If you’re a business owner focused on growth, you should treat every employee as an investment—after all, your employees are the reason your business runs smoothly (or not). Field service employees are worth paying attention to in particular, especially because they interact directly with your clients, in their (your client’s)homes.
Consider them an even bigger investment.
If your field service employees don’t delight your customers, that’s money down the drain. A customer report by Genesys Global Survey showed that 78% of customers say that competent service reps are the most important determinant of a good customer experience.
Want to keep your customers beyond satisfied? Keep your field service employees motivated.
Here are 6 ways you can do just that:
Create Opportunities for Growth and Prosperity
The moment an employee feels stuck, they begin to lose interest and motivation. Even worse, they might even shop around for other jobs where there are more opportunities for growth.
So create a climbable organizational ladder, and, while you’re at it, create a clear roadmap of the growth opportunities available. Here are some questions your roadmap should answer:|
- How many positions are available?
- How do I get shortlisted for promotion?
- How will my performance affect my chances for promotion?
- What additional benefits would I get access to with a promotion?
- How much more can I earn per month?
Yes, a change in title should come with an increase in wage. The increase should be high enough to compensate for additional responsibilities and to encourage them to work towards it.
Focus on helping your employees reach their personal goals by creating a strong link to the company’s goals. So by improving their work performance, they’re also working towards their own goals.
There’s nothing like a little competition to keep things fresh. Keep your team motivated and excited by adding game-like elements to the workplace.
Identify your problem areas and create “games” to help solve them. Try to keep score of things using metrics and KPIs that are important to your business—having leaderboards and “winners” helps too.
Having problems with performance? Set performance goals and milestones. Dealing with customer service issues? Develop service scores and be sure to track customer data.
Keeping score of important metrics and KPIs is a great way to promote transparency and efficiency in the workplace. Not only will your employees be more aware of what constitutes success, they’ll work towards it even more proactively.
Echoing the words of the late-great Peter Drucker, “What gets measured gets managed.”
Introduce Performance-based Bonuses
Your employees should never feel like your company hogs all the profit. They need to feel the fruits of their labor: the harder they work, the more should they get. Otherwise, what’s in it for them?
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to give away a huge chunk of your revenue. The smartest home service business owners reward a job well done with a reasonable portion of the project’s earnings. This doesn’t only encourage employees to see projects through to completion, but it also encourages them to meet a certain standard of performance—how much they receive in bonuses should always depend on the standards you set.
Promote a Positive Work Environment
Compensation is a powerful motivation, but that alone isn’t enough. That’s why you should create a work environment that your employees can look forward to.
The workplace comes second only to home in terms of time. It only makes sense to make the workplace as habitable as can be for the benefit of all. Here are some ways to do that:
- Sanction and penalize overly-demanding or overbearing bosses
- Discourage unhealthy competition and promote collaboration
- Repair or replace damaged work equipment
- Give sufficient breaks and leaves
- Discourage office gossip
- Hold no favorites
It pays to make the workplace feel like a second home. Doing so eliminates distractions and allows employees to focus on the things they should be doing.
Create a Culture of Teamwork and Camaraderie
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses—even established businesses—make is assuming a quick company orientation is enough to get employees working together as a team.
That could not be farther from the truth.
In reality, company orientations with little or no follow ups are disasters waiting to happen, especially for field service employees. New hires need to feel they belong within the fabric of your organization before they can function as a productive member of a team.
Start by letting new employees know the value they bring to the table. Make them understand what their performance means to the company and their respective teams.
One example I always like to cite is how being early and finishing on time can make a world of difference in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction—feel free to use examples of your own. An employee that feels valued will always deliver work beyond what they’re expected.
Oh, and having a strong employee manual helps too.
Provide Better Tools & Equipment than Your Industry Competitors
Using high-quality tools often leads to improved output and, unsurprisingly, better customer satisfaction—and we haven’t even gotten to the part about your employees yet.
When you factor in the fact that employee productivity rises as equipment improves, investing in great equipment becomes a total no-brainer.
Think about this, do you like working with junk? Neither do your staff. Provide great equipment and your staff will feel more motivated to work.
You might be questioning the ‘provide’ part. I know many contractors try to hire staff with their own tools…. that works in theory. But practically speaking, it’s small minded. Can you really expect someone to provide their own tools to work for you? Maybe they have some, but they aren’t good enough to work efficiently. Maybe they’re ambitious and new to the trade. There’s a number of different scenarios, but if you want to recruit, and build a killer team, you’ll need to provide tools. Provide the best, and implement an accountability system for the return of the tools, if employment doesn’t work out.
Moreover, your equipment speaks volumes about your brand not only to your customers but to your employees as well. Your staff may not take you as seriously if you send them out with low grade entry level crap. Likewise, even your top-performing employees may lose motivation if they see that you’re not investing in quality tools.
Establish your firm as the best in the industry—even for the people already working for you. Doing so will give your employees a sense of pride and purpose, which always pays off in terms of motivation and performance.
Always, always be consistent when it comes to quality, whether it’s the services you provide or the equipment you use. Your employees will appreciate you for it.
Motivating your field service employees boils down to understanding what drives them. Once you figure that out, you’ll definitely see an improvement in customer satisfaction, work quality, and productivity.
Want more on employee motivation?
Here are a few great posts by Ellen Rohr that are worth a read!
7 Employee Incentive Ideas that won’t shoot your profits in the foot!
Skip the Pep Talk – How to Improve Employee Morale