High employee turnover can cost businesses much more than just money. So, what can you do to ensure that you don’t lose valuable field service staff? Creating a positive work culture where your team members can grow, in addition to developing their careers, is key to helping your business succeed.
Why is Field Service Staff Retention Important?
During the height of coronavirus, we saw the Great Resignation with a record number of people leaving their jobs. This was a time of mass uncertainty on a global scale and gave people a lot of time to reflect and gain perspective on their day-to-day lives. Because of this, many people felt the need for change, with the top three motivators for leaving a job being an increase in pay, general fulfillment within a role and the freedom for the employee to be themselves. Living in a post-pandemic world, staff retention is more crucial than ever. Namely, hiring new staff is costly and can negatively impact team morale.
When hiring new field service staff members, the costs quickly mount. You’ve got to think about recruitment agencies or advertising on job sites before you even get someone through the door, as well as training resources and equipment costs depending on the type of business. If a business is implementing a field service management solution with external software, there may be additional licence costs, office equipment, annual salaries, bonuses and pension funds to consider.
In addition to the cost implications, a high turnover can negatively impact existing staff and lower team morale. Fostering an inclusive and empowering work environment is something we can all agree is a great thing. If employees see a high turnover rate, staff may begin to talk amongst themselves and draw their own conclusions as to why team members are leaving.
5 Things You Can do to Avoid Losing Valuable Team Members
Let’s take a look at a few areas you can focus on to keep retention rates high and turnover low. This includes things such as staff development, setting realistic expectations and creating a positive work culture.
Support staff development
It’s a common misconception that supporting staff training and upskilling will prompt employees to search for greener pastures. While this may be true for some employees, staff members who feel secure and happy in their position will ultimately choose to stay and contribute those skills to your business. Quite simply, when you invest in your employees by supporting their development, you invest in your business.
Create a positive work environment
We all spend a lot of time in the workplace, in fact on average we spend more than 84,000 hours of our lifetime working. Ensuring your company provides a positive and supportive environment for your employees is key to keeping them engaged with work. Dissatisfied and unhappy employees are more likely to leave a company for a different opportunity.
Here are some popular ways to make work environments more engaging:
- Celebrate birthdays
- Organise staff activity days
- Treat your team with something sweet or an off topic quiz during work hours
- Make yourself available to staff members when they need to talk through challenges
Be upfront about your expectations
Is miscommunication about expectations causing headaches in your business? It’s important to remember that your employees may not always know what you expect of them, which can cause issues with their performance and behaviour. Clearly defined expectations are key to retaining valuable employees and ensuring everyone is on the same page. While expectations should be defined at the beginning of employment, this communication should continue throughout employment to ensure your staff stay on track.
Provide your team with the right technology for the job
Inefficiencies in field service operations can be frustrating for staff. That’s why, just like it’s important to keep your team equipped with the right tools for the job, it’s important to ensure your processes and systems are up-to-date with the latest technology. A total business management software such as simPRO can help your business increase workflow efficiency and limit frustrations caused by lack of communication. Just imagine being able to manage scheduling and invoicing from your office while also having your technicians update the status of jobs in the field.
Match staff to jobs that maximise their skillset
Miscommunication and job scheduling mismanagement can cause staff members to feel underutilised or out of their depth. Matching staff to jobs which maximise their skillset can greatly improve their productivity and positivity. But, with so many moving parts in a business, it can be tricky keeping track of your staff member’s movements and availability. Job management software such as simPRO allows complete visibility of job details and technician scheduling, so you can choose the right person for the job.
Once you’ve got the company structure in place to build a positive working environment, you can build a team of field service staff around that notion and foster their progress. By investing in your team and supporting staff development you’ll be well on your way to having that high retention rate.