Jody Stier, TEAM Software Sales Engineer, Network Partner

A younger workforce of officers may be leading to shifting practices, beginning with flexible scheduling. 

It’s no big secret that the security industry workforce largely consists of a younger workforce. In fact, Generation Y employees, or millennials, make up nearly half of the security industry labor force, even though labor trends over the past several years have shown, statistically speaking, millennials’ retention rates are lower than those categorized in older demographics. And, in an industry already prone to high turnover volume, improving your retention rates could be the secret to helping lessen expensive labor costs related to hiring and training in what can sometimes feel like a continuously revolving door. 

Flexible scheduling as a retention tool

So, what could entice a younger officer to remain at any one business for a given period? One answer is flexibility. The workforce — no matter the industries — is putting a higher value in company benefits like work-life balance. According to a recent study by Deloitte, surveyed millennials state a growing desire to stay at their place of work for five or more years, with the even younger Generation Z workforces’ desire to move jobs experiencing a downtick as well. One reason behind the change of mind? Employers are addressing values like work-life balance to attract and retain the people it needs.

What does that mean for you as a security company? Some common tactics, like remote working options, just aren’t an option when it comes to physical security. That’s where thinking outside the box with workforce management technology can play a part. Look at scheduling, for example. Flexibility in scheduling software is one way to address work-life balance. Self-scheduling through a feature like a mobile job board can improve employee engagement, lend itself to retention improvement and even reduce high-cost activities like overtime. The tool works by empowering officers to offer their shifts to others without needing to involve a scheduler or supervisor. Others can then pick up the open extra work, keeping shifts filled and closing any gaps without needing to go back-and-forth with a manager. Compliance requirements are considered by configurable criteria that can be set up to ensure only qualified employees can fill certain shifts. The flexibility to swap shifts depending on what works best for the officer at any given moment is a huge step in the right direction in terms of employee engagement. 

Changing the way scheduling is structured

In other instances, we’ve heard of security companies using a self-scheduling feature to pilot programs that take it one step further and strategically leaving a small percentage of the global work schedule unfilled. By hiring a subset of officers with the agreement they set their own schedules by autonomously filling open shifts, rather than having a set schedule as a starting point altogether, they’re approaching retention from a whole new angle. Even if an officer leaves the company, they could still technically remain in the company system in this self-scheduling program. It’s a win-win, as the company in question doesn’t lose out on their investment into hiring, training and onboarding the officer, and the officer has a flexible avenue for extra income. Plus, if they ever chose to return to work full time, their employee records are pre-existing, streamlining the re-hire process. It’s a tool that benefits any generation of the workforce, but as younger generations are already accustomed to leveraging technology in their everyday lives, it can especially be leveraged when retaining those officers. 

Integrated technology for officer benefit

This is also where integration shows its value in software. A tool like self-scheduling, which is also mobile-friendly for even more flexibility, operates within an employee self-service hub. That hub provides your officers with information, tools and resources that allow them to do their job better and more independently by accessing information like paystubs, benefits and personal information for themselves, while dually housing HR policies, personal protective equipment guidelines, work site orders and compliance requirements. Through mobile applications, all of this is available at an officer’s fingertips no matter when or where they’re working.

For more information on retention and labor trends in the security industry, and to read more about how a one security company is leveraging self-scheduling as a retention tool, visit teamsoftware.com/californian

Jody Stier joined TEAM Software in 2010 and currently works as a Sales Engineer responsible for actively driving and managing the technology evolution of TEAM’s sales process. She does this while working with product and sales teams to interpret customer requirements and deliver quality solutions. Jody has spent her career advocating for customers and providing top-notch support through her product knowledge and customer focused strengths. Jody is a level VI Pragmatic Marketer and a certified Product Manager.