies can vet potential managers to avoid hirers remorse. 

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Topics: Security Guard Management, Human Resources

Chris Anderson

Written by Chris Anderson

Chris is the Founder of Silvertrac Software and has been working in the security industry for more than 25 years. He enjoys working with our clients everyday to help them grow their businesses and really enjoy what they are doing.

Chris currently lives and works in Seal Beach, CA.

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