By nature, fieldwork questions the normal paradigm of human resource management. This causes managers to make mistakes that significantly harm the business interest of their company.
Field Worker Management – The Problem in Brief
As a manager, you are required to keep track of key performance metrics and strategic goals by collecting and analysing data, develop strategic insights to manage worker performance, keep them market competitive and meet company goals.
You have to manage employees while most of the workers at any given time are away in the field.
Field Worker Manager – The Five Mistakes
The previously mentioned scenario holds true for almost every business with people in the field. These range from simple goods delivery service providers, direct mail distributors, security guard firms, to dog walkers. As a result, three problems arise:
- How can you manage employees without being physically present?
- How can you measure performance when you do not know where the worker is?
- How do you implement company policies on a worker or the team that is continuously mobile and dispersed?
Because of stress from managing a mobile workforce, managers are known to make the following avoidable mistakes.
1. Using a Hands on Management Style
Let go of your workforce. You can’t be “over the shoulder manager” any more – it’s not possible, and the workers do not like it. They want greater flexibility for scheduling their work hours and their work. Focus on the goals and not the routine activities. You should be spending more time on strategic planning to achieve long term goals for the company instead of short term activities of the work force.
Trust your workforce. Grant them a free hand, and invest in technology as a safe-keeper. Data from ManageMy GPS data loggers allows you to easily track and record work performance. You should use that data to generate unbiased performance reports, and hence reward desired and exceptional behaviour.
2. Shying Away From Technology
It’s impossible for technology to simply replace you as a manager. Period.
Proper usage of technology such as tracking systems, cloud networking, and advanced software will only take off the extra time and effort you would be spending collecting data and generating reports. It gives insights but does not compute it to make strategic decisions for the company’s workforce.
3. Believing Smart Work Poses Additional Cost to the Organization
Never forget that one of your primary tasks is to make long-term strategic decision that will keep the workforce and the organization market competitive.
Right now, “time” is one of the scarcest resources available to you, your workforce, your organization, and your clients. Investment in smart technologies will make it easier for you and your organization to keep track of this scarce resource and report it to the client.
4. You Misuse Technology
One of the most sensitive issues with GPS tracking systems is privacy – don’t misuse it to spy on your staff. Clarify with them the technology being put in use, how it eases their work, increases productivity, and eases management. Educate them about policies and violation repercussions, and then leave the one-on-one meetings (if need arises) for the end of the month.
5. You’re Not Optimizing
Your work is not completed just by investing in a viable cloud based GPS tracking system (like ManageMy GPS). Though its primary use is to keep track of delivery jobs, generate reports, and allow customers to view completion updates. It can also be used to optimize scheduling and delivery routes – and hence significantly boost your productivity.