For a lot of security company owners, Monday is when you return to the office. With that comes the reality of running any company: scheduling employees, completing payroll, paying liability insurance, reviewing paperwork & reports, and so on. But security is a 24-hour a day, seven days a week kind of industry. Why would Mondays be that much tougher than any other day?
Turns out there are some good explanations for the Monday blues. Internal and external pressures make the beginning of the week a grind for company leaders. Here are some common struggles that company owners face (and some tips on how to make life a little easier).
Reviewing Weekend Reports
Most company leaders are welcomed back to the office by a stack of incident reports that need editing and processing. Paperwork can be frustrating and time-consuming under even the best circumstances. But when a company uses outdated practices, it can get so much worse.
Processing paperwork can involve multiple tedious steps. Handwritten reports need typing & spellchecking; log books full of site walk documentation needs confirmation & filing. All of this to create a report for that your client may not even read.
Handmade reports suffer from another downside — a lack of data processing power. Any data-driven analysis you want to perform will need to be manually inputted and run. That relies on accurate, honest record keeping, and will likely require considerable labor on the back-end. Plus, even the best number-cruncher might miss ways to optimize patrols or high level trends that illustrate the value your services create for a client. That makes contract retention more difficult in a competitive security market.
You may work all the time, but that’s not always the case for your clients. Monday morning is when most of your client POCs will be returning to the office. And when the weekend didn’t go well, that’s when you find out.
Mondays are especially tense for companies that don’t have effective, automated, client-side reporting in place. Say your officer leaves a daily report with the client that’s handwritten in illegible chicken scratch. Frustrated, your client calls for someone to explain what happened during the shift, only to wait on hold while you talk with another client whose daily report never got delivered. The longer that client waits to hear from you, the more your contract is at-risk.
The best way to deal with this kind of bottleneck is to prevent it. Using a security guard management system like Silvertrac helps to streamline guard shift report delivery. Reports can be assembled throughout a guard patrol or tour and set for automatic delivery once it's complete. No more hand scribbled reports slipped under a supervisor’s door.
When an officer calls out sick or no-shows on a shift, you need to make quick staffing decisions to fill the gap. Finding coverage can be especially challenging for security companies during the weekends. Often, that means assigning one of your officers to an unfamiliar property.
Effective guard training is really the only way to get peak performance out of your officers. When each supervisor is training their officers using different SOPs, miscommunication happens. This is especially true when an officer is moved to cover an unfamiliar property. Communication on sites should be airtight to prevent costly mistakes from happening.
Each officer should receive training specific to the property they will be working, plus occasional refresher trainings and updates as needed. Often, incidents occur when an officer is working a new property. Having one available digital resource for training helps get officers up to speed with unfamiliar assignments fast.
When your officers don’t perform over the weekend, Monday is when you have to make tough decisions. In many cases, supplemental training will be the best solution for your officer. That means finding time for you and your managers to conduct those trainings, of course.
Hire Fast, Fire Slow
In other cases, an officer’s behavior will warrant outright termination. Firing officers is never fun, but it’s especially unpleasant when finding new talent proves difficult.
Industry wide staffing shortages and high turnover make Mondays a drag for company owners who are constantly looking for new hires. In many parts of the country, security companies are discovering that it’s easier to win bids than it is to find qualified people to satisfy contracts. Many companies are forced to turn down jobs because officers are too scarce. This keeps margins thin and limits a growing company.
It also means that when an officer doesn’t do their job, company leadership is left with a difficult decision. Firing an employee takes on a new dimension when finding a replacement will be costly and time consuming. Many will hold onto officers with disciplinary problems to avoid facing this reality.
The only long term solution for escaping this cycle is finding high quality officers and improving retention rates.
Mondays aren’t great for anyone. But that’s especially true when you run a security company. You may have to deal with several headaches at the same time, including:
- A mountain of reports to edit and review
- Several clients who want to discuss incidents from the weekend
- A misbehaving officer that needs discipline
- New job applications in your inbox (or, worse, no applications)
Getting the edge on Monday morning isn’t easy. One solution is to use a guard management software like Silvertrac that can streamline reporting, data collection, scheduling, training, and much more.
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