At Connecteam, we want your set up to be swift and clean. As customer success managers we took our experience from working with hundreds of security companies worldwide and created this step-by-step tutorial to get your company set up to PERFECTION. You can expect this guide to go through all of the steps needed to getting your account up and running with real world examples of how each feature or capabilities can work for a security company your size. Like Connecteam, this guide works as an all in one solution to your Operations Hub Set Up.

While there are many other articles found here on our Help Center we have designed this guide particularly for security companies of your kind and it should walk you through your complete setup step by step.

Don't worry! We’ve got all of the first steps to make your life easy and Connecteam work for you! 🤩


Table of Contents

After reading this guide you should be able to start fully operating the platform you will learn how to:

💡Tip: Anytime you see blue text in this article it is a link or menu of links to other areas inside this guide. If you're looking for something specific, or you don't finish the set up in one day, you can always find what you need or pick up where you left off by clicking on the relevant topic.


👪 Users & Smart Groups:

Wait! Did you sign up for multiple hubs? If you already received a setup guide and know how to add users and create smart groups, then click here to move onto the next section.

The first steps when setting up your account is going to be adding your users and creating your smart groups. In this section we will walk you through:

🗣 Custom Fields

Custom fields are information fields found inside the user's profile, and are filled with information specific to each employee. Custom fields are a smart way to identify and group your workforce, allowing you to customize what information is important to your company in order to organize their users. Examples of custom fields can be Position, Department, Birthday, Uniform Size, and much more.

We recommend planning out the information you want to know about your employees, and creating these custom fields prior to adding the employees themselves. This will allow you to update all their information when adding them and save you tons of time later.

To add a custom field head over the users tab, and enter the employees detail page then select Add Field and choose the type of field, name it, and press save. In the example below you can see we created a custom field named position. In my company the positions will be Security Officer, Guard, Patrol Officer, Field Manager\Supervisor. Many security companies also create a custom field for the team\department.

Please note that there are 3 default fields you will never be able to edit or delete; these are First Name, Last Name, and Mobile Phone.

💡A Customer Success Manager’s Tip: We recommend using the drop down custom field type when creating your custom fields, which allow you to create a list of information to select from when filling out the custom field. This will simplify things later if using smart groups, which are filtered by custom fields. The filter of smart groups is case sensitive, and here at connecteam we have encountered numerous companies whose users were not added into the proper smart groups because of typos made when filling out a users custom field. Using a drop down custom field avoids this possibility right from the start!

👤 Adding Users

Once you have set up your custom fields it's time to move on to adding users. After all that's what you came here for - managing your workforce.

To add users simply navigate your way to the Users Tab on the left - hand and click on it. Once inside select Add Users and fill in the requested details. You can also use the menu on the right side to add more details then the ones which appear here which are only the required fields. After filling out the details make sure the Send an invite button is selected in order to invite them to the platform.

💡Tip: If you have many users, you can import them in bulk

👥 Creating Smart Groups to Sort Users

Smart groups are groups based on rules. All the users who meet the rule will automatically be added to the group and those who don't will not be added. It's as simple as that. A smart groups filter is based on custom fields - which we previously created.

Security companies' smart groups are hugely beneficial and allow you to create different teams with different qualifications\position\licenses. Also many security companies create groups for each location\site\client. Bigger companies that have a management level, usually create a group also for that. For example you can group your staff by their ability to do specific jobs like- armed\unarmed job. Since Connecteam's features, assets, jobs in the schedule, chats and much more can be assigned to smart groups, grouping them now will help us later on with things like scheduling correctly (and much more).

To create a smart group follow these steps:

Step 1: Navigate to the smart group's category on the left sidebar

Step 2: First, add a Segment

Step 3: Use the + Add a group button from inside the Segment to create a group and then name the group.

Step 4: Set the Filter. First, choose the Custom field, and then finally select or enter the criteria that the group will be defined by.

In the example below you can see how I create a group of only my staff who are qualified as guards.

Now that you know the basics of setting up your account it's time to move on to the features related to the operations hub.

