In an Aberdeen report, Employee Engagement in Field Service: Create a Culture of Learning, more than half of the organizations sampled (55.4%) identified skills shortages as a top concern for field service. We outline best practices to increase employee engagement, including:
- Source the right technicians
- Train technicians throughout their career
- Drive service revenue through engagement and alignment
Here are a few suggestions on how to train technicians to maximize employee engagement:
Implement a structured training program –Technicians should be given adequate time to cover all of the needed areas of training from the first introduction to equipment and systems to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for installation, maintenance, and repair. Onboarding too quickly, i.e. rushing technicians into hands-on situations, can result in under-performing initiatives and lack of retention.
Informality is OK, too – Training doesn’t need to be as formal as SOPs and weeklong break-out sessions. Brainstorming sessions over coffee and donuts to discuss new tricks or product updates amongst themselves or with managers is also effective as it encourages transfer of knowledge and employee engagement. Get creative and as flexible as your team allows, finding ways to make it a part of your business plan and regular schedule.
Time is right – Dedicating time for training is a luxury many service organizations can’t afford year-round. Choose a time of day, week or year that fits your organization’s schedule to fit in training sessions. For example, HVAC organizations should stray away from heavy training regimens during the dog days of summer; They’ll need to deploy as many technicians as possible to meet customer demand.