Employee engagement (EE) as a method to encourage positive behavior among workers has been around for a long time and has been shown to impact the bottom line of employers. However, employee engagement measures tend to look at a particular moment in time, for example on an annual or monthly basis. This static snapshot does not truly measure engagement and misses key variables that impact workers. That is why another approach, employee experience (EX), has become a new way to measure workplace engagement and happiness. EX takes a broader view of engagement that looks at all touchpoints throughout the employee lifecycle from the employee’s perspective. It encompasses the physical, technological and cultural environment of a business. Given the wider lens of employee engagement, it has become a better barometer of engagement and can lead to better insights into your organization.
It is important to understand that employee engagement and employee experience are tightly coupled. One way to think about these two strategies is that EX represents all of the inputs into an employee’s daily work life, such as all the things they see, hear, believe and feel about all aspects of their employment. EE is actually the result of all those EX inputs. By focusing on improving the overall (holistic) experience of your employees at your organization, you will ultimately achieve more engaged employees and all the associated benefits such as higher employee satisfaction, lower turnover, increased profitability, and better loyalty.
So what does this have to do with field service? First, field service workers have a unique employee experiences since they are away from the office a majority of the time, and often alone. As a result, they can feel isolated from a company’s culture and mission, leading to low job satisfaction and engagement. However, as more organizations focus on digital transformation there are new options to manage the remote employee experience, including that of field workers. Here are 3 areas that service organizations should focus on to increase the EX in the field.
Most field service technicians are hired and trained on being able to perform a certain job or repair. However, this does not provide the technician an overall understanding of the companies culture, strategy and values. These insights are key to enabling a positive EX. As a result, training for technicians should be extended to include a look into how other parts of the organization impact the company as well as providing a deeper understanding on how their role influences success as well.
Having the correct technology for your technicians should be a no brainer but some organizations are still very manual and even paper based. It is even more important to have the right tools as millennials enter the workforce. These younger generations are digitally native and expect the latest technology to do their work. As a result, technicians should have an enterprise class mobile workforce management platform in the cloud that provides them access to all of the data, information and applications that they need to do their job.
Since field technicians are often alone most of the day, it is important for them to have a connection back to the office or with other field workers to collaborate and communicate when needed. Research has shown that employees will leave if they do not feel included in a company’s mission. Collaboration technology provides a method for field workers to feel more included in the mission of the organization. Again, this points out the importance of having a cloud based workforce management solution that enables technicians to collaborate with everyone in the organization.
In a report, 87% of executives surveyed understood the employee experience is unequivocally connected to their company’s productivity. So instead of focusing solely on employee engagement , it is important to view your interactions with your employees in a much wider way, especially your field service professionals.