6 top tips for managing your field staff

Managing staff is a difficult task. But it can be even trickier when your workers are deployed outside of the office. Here are some top tips to help you manage your field workers successfully.

  1. Understand the job

If you have been a field worker this is easy. But today, many managers don’t work their way up through a company. This means they don’t have a shared experience and understanding of the staff they are responsible for. And this can cause problems if not addressed.

For example, it’s easy to get frustrated at wasted time and blame this on employees, but in most cases, if your mobile workforce is wasting time it’s because they don’t have the right tools. And they are as likely to be as frustrated by this as you are.

They key is to take the time to listen to your mobile workers and get a real appreciation of the job they do and the challenges they face. Not only will this get people on side, but it will also help you to identify where they are trying to take advantage.

  1. Help all employees to stay connected

It’s crucial that field workers still feel connected to your company. So, providing them with the right tools to enable them to keep in touch and communicate regularly is a must. This could include things like mobile phones, tablets and mobile worker apps.

But it doesn’t stop there. It’s also essential that all your workforce understand your business goals. So, as well as giving them what they need to connect on a day-to-day basis, you should also make sure that you keep them in the loop when it comes to broader company updates.

  1. Track your employees

For any field service business, it can be all too easy to lose track of where everyone is. But a quality mobile engineer tracking solution will provide full visibility of where your workers are, and their current job status. This means that your back-office staff don’t have to spend time chasing people up.

Of course, as well as being able to determine where engineers are with their current schedule, you will also be able to use this data to best respond to urgent reactive calls.

  1. Give field workers access to the right information

If you are working remotely, it’s vital that you have access to all the information you need without having to come into the office to get it. Look to invest in a mobile working solution which provides easy access to this data.

But, be careful; if different employees need to access and update the same data this can cause errors, duplication and version control issues. So, look for software that enables automatic syncing between mobile staff and back office systems.

  1. Reduce the admin burden

There are very few people that like doing paperwork. But with compliance more critical than ever, putting this off isn’t an option. Consider investing in cloud software with features such as auto filled details to make the admin burden easier.

With this approach, you’ll benefit from the simplification, standardisation, and streamlining of business processes. But more than this, you’ll also reduce the risk of human error, boost compliance and spend less time chasing your teams to keep their paperwork up-to-date.

  1. Look after your employees

Working in the field can be demanding. Tight schedules and the potential for disruptions are an everyday reality, and this can lead to higher levels of stress. Clients cancel, jobs overrun and the unexpected happens. As such, it’s vital that you set realistic objectives and deadlines to help to reduce the pressure on your mobile workforce.

Putting the right tech and process in place can help you to achieve this without any negative impact on your customers or bottom line. In fact, with service management software, you can allocate booked and reactive jobs based on location, skills etc. So, your engineers get to their jobs quicker and save time between jobs.

What’s more, with the right software in place your business can also access advanced stock, sales, purchasing, and fulfilment functionality. This means your engineers will always have access to the equipment they need to do their jobs, and spend less time chasing your warehouse for parts.

If you have a field service workforce, then moving to the cloud makes a great deal of sense. Not only does the cloud support communication and collaboration, but it also enables higher levels of productivity.

Help support your mobile workforce – all for one affordable monthly payment. For more information on how our service management software can help you to work smarter, contact us today for an informal chat.