- Field Service Management
5 tips to retain your field service technicians
In a highly competitive labor market where it is increasingly difficult to recruit field service technicians, retaining them is more important than ever. Field service companies need to put strategies in place to show technicians they are valued, offer them perks, and develop their sense of loyalty and belonging within the company.
The problem is not new
For several years now, field service companies have been struggling with a shortage of field service technicians. Competition for available technicians is high and many positions remain unfilled. Technicians can often choose among multiple job offers.
As far back as 2007, industry publications were highlighting the challenges of recruiting technicians in the field service industry. In the last decade, the situation has become even more challenging. As a result, it’s more important than ever for field service companies to keep their current technicians happy, in order to retain them.
Reducing employee turnover is an issue among service companies. But why do technicians leave in the first place?
Why technicians leave for another employer
According to Mckinsey’s 2022 Great attrition, Great attraction 2.0 global survey, the top reason for leaving a company for another is lack of advancement opportunities.
Today’s competitive job market gives technicians the upper hand in their negotiations with employers. Here are five tips to help you make sure technicians don’t leave your organization for another that is ready to meet their requirements.
1. Pay your technicians properly
Attractive compensation is a major incentive for technicians to stay with your company. You don’t have to overpay, however you do have to ensure that your compensation packages are aligned with market rates in your industry and geographic region.
Underpaying technicians is short-sighted and detrimental to business. Companies with rates that are below current market wages experience higher turnover. The best technicians will quickly abandon an organization for more attractive offers, leaving behind only the least qualified and least productive employees.
2. Offer training
When you choose to invest in technician training, you’re securing your company’s long-term success.
Most field technicians want to evolve to take on more advanced roles and responsibilities. If they begin to feel like they can’t expand their knowledge and grow, they’ll move to a competitor that offers better advancement opportunities. The best strategy is to establish training plans that keep your teams informed on the latest best practices in your industry.
With the right training, your teams will feel more empowered and confident. They will have the skills and expertise needed to take on more complex and profitable jobs. In the end, you will improve first-time fix rates and increase customer satisfaction.
3. Offer career development opportunities
While training is an extremely important way to retain technicians, you need to go one step further and give technicians the ability to advance in their careers.
In recent years, waves of retiring baby boomers have been gradually replaced by younger technicians with different expectations. Along with competitive compensation, this new generation is looking for roles that offer ideal work/life balance, more flexibility and autonomy.
4. Provide tech tools that make their jobs easier
The newer generation of field technicians is much more comfortable with technology than their predecessors. They hardly use paper at all. They grew up utilizing mobile devices, apps, and other technologies in school that enable faster and more efficient communications.
Your workforce wants to adopt a modern, rewarding and more effective approach when it comes to their job. Providing them with a mobile app to capture field data and access important information in real time helps them work more efficiently and productively, whether they’re involved in maintenance, troubleshooting or emergency service roles.
Cloud-based, paperless tools enable your teams to update work order reports electronically, access schedules in real time, take more efficient routes, and carry all of the information needed to complete service tasks with them at all times.
With the Praxedo app, technicians can access everything they need on their smartphone or tablet. Moving to technology-driven operations will appeal to the technicians of the newer generation. And, it will help improve field service management to increase service quality and customer experiences.
5. Make team spirit part of your corporate culture
Implementing certain measures that help field technicians develop an attachment to your company is key to keeping them.
These days, if an employee isn’t happy, it isn’t that hard for them to find something else, and they are well-aware of this. The loss is even greater for the service company, when an experienced technician leaves.
For the most part, mobile employees lead a solitary existence, spending the vast majority of their time alone in the field. To help them feel part of a team, it’s important to develop a corporate culture that fosters engagement and team spirit. This is how it can be achieved:
- Maintain regular communications with the field and ensure there are times when they can have in-person exchanges and contact with other teammates
- Always take into account their feedback on how their service calls went
- Ask them periodically, what they like and do not like about their jobs
- Encourage them to be themselves
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