Our latest research report, Field service: the forgotten workforce?, found that a lack of support from field workers’ company IT department could be responsible for their low confidence and negative attitudes towards technology.
However, our research also found that as a result, businesses could be wasting millions of pounds on field service management technology each year by failing to take sufficient care when rolling out new solutions.
As the global field service management technology industry is currently worth more than $4 billion, and is predicated to boom to $24 billion by 2023, let’s look at how employers can support employees to avoid damaging their return on investment.
Appoint dedicated technology support
With 41% of field workers feeling that they’re not given enough support with new technology, businesses have to make this a focus during the initial rollout period.
To ensure technology delivers the desired result at the soonest stage possible, businesses should appoint a dedicated team or members of staff to help support individuals that haven’t used the application before. This should include a clear introduction to the app, an explanation of how to navigate their way around it, and a discussion of how the technology will improve their daily roles. For field workers that are still unsure of how to use the tech, the teams should provide an option for on-hand support, and if desired, regular refresher courses.
Provide different training options
Everyone has a different learning style, so the training should be offered across multiple formats to suit the needs of each employee. This could include online and in-person training and video resources. As repetition is key to retaining information and thoroughly understanding how to use an application, self-service training for employees to refer back to may also be a helpful tool.
Provide sufficient warning
Staff may feel uneasy about the introduction of unfamiliar technology, especially if it changes the daily procedures that they’ve been used to for years. Despite business technology being used across almost every industry, 80% of the workforce is still anxious
about digital transformation, and businesses must be appreciative of this concern.
In this situation, the responsibility falls to company managers to reassure staff that support is available, and the importance of their role hasn’t changed. One way to do this is to provide field teams with plenty of warning about when the technology will come into place, rather than throwing staff in at the deep end without warning. The workforce should also have the chance to trial the technology and have the opportunity to ask questions before being asked to use it out in the field.
What if this doesn’t happen?
Put simply, technology won’t deliver the intended benefits, such as increased efficiency and productivity, if staff aren’t provided with guidance on how to get the most out of the application in the early stages. Not only will this waste valuable time and money, but it will also damage the return on investment to a level that makes businesses vulnerable to being overtaken by competitors.
However, by providing employees with the right tools and guidance from dedicated technology teams, both the workforce and the organisation can reap the benefits of digital transformation and surpass their true potential.