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The Operations Hub

This hub consists of 4 features, but for security companies we find the time clock, job schedule, and forms to be most beneficial. Below we will go over how to set up and utilize the capabilities in each feature that we find most 11-150 users sized security companies use.

⏱️ Time Clock: Track Your Employees' Hours

Utilizing the time clock will allow you to track your employee’s work time & location and help ensure that you are paying them for the actual time they’ve worked.

From all the many security companies used by connecteam we found that there are a few capabilities which should be used to optimally run your business.

These are:

👤 The Users Experience

For your users (your employees) using Connecteam's Time Clock in their day 2 day is a breeze! They can clock in and out only to jobs relevant to them, switch jobs, take a break, review their timesheets, and much more!

Take a look at how this looks for your employees below and then lets get started setting up and customizing your company's time clock.

👮🏻‍♀️Jobs

The first thing you will want to do is set up your jobs. "Jobs" in Connecteam are an information layer that you track time for. From our experience, security companies typically define their jobs as a client name or location\Site. Companies that have patrols might create a different Job for that.

To Set Up Jobs follow these steps:

  1. Click TimeClock in your sidebar.

  2. Click the Settings.

  3. Once the settings window opens, click jobs.

  4. Click “+Add job”

  5. Qualify the job to the correct employees\smart group.

A Real World Example: Throughout this guide we will share with you real examples from security companies using Connecteam so you can get the idea of all that is possible with Connecteam in a way that is specific to your industry. One company we worked with set their jobs up as client’s location\sites.

🔍 Job Insights

If you use multiple jobs, you'd like to be familiar with the option to view job insights and export it as a report which can be used for your own analytics, delivered to customers for billing purposes, or any other use you find useful.

How to view jobs insights:

  1. On your dashboard, access the Time Clock

  2. Click on the Timesheets tab

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page

  4. On the bottom right side of the screen, you'll see the jobs Insights summary

  5. Click on the button View All jobs

Here's what you can do with jobs insights:

  • View all jobs insights per selected range of dates: how many times they were used in a given time period, for how many hours and with each user.

  • Use all system custom fields and filters to filter the jobs list

  • Export jobs reports

  • Job filtering: Click on the filter button and choose the job option to filter the list by one or more jobs (Make sure to choose job):

A Real World Example: One company we worked with set their jobs up as the client’s name. They used the job insights to understand how many hours were spent on a specific client that week.

⏰ Breaks

Enabling Breaks within the Time Clock, you can easily track your user's break hours. This ensures that you comply with your state or countries' break laws and/or that you don’t pay your employees for time they were not actually working on the clock. Connecteam offers two types of breaks: manual breaks and automatic breaks. Most Security companies use manual unpaid breaks, as they are more flexible and allow the manager to understand if and when the guard took his break.

To Set Up Breaks Follow These Steps:

Enter the time clock, go to settings, to the breaks tab, select enable breaks, then choose the type of breaks and set the relevant criteria.

🖇️ Shift Attachments:

Shift attachments are information pieces that users are asked to add to their shift time. Many security companies use it for equipment that was used, mileage covered, or to have your employees add their signature to the shift for compliance.

To Set Up a Shift Attachment:

Simply access the relevant time clock--> Click on the "Settings" button on the top right of the screen--> Click on the "Shift Attachments" tab--> Click on the "Add Attachment" button--> Fill in the name of the attachment, its type and select if it's required or not--> Click on "Done"--> Check the boxes of the relevant shift attachments that you wish to have displayed to your employees upon clocking in and click on "Save Changes":

A Real World Example: One company we work with, set up the shift attachments for check ups. Every time users switch between patrol jobs, they must sign.

🏠 Geo Fences & Breadcrumbs

Inside of the time clock we have two capabilities which can help you prevent time theft: the Geofencing and Breadcrumbs.

Geofences

Allows you to create a geographic "fence" around a site or an address and have it associated with a job. In other words, to clock into that job, users must be within that specific fence or else the job will not appear for them to clock into. As a security company you can create fenced work sites around your clients locations, so guards will be able to clock in and out only at a clients location eliminating time theft all together.

