Gallup has shown the positive correlation between higher employee engagement and successful customer interactions. However, despite the many benefits to an organization, improving employee engagement has proven to be very difficult. Interestingly, Gallup found that the percentage of “engaged” workers was 34% in 2018, tying its highest level since Gallup began reporting the national figure in 2000. However, as the chart below illustrates, significantly impacting the levels of engagement are difficult as rates tend to track in a similar range. Given the importance of engagement on the customer experience, why have organizations failed to make strides in significantly improving it through the years?
Unfortunately, attempts to improve engagement levels are fleeting because many programs are just one-off events that fail to provide a lasting impact. To make an enduring impact on engagement, organizations should look at the employee experience instead. Employee experience captures what people encounter, observe or feel over the course of their employee journey at an organization. To enable your field service team to meet new, Uber like customer expectations, organizations should view the complete employee experience, not just one-off attempts that do not work.
Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage, concluded that every employee experience, no matter the size or scope of an organization, is comprised of three environments: cultural, technological, and physical. Field service managers should look at these three areas to improve your teams employee experience, engagement and, ultimately, customer service scores.
Creating a great culture was thought to be the principal key to driving high engagement. However, this one-dimensional, old-fashioned approach is no longer valid as employee values have shifted over time as new generations have entered the workforce. Workers from new generations, like Gen X, value a job that provides a sense of purpose and want to help the world around them. Field service organizations should understand the impact that generational attitudes have on a team and plan accordingly, especially in the other 2 areas that make up a successful employee experience. The following diagram from Gallup, provides a good comparison between different generations.
New generations have grown up with technology and it is a huge part of their life. They expect employers to have the same types of technology that they require in their personal life. This means they need to have multiple methods to communicate, mobile devices to help with their jobs, the elimination of paperwork and even real-time routing to get their job done as efficiently as possible. Advancements in digital technology have greatly changed the ways that people work, and technology continues to make exponential advancements (think IoT, machine learning and artificial intelligence). Field service teams need advanced technology like these and others such as cloud based FSM to stay competitive.
Field service workers often work alone with little, if any, supervision or access to assistance which makes them exposed should something go wrong. However, proper scheduling as well as a mobile workforce management solution can help decrease the risk many workers face.
- Optimized Scheduling: Field service employees can work on very dangerous equipment as well as in risky environments. One way to ensure safety is to make sure the person has the proper skills to be able to safely handle the job. With optimized scheduling, job assignments can be based on a technician’s skill set, helping to reduce risk.
- Mobile Workforce Management: providing mobile workers with the right tools to request and receive help in an emergency is critical to avoid negative outcomes. A mobile solution also connects field workers with others in the office, helping to make them feel more integrated into the culture of the organization.
A high level of employee satisfaction is directly linked to higher customer satisfaction. Gallup found that companies in the top quartile of employee engagement experience 10% higher customer ratings. Focusing on the overall employee experience of your field workers will have an impact on engagement and, in turn, positively impact the customer experience.