Your field team may be spread across different locations and belong to different categories of workers, but they are the ones who are directly in contact with your customers. They are the face of your business, and will have an impact on how people see you. So it is vital to build a team that works towards a shared vision and ensures that your company is seen in the best light possible, even when things don’t go to plan.
Suppose you're a small business that depends on gig workers or uses a manual field workforce management approach. In that case, having a team that aligns with your organizational objectives will be necessary. A strong team will improve uses field service business efficiency and productivity and ensure a quality customer experience.
If you're wondering how to build a strong field team, then read on to find out more.
Explore the state of the field workforce in your organization
Every employee comes with a unique set of skills based on their own strengths, weaknesses, and professional experiences. Understanding the individual is necessary, if you are going to you successfully integrate them into a team dynamic where they will have to work not just with the public, but also with teammates whose own backgrounds might be very different.
Understanding the team’s structure, the strengths and weaknesses that they already have, and in what way things can be made better are the first step in helping them to realize their potential and achieve organizational goals. Steps to set up a high-performing field service team
Building a high-performing team can be motivating and rewarding for both teams and the organization. Here are a few simple steps to help you build an effective team.
1. Identify existing skill gaps and need
The first step of building an effective team starts with identifying and understanding the work-specific requirements and goals of the field service team. Understanding the field team's goals bring clarity to the role and sets a performance benchmark. Measuring a team's success is crucial because it helps you identify the path forward for the team and enables you to keep them on the right track.
Now it's time to draft out the roles and responsibilities for the team, which helps them know what they are expected to work on and can help them more efficiently organize their time. After mapping out roles and responsibilities, it's time to find the candidates who best will be the best fit.
2. Attract and recruit top talent
Despite setting up a new hiring initiative, you will encounter certain challenges. Common challenges are unconscious bias in the hiring team, competitor work experience, and skills that exactly fit the job description. These arbitrary rules restrict the entry of fresh talent into the organization, thus widening the talent shortage.
To prevent hiring biases and find the right candidate, organizations should create a recruitment strategy. Outline the approach, industrial trends, and goals for hiring qualified talents. An ideal recruitment strategy focuses on bringing both new and experienced professionals on board.
New professionals bring a fresh mindset to face the corporate world. With proper guidance, this openness can bring fresh ideas, higher energy, and new ways to get things done. Experienced professionals however, bring years of practical experience and serve as a strong support system for newer professionals. Experienced professionals know the impact of their decisions and can pass on this knowledge when mentoring the less experienced.
A balanced mix of professionals at various points in their development helps you leverage both groups' strengths and keep moving ahead.
3. Train the team properly
Recruitment does not end with finding the right fit; it is imperative to ensure that your new team integrates with the organization. Your onboarding process should help new employees acclimate to their new workplace, integrate into the company culture and become effective contributors.
A smooth onboarding process can reduce employee turnover and increase new employee productivity.
Did you know that 87% of employees are less likely to leave when they're actively engaged. Preventing unnecessary turnover is one way of reducing the considerable acquisition cost that the company incurs.
After ensuring the smooth onboarding of employees, the new team needs to be trained before entering the workplace. Employee training is important because it offers employees an opportunity to grow their knowledge and skills, become more efficient workers, and adapt quickly to the organization’s expectations.
Effective employee training can help employees to make impactful contributions, leading to increased employee retention rates.
4. Foster a positive company culture
After successful training programs, the company needs to foster its organizational culture for the new team.
Workplace culture is a shared value system, and set of assumptions employees share that align with the common organizational goal. A positive workplace culture encourages collaboration, boosts morale, improves employee happiness, and supports retention.
Company values reflect a company's culture. These values are the set of principles that drives an organization toward success. They bond all the organization's members together, working towards a common goal. Companies with great values can boost company culture and improve internal communication.
Another way to foster a positive company culture is by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of the team and employees. Rewards and recognition can boost their morale and motivate them to work harder, making organizations become more profitable and successful.
Work-life balance is another important aspect of a positive company culture which can reduce employee absenteeism and increase productivity.
5. Provide the right tools and resources
Workflow are at the heart of every business operation. Establishing a workflow helps you to streamline and automate repetitive tasks minimizing errors and improving your team's efficiency.
After streamlining your workflows, you must equip your best people with the right tools. The old adage says, "You're only as good as the tools you use." Equipping your team with the right tools and resources is key to getting the job done quickly and efficiently. Tools do not necessarily mean spare parts or physical tools; FSM software is also a tool. With field service management software in place, you can streamline processes and improve employees' productivity.
Knowledge is one resource that needs to be shared with your new team. Sharing knowledge can help facilitate new employees' decision-making, increase learning, and stimulate positive change in the work culture, all things leading toward your business’ success.
6. Measure and evaluate team performance regularly
Field teams are the force that drives your business toward success; it is no surprise that a team’s performance impacts the company's performance. There are numerous ways to measure and track your team’s performance. Implementing metrics and key performance indicators (KPI) are one approach.
Setting KPIs is an effective way to keep your team's performance on track. It allows you to quantify their work and set SMART targets based on goals. KPIs also illustrate the organization's health and help you make critical adjustments necessary to achieve set goals.
After setting KPIs, employers can use these metrics to keep track of a team's performance and evaluate them to get a better picture of where their team stands. The evaluation can reveal existing performance gaps and managers can analyze them and provide feedback, helping people get back on track.
7. Focus on retaining the top performers
Retaining top talents is key to any organization's growth. Organizations with higher turnover rates suffer from effects that can negatively impact the productivity and morale of employees. Recruiting and retaining new employees can be expensive and time-consuming.
Putting an employee retention strategy in place can prevent voluntary employee turnover and reduce unnecessary costs that become roadblocks to growth. A significant reason behind employee turnover is inadequate compensation for their job. The best practice to increase retaining top talent is by offering competitive pay. You can consider offering promotions and new responsibilities as a part of the retention strategy.
Consider providing your team with a variety of upskilling opportunities so that they can grow professionally. Finally, providing employees with timely feedback on their performance gives an insight into the areas of improvement. Analyze employees' performance and give them constructive feedback that can help them develop over time.
Field service teams are the backbone of the field service management business. Having a solid field team can help companies improve field service operations, which in turn leads to higher customer satisfaction. Field teams are crucial to the growth of a service business, so providing them with growth opportunities also contributes to your company’s growth.
Zuper enables you to manage both in-house and field employees, empower them with real-time data, track their performance, and improve productivity. Learn more by scheduling a demo to see how Zuper can help you build and maintain a strong field service team.