To Set Up a Geofence Follow These Steps:

  1. Access the time clock & click settings

  2. Click on Geolocation on the left side of the settings menu

  3. Set Geolocation to Required

  4. On the same page, under Sites for Geo-fence, click on the Add Site button.

  5. Name the site for your convenience (i.e. customer A, project B, worksite 3, offices, etc.)

  6. Type an address or a location name (integrated with Google Maps) and make sure to select from suggested results.

  7. Set the fence size for that site

  8. Select what jobs will be available to clock in from within that site (jobs that are not listed under any of your sites, will be available to use from anywhere according to users qualification)

Breadcrumbs

Allow you to track your employees whereabouts while they clock in so you can make sure they are in the right place at the right time! Security companies like to use breadcrumbs because it allows them to see where the guards are when they are moving between sites\clients or even when they are patrolling through the shift.

To Set Up Breadcrumbs:

Head to your time clock, click on Settings at the top right and select geolocation on the left (like you did above when activating your geofence), now select activate Breadcrumbs.

A Real World Example: One company we work with, set up their geo-fences as sites - shopping centers, recurring events (festivals, concerts etc.)

⌨️ Timesheets and Payroll:

We know that conducting payroll can be one of the most tedious and time-consuming processes for organizations. At Connecteam, we have made it our mission to simplify that process and make it as quick and easy as possible so that you can focus your efforts on what matters the most.

Start by setting the timesheet and payroll export format. Most security companies use the Decimal time format.

​​To change your time clock export format follow the video:

The next step is Exporting timesheets for payroll.

After you have gone over all your employees' hours you are now ready to export the timesheets for payroll. Most Security companies use the Shift Report Export.

In order to export your time clock timesheets: simply navigate to your time clock--> Click on the "Timesheets" tab.

You then have three options:

  • Payroll totals- This is one line per employee with the entire totals.

  • Timesheets- This is a much more detailed sheet with all the clock in and out times of each shift.

  • Shift report - This will include an overnight shift as one whole.

A Real World Example: Many companies we work with, choose to export payrolls as shift report, since it’s much easier to export overnight shifts

📨 Automatic Reports: (available from the Expert Plan):

With automatic reports, you can create specific filters to acquire the information that you want and have it shared seamlessly with any user or email address you'd like!

Most security companies use it for Timesheets weekly report, and Daily report for employees that didn’t show up to shift or report of employees that clock in Today. That way Security company make sure no post is left unattended, that everyone is in the right place at the right time, allowing the managers to easily see gaps and to act live and on the spot!

How to Enable Auto Reports?

  1. On your dashboard, access the Time Clock category

  2. If you have more than one Time Clock in your account, choose from the list

  3. Click on Settings

  4. On the settings menu, choose Auto reports (At the bottom of the settings menu bar)

  5. Check the Enable auto report box

  6. Choose when to send the report

  7. Choose who will receive the report

  8. Choose export types to include in the automated email (you can choose one or all export types)

  9. On the bottom right of the screen, click on "save changes”.

A Real World Example: One company we work with, set auto reports for weekly shift reports. Reports are automatically sent to the direct managers of each team (using smart groups capability), which simplifies management operational responsibilities.

Limitations (available from the Expert Plan):

Make it so your employees can only clock in or that they will be automatically clocked out according to their scheduled shift in the Job Scheduler. You can also choose to give them some extra time beforehand. That way Security companies give the managers all the tools to be in control of their team, prevent time-theft, and inefficient processes by preventing employees who arrive early to just clock in before the shift starts.

To set limitations for your employees:

Simply access the relevant time clock--> Click on the "Settings" button on the top right of the screen--> Click on the "Limitations" tab--> Check the box of the relevant limitation and fill in its details. You can either choose to limit your employees to clock in only from their schedules, have them be auto clocked out at the end of their shifts, or after a certain number of min. After finishing their shift, limit the exact hours for when they can clock in and out on each day and limit the number of days in advance for requesting an absence--> Click on "Save Changes":

A Real World Example: One company we work with, set its limitations as “limit by days”. The company's main job is to secure post office headquarters (which have specific working hours & days), which allows admins to set daily limitations. Users can’t clock in before & after certain hours and only on the relevant days.

