Employee turnover isn't limited to any one industry. It affects almost every industry and is a considerable issue among most businesses, including private security companies. And it's understandable - the national annual turnover rate of an average private security firm exceeds 100% and can even trend as high as 400% for smaller startup firms. This beats typical employee turnover rates of 15 percent. That's why it's important to understand the causes of employee turnover when it comes to your security guards, and the steps you can take to prevent it.
Why Is Security Guard Turnover So High?
Security guard turnover is linked to a number of factors, including stress, poor recruiting, inefficient wages and a lack of training. Leadership also plays an important role in how fast security guards leave a company. For instance, when supervision is ineffective or leadership is missing, your security guards may be frustrated at having to figure out protocol or the necessary action to take when an issue arises.
Job security also plays a role in security guard turnover. For instance, if your guards are stagnated in their careers because there are no opportunities for advancement to the next position or level, they may be tempted to leave the company. Also, if they do not feel respected, you could be potentially pushing them out the door. A lack of respect also ties in with a lack of recognition.
Turnover often occurs when wages and hours are few. Moreover, scheduling may not be flexible. These circumstances can create issues for security guards who rely heavily on their income for managing living expenses. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, security guards averaged just under $30,000 in annual salaries across the country in 2016. This amount can make it hard to live in a one-income household in U.S. cities.
Turnover Best Practices
If you want to retain your guards, you have to set them up for success. There are a number of solutions you can implement to reduce the chances of your security guards leaving. First, provide your guards with the right tools to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. For instance, you can employ a guard tour control system that keeps them on track and alert. That way, they will know where everyone is and can be held accountable for their actions. This can also help to prevent them from falling asleep on the job.
Next, ensure that your security guards have something to look forward to in regards to job security. This includes opportunities for advancement, such as managing a tour schedule or holding a team meeting so they can learn and demonstrate leadership skills that may qualify them for positions they apply to in the future.
Additionally, taking a look at whether or not the wages that your employees receive are fair is essential to keeping them happy. If increasing wages is not an option or not the issue, look at the benefits you offer. Does your security staff have access to affordable health insurance, or do they need additional assistance? While increasing salaries can be an immediate solution, offering benefits that matter to your workers can certainly make a difference. It can also be a cost-effective way to extend pay through the savings of a shared network of contributors.
Lastly, show respect by offering recognition. This can come in the form of rewards - whether physical items or responsibilities. Also, offer training to facilitate upward career mobility.
Keeping your employees requires more than just giving them a competitive salary. You have to look at the career advancement opportunities they have and make sure they are equipped with the right security equipment, training and support. Be proactive and ensure you're putting turnover best practices into action to meet your security guards' needs.