By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
Why should you care about how happy your field technicians are? Happy techs are more likely to provide the type of service and customer experience you’d like them to, as well as being more inclined to perform at optimal efficiency and to stick around for the long term. Your technicians are really one of your most valuable assets, so putting some time and energy into their job satisfaction is an investment well worth your while. What are some of the ways you can do this? Here are a few tips.
Focus On Clear, Two-Way Communication
Breakdowns in communication are one of the top causes for employee frustration. If your techs aren’t clear on what you expect from them, they’ll become frustrated trying to guess at how to perform. If your techs get mixed messages, they will become annoyed (and rightly so). Make sure the expectations for their role are clearly defined and consistently communicated. Further, ensure you have regular points of communication where you’re discussing how they are performing against set criteria and providing them positive reinforcement for what they are doing well and clear feedback on what they need to do better. You also need to keep in mind that communication is not a one-way street. Your techs should feel comfortable and welcomed to communicate with you about a variety of topics, including any frustrations they may have, any additional training or resources they need, and feedback on any tools that would help them do their jobs better. And if you wait for your techs to come to you with all of this information, it may never happen. You need to take the initiative in giving them plenty of opportunities and forums for expressing their feedback and opinions. The more opportunities you give for this, the more likely your techs will be to open up and be honest — and oftentimes their feedback provides great insight into how you can improve your business.
Make Techs Feel Appreciated
If your techs are doing a good job, don’t let that go unnoticed or unrewarded. Many of today’s service-related industries are struggling to find good employees to replace aging technicians — so you aren’t in a position where you want to let good people go. Once you ensure your workforce knows exactly what you expect from them, take the next step and reward them for delivering on those expectations. This can take many different forms, including contests, team lunches, bonuses, reward trips, and so on. What works for one organization may not work for another, but the point is that employees who feel valued and amply compensated are more likely to work hard and have higher job satisfaction.
Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to examine what some of your competitors do as it relates to technician recruitment and retention. You might find a few ideas you hadn’t considered that will help you attract and retain the type of technicians who can help you achieve the level of service you’re shooting for.