Millennials are the new field service workforce as the previous generation of experienced field workers begin to retire and enjoy their freedom. Welcoming and onboarding a younger workforce can seem daunting, but it’s important for any organisation to understand this generation and ensure that their needs are met if maximum efficiency is to be achieved.
But why is it so important to attract and retain millennials in field service management? It’s quite simple, technology is their natural skillset and those working in the field use a wide variety of technologies to complete tasks. Millennials have unique qualities, that are almost instinctive, which the previous generation had to learn and develop over years.
Why Millennials are Important in Field Service Management
It’s an unavoidable change, but there are specific skills millennials bring that are important to field service roles. They have the ability to adopt new technology quicker as it’s part of their every day life. Many will be early adopters of big brands like Apple, Samsung or Windows so when it comes to training on devices and mobile working applications, it’s quicker as they’re agile and flexible.
Obviously, the main part of field based work is that the role is not office based. So, it’s important that your mobile staff actually enjoying working away from the office. For an older generation, this was an accepted part of the job, but most millennials actually enjoy the variety and independence. Importantly, they enjoy the balance of both online and offline socialisation, which is great for your customers.
The millennial generation is also set to be the most educated, with degree level being the highest than previous. This doesn’t devalue what previous generations achieved but highlights the potential growth and advancements that millennials can achieve.
How to Manage Them Effectively
Learning how to maximise the millennial field service workforce is essential to continue the great work that organisations provide to the public.
Get to know your field service team, they may not be in the office much but make the effort to get regular feedback and touch base with them. Not only can they provide insights into the processes and mobile technology they use every day, but they are quite often the customers main point of contact so may have valuable insights to inform businesses decisions.
It’s important to understand how they do their work every day and ensure that the mobile technology that they’re working with supports them. Things like the ability to quickly capture images and signatures and upload them to the back office system or access to job information with the touch of a screen.
Although field service teams are flexible in that they are based out of the office and travel to multiple locations, they also need to feel as though they can be flexible in all areas. Whether that’s starting their day from home or working hours that suit them better. Another important factor for millennials is around communication, rather than checking in after every visit with a phone call or in some cases having to return to the office, it’s better to be flexible in this approach and use the mobile solution to communicate the smaller things, such as having arrived and completing jobs. It allows them to get on with their work and feel trusted.
3.Invest in Technology
We’ve referred to technology a number of times in this blog and for millennials in field service it will be mobile working technology that plays a large part in their everyday processes. It’s vital that this technology provides features that work for them and allow them to do their job more efficiently. It’s not only about the mobile software but also the device used, perhaps it’s been a while since the organisation has updated the mobiles or tablets that field staff use. By investing in technology, millennials won’t be hindered by outdated systems and can instead use the skills they have to benefit the organisation.
There is no doubt that millennials have the potential to continue to improve field service and maximise the mobile technology they use to the benefit of the organisation. Understanding their needs now and investing in the right technology will ensure their productivity and help ensure that field service management is successful.