When it comes to improving productivity in the workplace, improving staff happiness can go a long way.
Research has shown that productivity levels can increase by as much as 31% when staff are happy, so improving staff satisfaction should be a priority for every business. However, this is easier said than done.
Even in a normal office environment improving staff satisfaction can be a challenge.
But when it comes to managing remote engineers, , the challenge of improving staff satisfaction can feel like an insurmountable task.
The good news is, with a concerted effort, organisations can improve their relationships with remote engineers and improve the job satisfaction of their employees on the road.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Improve communication
In a recent study we undertook, we discovered that 30% of calls made to boiler engineers are repeat calls from customers.
This highlights one of the primary challenges businesses face when it comes to managing their remote engineers – effective communication.
Bad communication leads to unhappy customers complaining to advisers. This, in turn, could cause advisers to feel negatively towards the engineer on the road with whom they have no personal relationship and simply view as the cause of the customer’s issue.
With better communication in place across the business, not only is it more likely that the adviser would know where the engineer was up to, they’d be able to work with the engineer to solve the problem, rather than demonising them for causing it.
By improving personal relationships between staff in house and on the road, remote engineers will feel like valued team members and have better overall job satisfaction.
Fortunately, in 2017 a range of technologies can help improve communication across businesses –from messenger services like WhatsApp, video conferencing services like Skype and outsourced call answering services like CALLCARE.
2. Provide structure
As human beings we’re creatures of habit and much happier when we have a routine to stick to.
When you work in an office environment, a routine establishes itself naturally. You come in, check your emails and then get on with your work until your lunch break. In the afternoon maybe you’ll tie up loose ends from the morning and get ready for the next day.
Whatever your routine is, it gives your workday the structure you need to feel like you’re achieving something.
Remote engineers, on the other hand, are less likely to have a defined structure.
Although they have appointments to keep, much of their work will be reactive, meaning they might not know what they’re doing from one day to the next.
This can lead to feelings of unfulfillment and confusion.
If you can establish a routine for your remote engineers to follow, this will help to improve their job satisfaction.
3. Create regular face-to-face time
One of the best things any business can do to improve things for their remote staff and their remote engineers is to increase face-to-face interaction.
This might mean the remote team all coming in on a Friday morning for a weekly update, or it could simply mean encouraging them to drop into the office whenever they’re in the local area.
There’s evidence to suggest that frequent rewards are more important than big rewards when it comes to happiness. This means getting staff into the office for some face-to-face encouragement will do much more for their esteem than blowing lots of money on a big yearly thank you party.
The more your remote engineers can spend time with the rest of the team in real life, the more connected they’ll feel and the better they’ll be at their job.
4. One-to-ones with management
Even if you can get your remote service team into the office on a regular basis, if it’s as a group it could still leave some people feeling left out.
Ensuring every single member of staff gets some one-to-one time with management will allow the company to show its appreciation, and the individual will be able to voice any concerns they have.
An effective way to do this is to have regular reviews, whether quarterly or biannually. This will allow management the opportunity to give each individual employee the attention they deserve.
5. Trust and second chances
When someone is working remotely, they’re more likely to make a mistake.
There’s no one there to look over their shoulder or check their work, so something that would have been picked up on in an office environment could slip through the net.
While it’s of course important to minimise mistakes, it’s equally important to let your remote engineers and service people know you have a fair and understanding management style. That means focusing on rectifying mistakes rather than punishing them.
A good way to do this can be to have a clear policy on how remote staff can report problems and the steps the business will take afterwards.
This will show the company’s intention to support staff and empower remote workers to work to the best of their ability without fearing mistakes.
6. Help them manage their calls
At CALLCARE we specialise in providing outsourced call handling solutions, including engineer callout lines and lone worker protection lines.
Both these services can help to improve the relationships between remote engineers and management – not to mention greatly improve efficiency across the wider business.
To find out more contact us today.