Welcome to Part 4 of our six-part series on managing supervisors in the security guard industry. We’ve been narrowing our focus each episode, going from very broad ideas down to the nitty-gritty details of building and managing a quality team.
- Part 1 focused on the gap between owners and supervisors and the need to establish a dependable team of supervisors who are committed to the company.
- Part 2 focused on bridging that gap, getting your supervisors to buy into your vision for the company.
- Part 3 covered the need for processes to help supervisors understand how to implement that vision and know what’s expected of them.
On today’s episode, we go one step further with advice on how companies can measure the performance of their supervisors. Having a good process is important, but it’s no good if you don’t have the tools in place to measure whether or not your supervisors are following those processes and creating value for your company.
What Tasks Should You Be Measuring?
There’s a tendency to be measuring supervisors based off account retention, but that’s a limiting and backward-looking metric. First of all, you want your supervisors to be actively helping your business, delivering great service that generates referrals and connections.
Also, once you start losing business it’s too late. You don’t want to be playing defense, trying to recover and salvage things after customers have already gotten frustrated and started leaving. You want to be discovering issues ahead of time so you can address them and make the necessary changes before it becomes a problem for the customer.
A lot of that comes down to making sure that supervisors are instilling the right qualities in their officers. You want to be checking with the officers for issues such as:
TrainingHave your supervisors done a good job of teaching the officers about the requirements of the site and training them to react properly to different situations?
UniformsAre supervisors maintaining the proper standards of professionalism at each site, ensuring that officers are always wearing proper uniforms that are in good condition?
Customer ServiceHave your supervisors created a culture of excellent customer service on site? Review customer feedback to make sure that both the supervisor and the officers are interacting in a professional and helpful manner with customers.
Those are all important tasks, but there’s one overriding function that you need to make sure your supervisors are diligently carrying out.
Too often, supervisors treat post inspections as a chance to just hang out for a moment with their favorite officer, drink a Coke, and shoot the breeze. They think the inspection is just about making sure the officers are at their posts, when it can really accomplish so much more than that.
Supervisors should be walking the site with their officers, asking questions about potential issues, making sure everyone understands their role, and getting feedback from the officers about things that can be improved. The amount of information they bring back to you will give you a good indication as to whether or not they’re really making an effort on these inspections.
“I had a weekly meeting, so when I brought everybody in, if they didn’t have a book full of what ifs, questions, answers, or problems, I knew exactly what they were doing in the week,” I told Johnny.
You also want to make sure supervisors are hitting every single site so that no location gets neglected and has issues crop up without being addressed.
Help Your Supervisors Out
As important as it is to measure your supervisors’ performance, you also have to make sure you’re not doing anything that causes them to fail. There are a couple of big mistakes owners make that sets their supervisors up for failure.
First, avoid using your supervisors as stopgaps to fill in when officers don’t show up to work. Sometimes its necessary, but whenever your supervisor is on site being an officer they’re not able to fulfill their supervisor role, and it means they won’t have enough time to carry out all their tasks.
Also, make sure the supervisor doesn’t have to spend all their time handling poor performing officers. That means having a good hiring process to attract quality employees, good orientation training, and making sure all officers have the necessary equipment.
If you put your supervisors in a position to succeed, establish clear processes and expectations, and then take the steps to measure their performance and ensure they meet those expectations, they can become a major asset to your company.