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📆 Job Scheduler: Publish Your Needs With Ease

The Job Scheduler makes it effortless to publish 'claimable' open shifts for your team and provides them with all the info they need right in their mobile app, such as location, special instructions, attached files, and more.

From all the many security companies used by Connecteam, there are few capabilities in the job schedule that should be used to optimally schedule all your employees and clients. These are:

Users Experience

For your employees using Connecteam's Job Schedule couldn't be easier.

They can easily see their schedule and all its details. If you, the admin/owner, allow them, then they can also see their whole team's schedule, submit their availability, and find shift replacements on their own.

👮🏻‍♀️Jobs

Wait! If you already set your jobs through the Time clock settings, you can skip to the section.

The first thing you will want to do is set up your jobs. "Jobs" in Connecteam are an information layer that you track time for. From our experience, security companies typically define their jobs as a client name or location\Site. Companies that have patrols might create a different Job for that.

To Set Up Jobs follow these steps:

  1. Click Job Schedule in your sidebar.

  2. Click on the jobs button.

  3. Click “+Add job”.

  4. Qualify the job to the correct employees\smart group.

A Real World Example: One company we worked with set their jobs up as client’s location\sites.

🗓 Create Shifts

When creating your shifts in the schedule, you can insert 2 different information layers: Job and Shift Title.

Job: The jobs that you created in the previous step. As mentioned, security companies usually choose their clients' names, locations or actual positions as jobs. Your employees will also be able to clock in and out of these jobs, using the Time Clock feature (as mentioned above).

Shift title: This is another information layer to give users more information regarding their shift, for example: morning shift\ evening shift\night shift, or the Client's name if the job is the position\qualification.

To create a shift:

  1. Click Job Schedule in your sidebar.

  2. Click on the "Add shifts" button and choose the desired action.

  3. The shift modal will open up, there you can fill up the shift information- the relevant Job, shift title, location, notes.

  4. Publish \ save as a draft.

A Real World Example: One company we worked with set their shifts in a 24 hours schedule divided by 3 shifts, 8 hours for each shift.

⭕️ Open Shifts

Using open shifts will help you build your Job Scheduler a lot faster! You can create open shifts and your employees can claim them on a first-come-first-serve basis. More than that you can add manager approval to control who will claim the shift. Security guards that operate as freelancers mostly use this option. The manager approval option allows security companies to ensure senior guards will have more shifts.

To Create An Open Shift:

  1. Position yourself on the shifts without users row and hover your mouse over any day, then click the plus icon (+) to add a shift:

  2. Add all the relevant shift information.

  3. Select 'Enable users to claim this shift'.

  4. Select how many open slots are available on this shift.

  5. Publish \ save as a draft.

A Real World Example: One company we worked with, have created open shifts that are based on available events. As soon as the company receives a project (for example, to secure a three-day festival), they send open shifts to their users.

📂 Shift and Weekly Templates

Create shift templates that are frequently used to save the dispatcher much time and effort, making the scheduling process a walk in the park! Security companies usually use shift templates for jobs that are repeating and are not a one time job.

How to create a new shift template?

  • Click on any slot, click on the + button, add the shift details and save it as a template

  • You can also perform the same action for an existing shift and save it as a template. The existing shift can be a draft, a published shift, a past or future shift

How to choose from my existing templates? Open the shift templates side window, and simply drag and drop shifts to the desired slot in your schedule

A Real World Example: One company we worked with, have created many shift templates that are based on recurring jobs they perform. Each shift template includes a specific job, working hours, note and a file attachment.

📌 Shortcuts: (available from the Expert Plan):

With our schedule Shortcut capability, you can insert an internal link through the users shifts sending the users directly to the relevant content with a click of a button.


