Performance management is good for business. Strong performance at the employee level can produce higher revenues, more satisfied customers and improved bottom lines. It also gives your employees an outlet to communicate their wants and needs which can lead to better morale. But for those in field services, there are unique challenges in managing day-to-day processes and performance. Performance management software can meet those challenges head-on by spanning gaps, supporting communication and bringing teams together.
Field Services Worker Challenges
There are some common performance management challenges for construction and landscaping businesses and other companies with field workers, along with some tips for turning the tables on these challenges.
Limited Face-to-Face Communication
When workers are in the field, HR and some managers simply can’t get a lot of face-to-face time so communication can be challenging. Instructions and assignments sent via email increase the chance of miscommunication or misunderstandings. This challenge alone can lead to poor performance, simply because your workers didn’t understand the assignment from the beginning.
There’s also the challenge of managers who get into the habit of sending general feedback, like emailing an entire team for convenience. But this can be ineffective as people tend to think these messages aren’t directly targeted to them.
Lastly, digital communications can fall through the cracks. Emails might go to spam, get missorted or just ignored. Texts can get confusing or cumbersome, and threads in team communication solutions like Slack, Google Hangouts or Teams often go off-topic. These situations lead to unnecessary stress for both the manager and employee.
Performance Metrics are Measured in the Field
When everyone works in a different location, tracking performance metrics can be difficult. Issues may arise as field workers may bring various skills to the table and how you track performance for each worker should be relevant to their skillset and assignment. Consider how different masonry, HVAC, framing and plumbing skillsets are, for instance.
If the managers doing the performance reviews don’t have the same skill sets, your workers might not accept their feedback because they don’t see it coming from an authoritative source. For example, a manager who doesn’t have HVAC skills probably isn’t the best person to give performance feedback to your HVAC workers.
Workers May Need to be Reskilled
Three-fourths of workers in the construction industry believe their skills will be obsolete within a decade. This belief could lead to worries about job security, which means employee experience could suffer. If your field services workers don’t see themselves as having a future with your company, they may be less likely to push toward exceptional performance or growth. Mapping out career paths is an integral part of the performance management process.
How Performance Management Software Can Help
While the challenges of performance management in the field are many, performance management software can help.
Performance management software can enhance the communication between manager and worker. Aside from meeting with workers face-to-face where it’s convenient for them, like a coffee shop or restaurant near their job site, performance management software’s site logs and reports from field supervisors can help keep everyone in the loop.
A cloud-based performance management system means you can measure performance from anywhere, at any time. Performance management software also lets you be creative in how you approach performance management for various types of positions. You can create individual review forms with custom content and unique weight scales to provide the most appropriate feedback for employees of all kinds. You can also integrate feedback from co-workers and other team leaders with 360-degree feedback. For example, feedback for an apprentice electrician could include feedback from an experienced electrician who has worked with the apprentice. This type of feedback can include constructive criticism and positive feedback from customers, partners and other team members.
When performance management software is tied to learning management software, it is easier to reskill your workers. Making development a priority, helps ensure employees that you are willing to help create a path for new opportunities. Your company may need more specific skills and so you can look to your workforce to develop them. When reskilling workers, regularly communicate your expectations and ensure that everyone is realistic about performance expectations while there is a learning curve.
Arcoro’s performance management software lets you benchmark, track and evaluate the performance of each employee over time. It makes consistent goal setting and feedback easy to maintain and empowers employees to take charge of their own performance and movement toward goals.
The system is mobile-friendly, so field workers can access important updates, performance information and feedback wherever they are. And 360-degree feedback lets you incorporate information from peers, customers and others to ensure performance evaluations are comprehensive and consider the unique skills and job of every worker.
Want to learn more about how performance management software can give you an edge as an employer by creating a better employee experience?
Download our guide, “Improve the Employee Experience with Performance Management Software: A Resource for Companies with Workers in the Field.”