The world has changed dramatically during this COVID-19 period. Business as usual has become a foreign concept in many organizations across the globe. The field service realm is a part of the “essential work” that needs to remain open during these uncertain times. Thus, field service management teams are experiencing a lot of pressure when it comes to ensuring safety compliance and effectively leading their members. The risks are higher and there’s no room for distrust or miscommunication.
According to a Harvard Business Review report, before Covid-19 the United States average for organizational trust was only around 70%. Because stressful situations typically exacerbate distrust and fear, developing trust within an organization has become even more important. Technicians and employees that continue to work are assuming more personal risk than they’re accustomed to, so trust is needed to ensure safe and efficient operations.
Maintaining effective leadership and management is hard during times of uncertainty and crisis, more so in FSM systems where customer and technician safety is a crucial concern. In this article, we’re going to look at how field service managers can leverage FSM software and other techniques to ensure continuous network operations.
1. Leveraging Actionable Data and Technology
Due to Covid-19’s in-person risk, there’s now an increased need to reduce customer and technician contact. This means accurately analyzing the problem before the in-person meeting and improving the business’ first-time fix rates. In field service scenarios that carry high risks, information is vital to making both safe and efficient decisions. Thankfully FSM software systems allow field service management teams, customers, and technicians to access accurate data dynamically and quickly.
By improving the visibility into client history, inventory as well as technician availability and skill, FSM software provides management with data integral to improving the organization’s first-time fix rates and accurately diagnosing issues. Leveraging FSM software can enable you to increase staff effectiveness by up to even 30% and the fix rates by almost 15%. Field service managers need to utilize such software if they want to maintain continuous network operations during such uncertain times.
2. Clear Communication at Scale
One of the most significant aspects of management and leadership during uncertain times is the clear communication of the changing safety requirements, which should be done at scale. As you get new data and field services techniques and strategies get impacted, you must share this information with all your technicians and employees as soon as possible.
By establishing weekly, and/or even daily, updates for your whole team, open lines of communication can be maintained which help prevent delays in the transfer of important information. When you’re communicating new safety protocols and procedures, you must use consistent and clear terminology. Many phrases that might sound the same but have distinct and separate meanings in the Covid-19 context. Accidentally confusing these said procedures and terms can end up severely harming everyone involved. This ultimately results in poor leadership.
Consider coming up with comprehensive glossaries of safety procedures and terms in all the updates you give to your workers to help reduce confusion and also make sure you inform all your technicians as much as you can.
3. Providing Timely Feedback
Collecting and communicating feedback from your clients and technicians is an important way of ensuring safety protocols are followed. FSM software and automated surveys are a great way to ensure you’re always getting timely feedback. This allows your technicians to quickly report back their safety concerns and also helps forge a trusting relationship.
Additionally, it gives your clients the chance to report back about worker safety compliance. This software also provides immediate outlets for customer dissatisfaction. When these issues are resolved promptly, customer experience also improves. And as a manager/leader, you should be aware of how positive customer experiences can directly impact your business’ success.
4. Recognizing and Rewarding Excellence
Implementing strategic recognition protocols is very beneficial when it comes to improving your staff’s emotional outlook, building trust, and increasing organizational productivity. During the pandemic, your technicians are likely going to feel the negative impact of high-stress scenarios.
By rewarding and recognizing your workers for successfully following high-maintenance and complex safety procedures, you will mitigate a part of the stress they endure. You’ll also be providing them positive encouragement so they can continue to comply with these protocols. This, in turn, helps ensure your business’ operations are going down safely.
Businesses that have strategic recognition programs in place score higher customer satisfaction ratings and reduce negative safety incidents.
5.Ensuring Evolving Compliance
Once safety protocols and procedures have been communicated to your workers, you must ensure you’ve got systems to track as well as train compliance. FSM software can help with this immensely. Training videos are also a great way to teach technicians about the safety procedures in place during the pandemic. When your technicians can easily access training material, safety compliance can be ensured.
While the pandemic continues to pose immense challenges, as leaders it’s on you to make the most of any silver linings. For example, you can focus on improving safety and health within your business, and find out how to integrate these values into the organization’s culture going forward. Using the right FSM software is a good place to start. Hopefully, this article has shown how you can maintain continuous network operations in these trying times