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Effective field service scheduling constitutes several variables that every business owner or employer must take into consideration. These variables include:
What is realistically achievable within the limits of work time;
Provisions for “contingency time” in the event of unexpected events or problems;
The company’s business goals;
Making room for employees’ good work-life balance; and
Other schedule demands of the nature of your business (for instance, a security company will need to schedule workers for night shifts).
If all these factors are not amply taken into consideration, the business risks sinking into the pitfalls of poor scheduling. Poor scheduling creates challenges in your business which can go as far as resulting in a rise in staff turnover. Having a high turnover rate can prominently hinder your company’s attempts at achieving its business goals. It will also have a strong impact on your business’ revenue in terms of resources spent on continuous training and hiring costs.
Thus, in this post, we will be examining the different ways poor scheduling can affect employee turnover in field service businesses. Then we will consider some systems and practices that a field service business can implement to avoid the dangers of staff turnover as a result of poor scheduling.
When a business is poorly scheduled, there is little to no organization of tasks which could lead to these tasks taking longer to complete than they should. This places your workers in a position where they consistently have to work overtime, and many a time, this sort of overtime goes unpaid. Poor scheduling gives rise to unrecorded overtime which deprives employees of their right to get paid for this extra work time.
No employee would want to keep working under such conditions, and this dissatisfaction can cause them to leave the company. Therefore, if employees are working overtime, sufficient efforts have to be made to ensure that they are reimbursed for their extra labor.
A good strategy is the use of time tracking software to keep official and accurate records of their work time from when they check in to when they check out. This will enable employers to ensure that all overtime hours are fully accounted for and thus, employees are adequately compensated.
Poor work-life balance
In a situation where tasks and projects are taking longer than they should to finish, your workers will rarely be able to clock out from work when they ought to. Continuously having to spend all their time working will create a poor work-life balance for your employees. This will gradually breed a growing discontentment with the job which will eventually culminate in employees tendering their resignations.
Again, this problem can easily be solved through the use of good time tracking software to achieve proper scheduling through forecasting using project timeline analytics, project deadline tracking, schedule reminders, and team management features. If you’re not sure where to start, Atto supports you every step of the way with seamless time tracking, scheduling, and planning.
Poor scheduling can cause workers to be inefficient at their jobs due to a lack of organization. The fear of getting reprimanded (for instance, getting issued a suspension notice) or receiving a poor appraisal from their manager or employer as a result of this job inefficiency can prompt workers to leave the company on their own and likewise, create an upsurge in employee turnover. While this is certainly not the sole reason behind staff ineffectiveness, it is a strong contributing factor.
A field service business that does not properly plan its projects and tasks to be carried out will most likely be unable to deliver satisfaction to its customers. This will increasingly generate client distrust and result in the business gaining a bad reputation. You will rarely find a worker that wants to be affiliated with a company that has a bad business reputation. Therefore, in this way, poor scheduling can also lead to a spike in employee turnover.
How to Achieve Proper Scheduling in a Field Service Business
1. Carry out effective prior planning that is focused on the “lean principles”.
The lean principles are a set of business standards that are aimed towards maximizing customer value while minimizing waste. The five key lean principles are to:
Identify value or customers’ needs;
Map out the most efficient way to provide this value;
Ensure the smooth flow of value from the service provider to the customer;
Establish customer pull—“how fast can the value be delivered on demand from the customer?”; and
Rework the plan as many times as necessary until perfection is attained.
2. Cross-train your workers.
Your “best technician” may not always be available for every project. Hence, all your staff needs to be equally well-trained. For instance, when a cleaning company is experiencing a spike in demand, it would be a great loss for them if only a few of their cleaners are proficient enough to render the cleaning services independently.
3. Invest ineffective time tracking software.
This will support proper scheduling, payment remittance, invoicing, inventory management, and provide you with data that can be used for analytics to forecast customer demand and schedule your field technicians accordingly.
4. Implement flexible scheduling policies.
Give your employees scheduling options to select from so you get to know what hours and schedules work best for them. Take this into account as well as unforeseen circumstances when organizing your employees’ timetables. Also, be upfront and discuss schedules with your employees, especially when there will be unusual changes to the business’ ordinary schedule. Doing this will give your workers a sense of semi-autonomy, a factor that can promote job satisfaction and lower the chances of high employee turnover.
It’s evident that poor scheduling has a huge impact on employee turnover and that many field service businesses struggle with scheduling that is not optimized. It’s a very important part of any business and it should be done in a way that maximizes the efficiency of the company. Having an efficient system for managing customers’ requests and ensuring that they are scheduled in such a way that they don't overlap with each other will set your business apart from the others in the industry. With the help of Atto, you’ll be scheduling like a pro in no time.