Managing a shift-based team is the most challenging task for a security supervisor. You must schedule irregular shifts, verify officers’ availability, and communicate seamlessly. Besides, you have to ensure lone workers’ safety and take preventive measures in this regard.  

At the same time, you also have to take care of your security officers’ physical and mental health. If your workers and happy, they will perform well. Ultimately, you can deliver better results and meet your client’s expectations. To achieve this goal, optimizing the shift management process is crucial. You can assign shifts in advance for upcoming weeks or months. Besides, give them the flexibility to choose work hours and encourage them to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

This article discusses five best practices for security supervisors to keep their shift workers happy. Follow these practices to boost your security officers’ morale and grow your business. 

Let’s dive in! 

9-5 Schedules vs. Shifts: What’s the Difference? 

A shift job is different from a traditional 9-5 job. In the first scenario, there are no fixed work hours. Employees may have to work the morning shift one day, and subsequently, the other day, their schedules change to an evening shift. This way, work hours keep varying, and both managers and shift workers have to adjust accordingly. Hence, there are more challenges and problems with managing schedules. 

Conversely, a 9-5 schedule has regular work hours and days. Usually, employees work Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm a week. Therefore, managing these schedules is relatively easy. Workers can stick to their routines and manage their personal lives with ease. 

Challenges with Managing Shift Workers 

Shift scheduling brings in a lot of challenges for managers. If not appropriately addressed, these challenges can negatively affect overall team performance. Understanding these issues and taking crucial steps at the right time is the only way to deliver better results. 

Here are a few challenges managers can face with shift scheduling: 

  1. Missed shifts due to now-show by workers 
  2. Labor shortage due to low employee retention 
  3. Meeting staffing needs with ever-evolving client needs 
  4. Compliance with labor laws and regulations 
  5. Shift emergencies and last-minute changes 
  6. Ensuring employee availability and preferences 

How to Keep Shift Workers Happy? 

Here’s how you can keep your shift workers happy and achieve higher productivity:

1. Plan in Advance

Advanced planning is paramount in shift-based workforce management. Security guards often face overnight changing rosters from day to nighttime shifts. It is the job of HR managers to plan weekly or monthly shifts in advance for optimal coverage. This practice not only reduces the possibility of missing shifts, it also keeps teams motivated. 

Similarly, when you prepare advanced schedules, your workers can effectively manage their commitments. They can better handle their family obligations and responsibilities outside of work. 

As a result, accurate predictability fosters a sense of control over employees’ lives. Besides, it reduces work stress significantly and minimizes confusion. Eventually, your personnel can better concentrate on their jobs and deliver outstanding results.

2. Create a Positive Work Culture

Security guards are often deployed in high-risk environments. They experience irregular work hours and extended workdays. In some shifts, they must travel long distances and spend additional time catering to the client’s needs. These factors eventually result in work fatigue and burnout. 

Hence, security supervisors must take essential measures to reduce stress and create a positive work culture. Employees must be given adequate breaks and sufficient rest between shits. Besides, shifts should be created flexibly so guards can recuperate and recharge. 

Similarly, employers should implement a fair rotation system to distribute night and day shifts evenly. The practice would boost the morale of their team and encourage them to show exceptional performance.

3. Offer Flexibility in Scheduling

Employees demand flexibility in their jobs, particularly shift-based workers. Many companies nowadays are offering work flexibility to their teams to increase engagement. That’s why the remote or hybrid model trend is gaining popularity. 

Similarly, employers must recognize that shift workers also have personal lives. Accordingly, give them the flexibility to manage their work schedules and work-life balance. The best way is to empower the shift employees to accept or decline shift requests as per their availability. Besides, allows them to swap shifts with their colleagues on short notice. 

By accommodating staff’s personal lives, employers can reduce workplace stress and deliver top-class services to their customers.

4. Use Workforce Management Software

Workforce management tools have become the need of the day, particularly in the security industry. These cloud-based solutions offer fully automated features to manage shift workers effectively. Managers can automate scheduling and reporting to minimize errors and improve operational efficiency. 

Besides, automated software schedules shift based on staff availability, skillsets, and competencies. HR managers can generate accurate work schedules with a few clicks. They can make data-driven decisions and shift adjustments in schedules if required. 

Consequently, security teams can respond to unexpected shift changes and stay well-organized for better results.

5. Maintain Employee Engagement

Employee engagement, no matter in which sector you are, is a cornerstone of workplace productivity. Most importantly, shift-based workers need special care because they don’t have any fixed work hours or place of work. Employers cannot afford to ignore their grievances at any cost. 

The best way to give your shift employees a sense of ownership is to include them in decision-making. Actively seek their input while building strategies. Similarly, recognize their hard work and dedication in the form of incentives and bonuses. 

Moreover, regularly organize team-building activities or gatherings for your security teams. These activities are essential to create a supportive community in the workplace.  

Final Thoughts 

Shift-based workforce management is a hectic process. It requires advanced planning and seamless collaboration to get the desired results.  

When it comes to the security industry, most officers usually work different shifts. Managers must schedule guards’ shifts based on availability and client requirements. Besides, they must care for employees’ needs to keep them happy and satisfied. 

We have discussed five proven methods to manage shift-based workers. These strategies can help security supervisors boost their team’s morale and productivity. Likewise, security companies can retain talented guards and satisfy their clients to stay ahead of their competitors.