Improve employee engagement in field service: 2 ways to keep remote workers engaged
Employee engagement is defined as the degree of employees’ passion for their jobs, comprehension of their duties and contribution to their success. Engaged employees tend to care about their work and company performance. Also, they are naturally motivated to put as much effort as possible into their work.
Employee engagement at work has been a popular topic that employers across industries have widely discussed. While engagement in the office is readily managed, people tend to ignore employee engagement in field services.
Reasons for low employee engagement in field service I: the nature of field service duties
While field service employees work, they spend most of their time in remote workplaces and are away from the office. In that case, they tend to lack effective connections with the office and other related employees. They may feel isolated and could be laid-back due to the lack of connection, which could further lead to low engagement.
Secondly, some of the field service duties and responsibilities are low-tech while labor-intense. Field service employees perform similar tasks to different clients repeatedly – necessary but not as satisfying as helping clients and addressing service issues. Sometimes they could be burnt out and run out of patience.
Moreover, due to the lack of connection, back-office employees don’t see field service work progress. They may not understand how to motivate field service employees to perform better. Or they may set up unfeasible tasks which could decrease remote employee engagement.
Reasons for low employee engagement in field service II: the nature of the workforce
The workforce in field service is aging, and the average age of field service workers is 40-year-old. While companies are incorporating a young workforce, it’s challenging to coordinate a new and experienced workforce simultaneously. Low engagement is likely to occur if both cohorts could not work well together.
We all know employee engagement is essential in the workplace. But why?
As mentioned in the employee engagement definition, high employee engagement at work ensures more significant employee effort, further contributing to its success.
I: Increase productivity
It’s for sure that engaged employees tend to work better in their positions. When they have high engagement, they are likely to refine their work methods, pay more attention to their roles, or even put more effort into beating the clock. All can be seen as improved productivity and will result in positive business outcomes in the end.
II: Results in higher employee satisfaction and retention
According to Gallup, 51% of workers decide to resign because they lack cultural recognition in their current firm. When employees don’t feel recognized nor enjoy their work, they are likely to leave.
Concerning the nature of field service – the lack of effective connection, companies tend to overlook field service employees’ feelings. Employers may not know whether their employees are satisfied with their roles. For example, do field service workers feel overwhelmed by the tasks? Any difficulty while they deal with clients? When more neglect of employee feeling occurs, it’s not surprising to see a high employee turnover rate in field service. Engaged employees, on the other hand, feel happy with their work. Therefore, they are not likely to seek another position outside their current firm.
III: Ensure lower absenteeism
Since engaged employees are satisfied with their roles, they are not likely to ask for a leave. Instead, they will devote themselves to improving their work performance. Facts have verified this perception. According to Gallup, High employee engagement at the workplace indicates 41% lower absenteeism.
IV: Ensure better service quality
“Techniques don’t produce quality products and services, people do. People who care, people who are treated as creatively contributing individuals.” Said Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence. Employees help to deliver the value of service through interacting with clients. Engaged employees, in particular, have more passion for working better. With good courtesy, industry knowledge and fewer mistakes, service quality can be readily improved.
V: Eventually results in higher profitability
As we know, there is a positive correlation between employee engagement and productivity. When productivity is improved, companies are likely to optimize business operation by enhancing incomes while minimizing costs, which further improves profitability in the end. According to Gallup, companies that have high employee engagement have 21% higher profitability than their competitors.
Employee engagement best practices: 2 solutions to boost employee engagement at work
In general, companies leverage onboarding training to boost employee engagement levels. However, concerning the nature of field service, remote workers tend to spend most of the time outside the office, which has made this method unfeasible.
1. Listen to your remote workers, ask for their feedback, conduct employee feedback surveys.
Companies can establish effective connections with remote workers by regularly asking for feedback. As mentioned in the previous section, back-office employees don’t see field service work progress and may set up unfeasible working plans for remote workers. Nevertheless, companies can take feedbacks from remote workers, say they ask for how remote workers feel about their positions and workloads, and remote workers’ opinions about improvement. Then they adjust remote workers’ working plans accordingly and provide supports if necessary. Besides, companies should encourage open conversations and discussions among remote workers. Managers should regularly engage in conversations and discussions with remote workers. It helps them to get a better sense of remote workers’ duty. In that case, remote workers would feel inclusive, which can help boost employee engagement at work.
Regarding employee feedback surveys, companies can design survey content by considering the following dimensions:
2. Use a communication tool for business for internal communication and employee engagement.
An effective connection can address lots of issues. Through digital technology, companies can better connect with their remote workers to boost employee engagement at work. A communication tool for business can help.
While WhatsApp and Messenger are the population communication tools, employees are unwilling to share their contacts with the company. Besides, most of the communication tools for business are not free, and not all companies can afford such a service due to their limited budget.
In that case, as an effective communication and collaboration tool for business, Marki can readily address the issues mentioned above and improve internal communication and employee engagement.
A watermark app with customized timestamp
To some extent, texting messages could be low-effective as not all remote workers are well-educated to articulate their work. Moreover, since they are away from the office, they may lie about their work, and no one knows it.
However, Marki can solve it. Customized timestamps allow users to take photos, then add watermarks on photos. Users can edit watermark content based on their tasks. For example, a remote worker performs a specific task remotely. He can take a selfie with the working environment, then customize the watermark content based on his situation. The watermark includes information such as time, location, job content, supervisor, industry, etc.
After remote workers have taken and added watermarks on photos, Marki can extract information from watermarks and categorize photos accordingly. These photos can be stored on a cloud-based system and shared in the group. Managers at the office can view remote workers’ completion status and know which tasks they constantly work on. It helps back-office employees to understand remote worker’s job content.
From remote workers’ perspective, sharing work content is like communicating their work with others, which is the primary step towards employee engagement.
Effective connection by tracking employee attendance in realtime
Managers also need to monitor remote workers as part of their duties. Companies may find it challenging to track remote worker attendance.
By adding watermarks on photos, Marki has offered the default option, attendance watermarks. Remote workers can select those to add on after taking a photo as means of recording attendance. Likewise, Marki can extract their clock-in/out time and locations to generate attendance reports automatically. It helps managers to improve employee tracking efficiency.
Visualize team activities by sharing photos in the group at anytime
To effectively connect with back-office employees, remote workers can share their work progress under the team moment section. Relative employees in the group can view and comment on each other’s photos at any time. Such a function helps visualize remote worker work progress and stay connected with the rest of the team.
People tend to pay less attention to employee management in field service. Concerning employee engagement benefits and importance, field service should implement employee engagement best practices to keep remote workers engaged. Moreover, using communication tools for business helps enhance internal communication and employee engagement.
Marki is dedicated to providing solutions for different field services, including security guard services, construction progress management, property management, landscaping management and cleaning service and interior design. Click for more details.