Get security officer scheduling right the first time

There’s nothing worse than slaving over a shift schedule for hours and being told there’s a mistake right after you post it. Sometimes the reasons are obvious: Mistakes in totaling the hours; forgetting the new guy; or, letting your attention slip for a minute. Others come out of nowhere: The time change’s effect on hours worked; Client A’s complaint six months ago not to send Guard B to his site again; or, someone’s last minute vacation request. It’s a rare security guard work schedule that survives first contact with the new work week.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get every schedule right the first time? It would be even better if that schedule would carry through to payroll processing at the end of the week. Correcting employee paychecks is a weekly or bi-weekly headache for everyone. Sadly, that’s not going to happen. There is just too much chaos in a service industry like contract security. The bigger the company and the number of employees the more chances there are for problems to pop up.

The good news is that some of the new security guard management software coming out can reduce common errors to almost nothing. More importantly, the new scheduling software allows changes to be made quickly and accurately. Many programs can even communicate those changes directly to the individual security guard. The technology in smart phones allows you to send security officers work schedules to employees in real time. At the end of the week updated schedules showing actual hours worked go right to your payroll processing software.

Scheduling software helps because it performs common, repetitive tasks for you. A good program should show you each security patrol position as it is filled in. It should also total hours so you don’t give someone overtime you didn’t intend. One program, Snap Schedule, won’t even let you schedule an employee over a set number of hours unless you override. It will also let you enter vacation dates blocking out the employee from being scheduled on those days. Many programs allow you to block employees from being scheduled in at specific locations. That time change to Daylight Savings Time (and it’s effect on hours worked) is an automatic function in just about all good security guard management software packages.

One manager used to have to have another supervisor “proof read” his schedules for him. That is something that he no longer needs to do. In effect, the software “proof reads” his schedule as he draws it up. This allows the manager to concentrate on more important aspects of scheduling. What’s more important? Getting the schedule right also means putting the right employee in the right place. Snap Schedule can help you match employee skills with post requirement.

Scheduling software is becoming an ever more important tool in delivering quality service to the client. It lets security managers concentrate on their people, and the client, instead of just drawing up a security guard work schedule.