You have a unique company in the sense that a large part of your workforce is in the field – not in the office. This means you’re not always working in close proximity to the people who are coming face to face with your customers and providing the service. And yet it is important that you still feel like one cohesive team, working together towards common goals. So, the better you’re able to manage your in-field team, the more productive, efficient and successful you will be…together.
Consider the following tips as you navigate your team on the road.
1. Make your team on the road feel connected
The nature of your field service employees’ day-to-day workflow is dynamic, fast-paced and constantly moving. It’s easy to feel alone, isolated on the job and disconnected from the core company. To ensure that your most important people (the ones facing your customers) feel and act as part of the team, be sure to:
- Include them in regular team meetings
- Stay in communication on a regular basis
- Empower them with the information and tools they need to do their jobs well
2. Ingrain your company’s vision and objectives
Does your field service team know the overarching vision of your corporation? Are your mobile employees clear on the business’s key objectives and how they play a role in achieving those objectives? Have you communicated the values that define your company?
The better your mobile workforce knows and understands what your company is, what it stands for, what it is committed to achieving and how they specifically contribute to the success of the business, the more they will feel a part of the company culture. Feelings of inclusion and togetherness on the job lead to greater motivation, drive and productivity.
3. Focus on transparency
When a large part, or maybe even the majority, of your staff is comprised of field service representatives who work remotely and rarely come to the office, you need to foster a corporate culture that travels with your mobile team. One of the best ways you can promote a culture based on honesty, trust, integrity, togetherness, and the willingness and desire to help colleagues, is to focus on transparency.
Use systems, apps and tools to monitor people’s locations, keep lines of communication open and deliver live information about how each job is going. By giving everyone access to relevant on-the-job updates, employees in the field can feel connected, well informed and equipped with the details they need to do their best work.
4. Focus on the end goal, not how they get there
Micromanaging is not effective in the field (or ever, for that matter). When you have a large part of your workforce outside your office, it’s important you trust them. You’ve provided tools to help them succeed, now grant the autonomy they desire to make their own educated decisions using the expertise, resources and information they have at their disposal.
When you pay attention to the final deliverable rather than the process used to get there, you have a more accurate method to measure in-field performance. You get what you need, and so does your team.
5. Work in real time
When you have a mobile workforce, real time is the only time. If information is passed slowly within and across departments, you have no choice but to be reactive. By the time you’re able to make decisions, situations will have already changed and new occurrences will have happened.
By taking advantage of mobile devices and adopting systems that easily and seamlessly allow for information to be shared in real time, both managers and frontline workers can be proactive. They can make necessary changes on the fly and notify the right people of essential updates ahead of time.
6. Listen to what they have to say
One of most important teams you can listen to in your business is the team that comes in direct contact with your customers. They’re the ones who communicate and collaborate with the people who buy from your company.
Being on the frontline, they see and experience the delivery of your service in ways your other team members do not. This gives them an incredible view into the service, how it’s provided, customer responses and reactions, and what changes might be able to improve the overall customer experience.
7. Provide feedback often
The same way you want to hear what they have to say, they want to hear what you have to say. A study by Officevibe shares that 4 out of 10 employees say they are actively disengaged when they receive little to no feedback. Create both informal and formal settings to communicate. Tell them what you’re observing. Discuss possible changes. Be open about what you believe is working well and what can be improved upon.
Remember, at the end of the day, your feedback can be the difference between greater efficiency and lost opportunity.
8. Equip you and your team with the right tools
Your team out in the field is mobile – and that’s precisely the tool you should be leveraging to its fullest. Smartphones, tablets and the associated apps and systems that integrate with them are what keep your field service team connected to head office throughout the day. Consider functionalities like:
- Workforce tracking that lets you see where your workers are
- Instant messaging to ensure integrated communication throughout the company
- Mobile forms that allow field representatives to track their customer interactions and manage different aspects of their roles
A complete field service management software works to help your head office optimize deployment and increase in-field efficiency, while utilizing the power of mobile to communicate and collaborate with your team on the go.
Empodio can help your organization implement and optimize the right apps and systems that use these tips and so many more to improve your field service operations.
Interesting in having a conversation about it?