Field workers lose work morale easily, and for good reason. Their job is one of the most detached ones in the market. While the latest passive GPS tracking systems may allow the possibility of easily managing field workers, you still are left with the job of keeping your field workers motivated and hence boost team morale.
Effects of Low Morale
Reduced employee and team morale causes a decrease in productivity. This is followed by a increased rate of absenteeism, stressed presenteeism, employee conflicts, and high turnover rates.
According to research by Medibank Private, work place stress and associated low morale cost employers $10 billion in 2008, out of which stressed presenteeism cost $6.6 billion, whereas absenteeism cost $3.5 billion. (See Report)
In 2011, the cost of stress related presenteeism rose to $34.5 billion. (See Report)
You can boost your team morale and keep your field workers motivated by:
1) Learning why morale is low
2) Communicating well
3) Setting short term goals
4) Empower your workers
5) Passively measuring what is important
Learn Why the Morale Is Low
The primary causes of low morale include an unchallenging environment; little to no opportunities for professional growth; poor communication; lack of empowerment; lack of energized staff; distrust of management; nonflexible working conditions; and even your management tactics.
By identifying the cause of low morale, you give your efforts a direction.
Instead of simply telling (read ordering) employees what to do, communicate with them — their job descriptions and how their work relates to their performance, company objectives for the quarter, and strategic company goals.
Proper communication builds stronger employee-manager relationship and adds meaning to the employee’s work. It keeps them in the loop, gives them a feeling of being part of the decision process, and serves as a great way of gaining feedback on your policies and decisions.
Set Specific Outcomes
Break your strategic goals into smaller objectives and communicate to them how they are related to long term company goals. This gives fieldworkers short term milestones which can be easily celebrated as an achievement.
Furthermore, since activities can be measured using GPS tracking, you and your field workers can easily agree on specific outcomes that can be used to measure performance. Set smaller goals and objectives and treat them as events to be celebrated.
Employees want to be proud of their work — clear achievable objectives and milestones energize team morale.
Continuously train your employees. This will add personal development goals to their list and keep them motivated as well as market competitive. Your task is to communicate how on job training is essential to their growth and how it relates to company goals.
Passively Measure What Is Important
Since you cannot see your fieldworkers all the time, and given that you have other company-critical decisions to look into, keeping a constant watch on them is nigh impossible. The best method would be to passively measure their activities.
A cost effective method is to use passive GPS tracking device managed through cloud networking software, so the results are secure and can be accessed and shred easily. Using passive GPS, you generate reports and gain the following crucial information:
- Start up and stop times
- Routes taken
- Number of jobs completed
- Idle time and policy violations
These can easily be used to check employee KPIs and reward the whole team as well as individual employees.