For security companies worldwide, the holiday season is arguably far from the most wonderful time of the year. Managing client demands, fulfilling shifts, keeping staff happy and overall managing security companies during Christmas – what is possibly the busiest season of the year – can turn anyone into a bit of a Grinch.
To help our security clients prepare for the holiday season, we’ve rallied our Commercial team to get their top tips to plan, prepare and manage during the holidays.
1. Put shifts up far enough in advance
People want to plan their holiday schedule and the festive period, so putting your shifts up with plenty of time to spare is the best way forward. This goes hand-in-hand with approving applications as quickly as possible to get the top workers booked in at your sites.
2. Analyse previous holiday seasons
Get to know your strengths and weaknesses. The best place to start with managing security companies during Christmas is to look at past seasons, how they were managed, and why issues arose. You can do this by filtering through the Orka Works Portal to see previous shift performances for all of your sites for the previous year.
3. Communicate more frequently with Officers, and ask them to do the same
Reaching out to officers on your sites will help them get an understanding of what to expect, specific challenges they might face and other things they should be aware of. Asking them to do the same and reporting any issues they might experience back to you may help you optimise.
4. Keep staff morale up
The holidays can be tiring for your workers. Looking for creative and inexpensive ways to boost morale and keep staff feeling valued will help them feel appreciated. If a particular Orka Worker stands out or does go above and beyond, feel free to leave positive feedback about them.
5. Recognise hard work
As this is undoubtedly the busiest time of year, Officers will work harder than usual throughout the festive period. Recognising their extra effort is a nice gesture and will make them more likely to work more shifts with you in the future.
6. Encourage opinions and ideas
With the worker being on the frontline, they have first-hand knowledge of the pressures of the role. It’s great to get their opinions and input on any changes that can be made so they can perform better during peak times.
7. Tailor your working style for the festive season
At Orka, demand always peaks at Christmas time. We find that we need to tailor our working style and approach in a slightly different manner because the demand is considerably higher. Consider building a season-specific strategy. Who knows, this may result in a more effective way of working overall?
8. Develop a fair “time-off” system
Time-off requests combined with the busiest time of year are never ideal, but developing a system that’s as fair as possible makes workers feel like they are treated more fairly. Posting overflow shifts and shifts you’re having a difficult time filling on Orka Works can help you get applications from vetted officers committed to working the requested hours.
9. Adjust the pay rate during shifts in peak times
During the holidays, a normal shift can be so much more demanding than usual, especially in a retail setting. A normal mall patrol can turn into a full-on crowd control operation. Researching what competitors are paying and adjusting salary accordingly is key.
10. Adjust resource
It could be ideal to up your resource on a site during peak times to deal with unexpected challenges. Tying back to the point of taking on feedback from your Officers, asking them if they think more resource needs to be added to the site can be key to preventing overwhelmed and tired staff.
11. Keep in touch with your account manager
If you are feeling the pressure over the festive period, reach out to your account manager at Orka Works for best possible guidance and support. We will be on hand to make life as comfortable as possible.
Every season brings unique challenges for security companies, but there’s no doubt that December can be particularly rocky. Making sure you’re ahead of the curb and taking care of your staff in the best way possible is key to keeping shifts filled and keeping workers happy. Securing more flexible and temporary workers can help you achieve this, so why not have a look at how Orka Works can help you bring the best people in year-round?