Security companies use Shortcuts to include forms within the shift to assure compliance. For example :Patrol approval, daily activity report.

How to add a shortcut to a shift?

  1. Access the "Job Scheduler" category on the left of your sidebar.

  2. Once entering the Schedule lobby press on the "Access schedule"

  3. Create a shift for an individual user or a group shift

  4. In the "Notes" section, press on the " Attach" tab.

  5. Once the attachments options appear, click on the "shortcuts" tab

  6. Select the relevant content you wish to insert into the users shift

  7. Don't forget to click on publish, in order to notify your team about their new shift, or save it as a draft.

A Real World Example: One company we worked with, attaches forms (end of job report) to certain shifts, so users can fill up the desired information after every shift.

👮🏻‍♀️👮🏻‍♀️ View By Job:

We want you to be able to view your schedule in the way that is most convenient for you. For this reason, we created different viewing options.

The option to View by Jobs allows you to view the schedule according to Jobs, with the jobs displayed on the left side. This option helps you to make sure there is never a job without a shift attached to it!

Security companies usually use this view to ensure that all their jobs have the correct number of shifts at the right time.

To find the view by options, enter your schedule and navigate to the top left:

A Real World Example: One company we worked with uses the view by jobs capability to ensure that all their sites are occupied after all shifts have been assigned. Thus, you can ensure that your resources are used to their full potential

⚙️Mobile App Settings

The mobile app settings will allow you to customize the job schedule and to control what your employees can see and do through their mobile app. Security companies benefit from the ability to control if users can view only their personal schedule or all schedules, and to enable users to mark their unavailability. Through the mobile app, your employees can let you know if they are unable to work and include a note explaining why. The action will have a visual indication of your schedule, giving you an easy way of understanding who can be scheduled and who cannot.

To set up the mobile app follow these steps:

Click the Job schedule feature on the left sidebar.

  1. Click Access Job Schedule

  2. Click Options > Settings > Mobile app settings.

  3. Set if employees can view their personal schedule or all schedules.

  4. Make sure “Enable Availability” is checked off

  5. Save Changes.

A Real World Example: One company we worked with, turns on all the notifications, in order to make sure their users are aware of each change that might be, whether it’s related to shift editing/deleting or a notification before the shift starts.

✋🏻 Limitations and Conflicts (available from the Expert Plan):

The Limitations and Conflicts capability give you the power to set up limitations and resolve conflicts. As a manager- you will be able to avoid mistakes, never be left empty-handed, and you'll always have someone to get the job done. You can set specific limitations both for users and for the entire schedule with the click of a button.

Whether you are a small or large company security company, setting schedule limitations is vital for your business to ensure the following:

  • That users can't reject or un-claim a shift too close to the start of a shift

  • That you are aware when users are scheduled in overtime

  • That you are aware when users have too many shifts per day or week

How to activate schedule limitations:

In order to set it up, simply go to your schedule > click on options at the top right > click on settings > click on the limitations tab on the left sidebar and simply toggle the limitations you wish to apply.

Once your limitations have been set-up based on your preferences, when scheduling your employees, you will now get a warning sign to ensure that you're aligned with the limitations you have set for your schedule.

Schedule Conflicts

At the top right corner, you also have a Conflicts tab.

When opening it you will see all of your historical schedule conflicts.

Add video

How to Resolve Schedule Conflicts:

After clicking on the relevant conflict, you'll be directed to the specific shift that has conflicts. allowing you to take actions and apply changes to resolve the conflict.

Cross Schedule Conflicts

Are you a security company that has employees that work on multiple sites? Meet our "Cross Schedule Conflicts" capability! This allows you to control and prevent situations where your employees were scheduled to overlapping shifts on several sites.

How to Enable It?

  1. Go to your Job Scheduler

  2. Click on "Options" and select "Settings"

  3. Head over to the Limitations tab and toggle on "Enable conflicts with other schedules"

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📄 Forms: Go Paperless!

