Your Guide to Mobile Workforce Engagement
How to bring mobile workers and companies closer together
Employee satisfaction is on the line.
When employees are disengaged, they’re more likely to leave for another opportunity. To add to this, legacy mobile workers are retiring and a new generation is cycling in, bringing high expectations for their employers.
To maintain top talent and nurture the new crop of mobile workers, field service organizations must prioritize employee engagement. Without it, employee satisfaction — and by extension, customer satisfaction — profitability, and overall productivity are at stake.
Traits of an engaged employee.
Understand current mobile workforce challenges
A tight labor market makes it hard to hire skilled workers.
It’s risky to have disengaged mobile workers.
Welcome millennials and Gen Zers.
As the job market changes, it’s increasingly important to hire new talent, who may not have the exact desired skill sets but have the potential to learn and grow.
To successfully recruit younger workers, it’s necessary to understand what drives them. Good compensation is the number one way to attract new workers, but younger applicants also appreciate jobs with perks.
Popular benefits for younger workers include:
- Paid maternity and paternity leave
- Student loan reimbursement
- Child care reimbursement
- Tuition reimbursement
To further engage younger workers, consider the following:
Offer development opportunities.
Younger workers are eager to learn and determined to advance in their careers. They seek out challenging work that can increase their skills. And they may want to pursue independent project work, attend conferences, take classes, and join professional organizations. Give them the resources to do so.
Enable work-life balance.
Just as young people are embarking on new careers, many are also embarking on new life adventures — buying homes, getting married, and having children. With so much going on in life outside of work, they — millennials especially — care deeply about flexibility and schedules that allow for free time.
Build schedules around availability.
Sync scheduling with employees’ availability to plan around time off. If a mobile worker needs to work from home, they can play a consultative role to coworkers in the field and assist them remotely if they are unable to resolve an issue.
Involve a great team.
Connecting with colleagues, from managers to dispatchers to fellow mobile workers, can satisfy the desire to be part of a team. This can go a long way toward retaining talent, who may stay with the company out of loyalty to their work relationships.
Give workers a sense of purpose.
One of the biggest challenges in engaging younger employees is their emotional need to fulfill a higher purpose. Help them understand the larger role that the company plays in customers’ lives to drive retention.
Grasp the benefits of mobile worker engagement
Enjoy the ripple effect of strong employee engagement.
Boost customer satisfaction.
Eighty-four percent of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, and 66% are willing to pay more for a great experience.
To be truly successful in field service, companies must invest in their mobile workforce. Seventy-one percent of service decision makers have already made significant mobile investments, both in improved technologies and increased headcount. Mobile workers are the face of brands because they have direct contact with customers. By improving their engagement with their work, companies ultimately:
Engaged workers are more productive and have higher first-time fix rates because they care about their work. This satisfies customers and boosts revenue. In addition, companies avoid a higher turnover rate, which means less cost to onboard and train new employees.
Improve brand reputation.
When a customer has a great experience, they might share that fact on social media, which enhances a company’s reputation and drives future business. Or they may recommend the company to others through word-of-mouth.
Increase employee morale.
Bad energy spreads rapidly, but so does positivity. When mobile workers are openly and visibly happy, it will affect the attitudes of other employees.
Measure engagement to ensure progress
Many organizations distribute an annual employee engagement survey, but that’s not frequent enough. Pulse surveys are short, frequent questionnaires distributed on a regular basis — either monthly or quarterly.
Start by sending out an initial survey with a mix of qualitative, quantitative, and scaled questions with free response prompts to gather benchmark data. Ensure that all feedback is anonymous and be transparent about the results.
Include agree/disagree statements, such as:
- I see myself working at this company two years from now.
- The leaders at this company keep people informed about what’s happening.
- I have access to the learning and development I need to do my job well.
Measure employee NPS.
Hold one-on-one meetings.
A more informal and potentially more valuable way of measuring employee engagement is through regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings. These private meetings are a great way to get a sense of what employees think and how they feel about their job.
Create an environment in which employees feel safe sharing details regarding issues or concerns they have. Talk about career development and professional growth, too. Since meeting in person is challenging due to the current environment, hold mobile video conferences.
Host “stay” interviews.
Guide a one-on-one conversation with specific questions:
- What’s on your mind this week? Any challenges?
- How confident do you feel with where the company’s going?
- What has gone well — or not so well — with you [over a period of time]?
- What are some skills you’d like to learn on the job?
- What’s one thing you would change with your role?
- How’s your relationship with your manager?
- What makes a great day of work for you?
Leverage technology to improve engagement
Brighten mobile workers’ days.
Front-line employees tend to have lower overall engagement than those in management and leadership positions. This is because they often feel disconnected out in the field. By providing online and offline mobile capabilities to mobile workers, service providers address these daily challenges
Automate paperwork and administrative tasks.
Mobile workers would rather stay focused on what they do best: solving customer problems. Unfortunately, record-keeping is also part of the job. Make it easier for them by digitizing records that are easy to update onsite with a mobile device.
Minimize time spent looking for information.
Mobile workers have multiple jobs to get through each day. Keep all relevant information, including technical manuals, training videos, and customer information, accessible on the worker’s mobile device through their field service app. The app can also provide useful information like on-the-go directions with route optimization.
Connect with colleagues.
It’s easy for mobile workers to feel isolated from the rest of the team. Most of the day, they’re on their own, traveling to customer sites. Sometimes they need backup but there’s no one around to help. Mobile devices provide easy access to — and communication with — the home base. Live video support, augmented reality, and wearables provide a way for mobile workers to connect remotely with an expert.
Recognize mobile workers’ accomplishments.
Workplace recognition motivates employees and gives them a sense of accomplishment. It can also increase productivity, loyalty to the company, and retention rates. Not to mention, it’s a very easy — and inexpensive — way of improving engagement.