Is your field service business fit for the future workforce?
20th July 2022 - While there are many challenges associated with the aging workforce and the rise of younger workers – there are field service management solutions available to help.
One of the biggest threats to field service businesses is an aging workforce. The industry has a shortage of workers and the rate of new applicants is not enough.
Essentially, it’s clear that something needs to be done to combat the skills gap caused by an aging workforce.
In this blog, we look at the changing demographics of the field service management workforce and key strategies to put in place to attract and retain workers.
Let’s jump in.
The changing workforce
The tides are turning in workplaces worldwide. While workers younger than 25 make up only 9% of the construction industry today, by 2030, millennials will make up about 40% of the workforce and Gen Z about 32%.
In view of that, recently it was ‘World Youth Skills Day’, an initiative focusing on engaging young people in the workforce.
To help attract younger workers, leaders should look for ways to make their businesses attractive to the next generation of talent:
- Research from Digital Futures reports that “Gen Z feels technology helps them in all areas of their lives (81%) and that they expect it to create job opportunities for them (69%).”
- And Deloitte found that “the most digitally advanced small businesses earned two times as much revenue per employee and were almost three times as likely to have created jobs compared with the previous year.”
But how can field service management businesses put this into practice?
The rise of the tech-enabled trades – from job management systems to SaaS solutions
With the growing popularity of automated field service management software and the need to streamline operations, many field service businesses are evolving into the digital era.
In fact, BigChange research found that the UK’s trades industries have shown they’re ready and willing to take advantage of the opportunities technology offers – on average, leaders expected to spend 52% more on technology in 2022, than in 2021.
The changing workforce is looking for more digital experiences. If you don’t provide those experiences, you’re going to have a hard time recruiting.
The good news is field service management software can meet the needs of this emerging generation in several ways:
The businesses best placed to attract new talent have moved on from paper-based working, to embrace the benefits of digital workflows.
Real-time and accurate data, which is automatically synced to the cloud, will provide the vital information needed to improve the customer’s experience.
With a solution like BigChange, all the documents a worker needs to get the job done are easily accessible on one mobile app.
Powerful automation dispels back-office drudgery
Monster.com found that over a third of Gen Z (39%) are motivated to choose a job by the challenges it offers. Repetitive tasks do not inspire them, such as double-keying data collated on paper reports from the field. They prefer convenience and self-service.
A solution like BigChange automates data entry across scheduling, reporting and invoicing. This frees up your staff for more high-value work. Not only can it automate elements of job management, can also automatically create reports, certificates, and customer documents. All adding to admin and error reduction.
Approached correctly, automation won’t overwhelm you. It’s simply a series of smaller projects that, when strung together, are going to make your technicians happier and your customers more satisfied.
Guide your team with the right tech
Today’s younger workforce value convenience over just about anything.
The right technology makes every day run smoothly. With a real-time view of every job, engineer, and vehicle – you can help team members respond quickly and efficiently to unforeseen changes.
Likewise, with smart routing, you can provide your team with the best routes to site for efficiencies.
Your customers expect it now too. For example, an increasing number of consumers want to see modern technology with ‘Amazon-type’ features like real-time updates, the engineer’s location, and two-way communication.
In other words, businesses are looking to the right technology to improve operations and customer experience.
Digital training helps Gen Z reach new heights
GWI, the polling agency, reported that 63% of Gen Z say learning new skills is important to them.
BigChange is a plug-and-play platform – meaning new starters can learn what they need to get going in minutes, not days.
Further training available through the BigChange University and expert support can help you discover how BigChange can help your business grow stronger – and meet the needs of a generation hungry to learn more.
Is it time to digitally evolve?
If you’re considering digital solutions, a good place to start is to look at your own business: Do you have siloed systems that don’t talk to each other? Is your field service business managed with whiteboard calendars and paper-based work orders? Are you using a mobile app to manage your field teams?
While there are many challenges associated with the aging workforce and the rise of younger workers – at the same time, there are solutions available to help you operate more efficiently.
These solutions provide the ability to future proof your business well into the future.
Final tips to attract the next generation workforce:
- Offer training: Have procedures in place to train new field service technicians quickly.
- Flexibility and support: People like companies who are easy to work with. Respect your employees’ time by giving them the tools that help make them more efficient and better at their jobs.
- Offer real customer relationships: Give your technicians the opportunity to have real relationships with customers.
- Automate processes: Automation helps workers spend less time on actions that don’t make money – like checking in with the back office – and more on those that do.
By automating your processes, you’ll shorten service times and speed up your billing. You’ll also grow profit margins, enhance employee productivity, and improve customer satisfaction. If you are ready to learn more, you can find out about making the move from manual to automated job management right here.
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