In the security services industry, it is common knowledge that security guards' rates of no-call, no-show incidents are far higher than in most other lines of work, especially given the difficulties many have in recruiting good guards. This problem is no minor inconvenience, but constitutes a threat to the morale and efficiency of your entire company.
Below, we address 7 common causes for security guard no-shows, aside from instances of genuine emergencies where calling in was impossible:
1. Poor Communication Concerning Availability
In some cases, companies may not have a streamlined system in place whereby guards request time off or indicate a lack of availability ahead of time. Guards may say something to their immediate supervisor, but their request may never get answered or a verbal approval may not always translate into an actual scheduling change.
2. Lack of Understanding of Company Policies
A no-show may also occur because new hires were not properly orientated to company policy in regards to asking for time off or scheduling changes. There should also be periodic review of the rules with existing employees and an organized way of indicating rule changes. Guards should understand what to do if a last-minute sickness should strike, know who is responsible for finding a replacement, and be fully aware of the consequences of a no-show.
3. Inconsistent Enforcement of the Rules
Rules concerning no-shows must be enforced consistently to be taken seriously, and to show your employees that you are not arbitrarily making exceptions for some guards but not for others. This will require full record keeping on infractions and a refusal to bend the rules when put under pressure.
4. Scheduling Problems and Conflicts
Often, guards miss days without calling in first because they truly could not be there and yet feared that calling in would be futile, knowing that the schedule was virtually inflexible once set. Don't fail to get feedback from no-show guards to see what caused the incident, and do your best to get everyone scheduled only for time slots they are willing and able to fill.
5. Work Life Balance
Not only do guards no-show more frequently than others, but they also have a higher incidence of quitting. In fact, 100% turnover in one year is common in the security industry. One major reason for both no-showing and quitting is dissatisfaction with work-life balance; about 2/5 of guards cite lack of quality family time as a reason for missing days or abandoning their job.
6. Management-Employee Relations Issues
All five of these above problems can be summed up as a breakdown in management-employee relations. But, beyond what has been mentioned, employees may become resentful if they feel mistreated; on the other hand, they may become overly relaxed if they feel there are no clear boundaries.
7. Not Using Security Industry Scheduling Software
By using modern security scheduling software, managers can know in real time when guards do not show up as scheduled and, thus, respond quickly to fill vacated posts. Silvertrac Software for example, utilizes GPS technology and gives managers instant alerts of no-shows. This software will also assist in handling complex, ever-changing schedules and ensuring every post is filled by a guard with sufficient experience.
See how Silvertrac Software can help with ensuring you always have a guard where you need one and so much more. Sign up for a free demo today!