Automating processes and standardizing them is something that is important for every business and especially in the Security industry. Forms allow your guards to fill in reports, checklists, requests, and more, all from their mobile app anywhere at any time.

In this sections we will:

Users Experience

No more coming to the office to physically fill out a form, no more handing it to your manager, or emailing it to the correct individual. With Connecteam's Forms feature your employees can easily complete forms from anywhere at any time, and they can be automatically shared with the correct individuals - always!

Take a look at how using the forms feature looks from the employees perspective below, and then lets get started setting up and customize your company's forms!

How Security Companies Might Use Forms

Here are some forms examples that security companies can use:

  • Incident report: Whenever an incident occurs (for example if a security guard stopped a robbery or encountered suspicious figures), it’s important to capture the information as soon as possible. Connecteam allows your employees to easily record the incident, upload images if needed, sign the report and share it with the relevant stakeholders.

  • (DAR) Daily Activity Report: A checklist for your security guards to submit prior to the end of their shift so that you can be sure all the tasks are completed and the facility is ready to be opened the next day or for the next shift. This is a great way for you, as a manager, to make sure that nothing is missing and that all is under control.

  • Patrol duty checklist: A checklist for officers on patrol duty to fill in while they're on the job. They can mark specific tasks as done or even take a photo when needed (i.e. checking that a door is locked and taking a photo of it). This is a great way to make sure all tasks are handled.

  • Supervisor Report

  • Field inspection

  • Safety Report

  • Mileage Report\ Reimbursement.

And much more!

📄 How to Create a Form:

You can create a Form by starting from scratch or selecting an already existing template. Whether you create a new or edit an existing one, you can choose various 'building blocks', like free text, multiple-choice, image uploads, documents scanner, digital signature, GPS location stamp, and much more so that you can capture all the necessary information. With a variety of fields to choose from and a mobile preview on the right, creating a beautiful form for your users has never been easier. Below is a guide explaining how to create a form:

Step 1: To begin creating your form click on add new and select either "Start From Scratch" or "Use a Template". For this example we will start from scratch. Don't forget to name your Form!

Step 2: After naming the Form, click on any of the objects on the left side of the screen to start adding fields to your Form. In the example below, we will be adding a task field that can be found on the left side of the screen which will populate on the mobile preview on the right.

💡Customer Success Manager Tip: When creating your Form, you are able to make a field required, meaning employees will not be able to complete the Form without filling out that field. An example would be a daily task list where you want to make sure that your users are not missing out on completing any tasks. The rule of thumb should be: if the information is crucial for you, make sure to set the field as required.

Step 3: When your Form is complete, make sure to take another look at the mobile preview to make sure it looks good and that you are capturing all the necessary information. When you are satisfied with your Form, click on save changes to assign it to your users.

🔍 Viewing Submitted Forms

As your employees submit the Form, their entries are being saved and documented on your dashboard and can be accessed whenever you need them. The dashboard also helps to distinguish between entries, see response time, export all information to Excel or PDF files, track activity for each employee, send custom push notifications, and more.

See all entries by clicking on 'Show Entries'. You can also set your Form settings, edit the Form, edit the assignment, or archive the Form, by entering Options.

👥 Share Options

After you have finished creating your form you might want to configure your settings so that the Form entries can be shared with the correct managers\employees.

To configure the sharing options, let's head into the Form settings and share options:

Most security companies use Option 1: Share every entry automatically with the following:

The first option allows each Form entry to be shared with any user within your account or an external email address. This is a great option to choose from to ensure that you are on top of every single entry and typically includes managers or company founders.

A Real World Example: Many Security companies create a Patrol Duty Checklist that is shared automatically with the field supervisor. That way the supervisor is on top of every single guard making sure he is in the right place at the right time.

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Summary

In this article we went over everything you would need as a security company to get connecteam set up and customized to meet your company's needs. While setting up and adapting to a new system might bring challenges and periods of adjustment for you and your employees here at Connecteam we are always here to help.

You can always reach out to our LIVE support team 🙋 (at the bottom right corner of your screen). They reply in under 5 mins to ANY question!

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