Four ways to motivate your workforce

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It’s no secret that the importance of creating an excellent team is one of the most significant factors of running a business.

Any company is only as good as its workforce so it’s vital that you invest time in helping develop and cultivate the individual members of your team.

Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a continual process that should be built into your business operations and the culture of your company.

Here are some simple things you can do to motivate and inspire your workforce, enable them to excel at their job, and feel excited about working for you and their role within your company.

Praise success. Regularly! It sounds logical but praising, thanking, or even simply acknowledging great work is often overlooked. Most workers thrive on feeling appreciated; ways to do this can include company award ceremonies and doling out gifts; but the impact of smaller, more meaningful gestures shouldn’t be underestimated. Sending a thank you email, recognising achievements in newsletters and on social media, or shout outs in team meetings will also go a long way to making your workforce feel appreciated and respected.

As Sir Richard Branson said: “When you lavish praise on people, they flourish. Criticise, and they shrivel up.”

We have talked about the importance of saying thank you here.

Inject some fun. Hard work certainly pays off but encouraging your workforce to enjoy themselves on occasion will increase the productivity levels of their work, and overall life and job satisfaction. Field service workforce members work alone much of the time so organising regular get-togethers, such as monthly lunches, or activities like bowling nights, barbeques and picnics can be the kind of thing they will look forward to and enjoy. Remember, the happier your workforce is, the more engaged and productive they will be.

Support development. Investing in continuous professional development and training will not only make sure your workforce stay up-to-speed with the latest technology, skills and systems, but will also demonstrate that you’re committed to helping them be the best they can be. Proving the opportunity to expand their skill sets and progress within your company will motivate your workforce and, in turn, they will strive to achieve the goals and targets you set.

Provide the right tools! If your field service workforce are bogged down with unnecessary paperwork, take time searching for directions, or are unable to access a customer’s property to complete a job they’ll not only get frustrated and demotivated but they won’t make best use of their time, which will impact on your bottom line.

Wayforce field service software will help your workforce operate at their optimal level. Your field workers can quickly and easily update customers, allows them to manage paperwork quickly and easily, and boosts the amount of work they can complete.

Ultimately, motivating your employees isn’t a selfless gesture; it will make your workforce stronger, increase their efficiency and productivity, and help your business thrive.

Get in touch to schedule a free demo and #WayTheForceBeWithYou!

 

Preparing your workforce for winter weather

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With winter upon us, are you prepared for weather emergencies? Snow, ice, and high winds during these cold months can create situations that will financially impact your business.

Severe weather events are becoming more frequent and roads and transport services can be affected for extensive lengths of time. This means your field service workforce members take much longer to get to their destination or, in some cases, can’t get there at all.

Your responsibility as a field service business owner is to recognise these risks and develop contingency plans not only to minimise disruption to your business, but to secure its long-term survival, profitability and growth.

While you can’t control severe weather events, there are some ways you can minimise disruption. Here are some simple ways to prepare for winter weather no matter how bad the storm.

Get prepared. Review and get familiar with your company insurance policies and know which types of damages and lost revenues are covered. Get additional coverage if necessary.

Examine your policies. A severe weather policy should ensure that your workforce is aware of the rules that will apply if they have difficulty fulfilling their duties because of bad weather. A winter driving policy should outline the procedure to follow in the event of an emergency, such as an accident, breakdown or getting caught up in bad weather. Read our blog about planning ahead for the winter months here.

Manage your resources. During winter weather conditions your field service workers will face increased pressure to respond to customer demands in a timely manner. Manage the likely surge in emergency jobs through your field service technology and pre-warn your workforce to be on stand-by so you can make sure you’ve got appropriate resources available.

Equip your workforce.  Ensure that your workforce can continue their duties by equipping them with the tools and knowledge they need to complete jobs in even the harshest winter weather conditions. Make sure that your workforce vehicles are fully serviced and maintained in the winter months and are equipped with ‘cold weather’ tyres and that staff have warm and weather-proof uniforms.

Prepare for emergencies through training. It’s impossible for your workforce to know what to do and how to ensure the above issues are considered thoughtfully without clear guidance and training. Investing in staff training is vital to ensure that: they are aware of your severe weather policies and procedures; they operate in a safe way during a weather emergency; and that all departments, including office staff and those working out in the field, are using your field service software effectively and confidently.

Wayforce field service management is affordable and easy to implement for businesses across all sizes and sectors. it allows you to monitor where your workforce is and the status of all jobs, addressing vital time-keeping needs even during challenging weather conditions.

Your field workers can quickly and easily update customers on their expected time of arrival and rearrange appointments. It also allows them to manage paperwork without visiting the office, reducing travel requirements and boosts the amount of work they can complete.

And, if you’re after a specific function, we can build bespoke add-ons to suit your specific business requirements.

Don’t let the weather adversely affect your business, get in touch for a free demo and #WayTheForceBeWithYou!

Do you want to sell more to your existing customers?

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Most businesses would say yes to this question, but many are missing a golden opportunity to do so, if this applies to you, how would answer the next question?

Does your workforce recommend your other services or products when out on their daily jobs?

If they’re not, you’ll undoubtedly be missing some potential revenue generators. Your field service engineers are well-placed to be your sales ‘army’ given they have an advantage that the rest of your organisation misses out on: they are usually the most trusted person in the customer’s entire relationship with your company because they have that all-important face-to-face interaction.

With the right training and the proper tools, your workforce can support your sales team, customer service representatives, and marketing campaigns while contributing to your revenue.

Here are four simple ideas to get started.

Teach them that selling is everyone’s responsibility.

Many employees don’t make the connection between their role and the importance of sales. It’s your responsibility to help them connect the dots to understand how increasing sales will benefit everyone by creating security, stability, and opportunities. Celebrating the successes of non-sales staff who help generate more business will reinforce this into the culture of your company.

Train them how to spot sales opportunities.

Every member of your workforce should be on the look-out for sales opportunities. Make sure they’re familiar with all services and products so that they can prompt customers during conversation and make sound recommendations. Bring together teams from different departments to discuss company news, developments and ideas to provide your field service workforce with information that they can share with customers to glean valuable feedback.

Get your processes in places.

All too often information from one section of the company doesn’t flow to other areas so having a simple process for how your workforce shares customer and market feedback is vital. For example, if a customer makes a suggestion for a service improvement you need to make sure this information gets to the relevant team. Likewise, if a customer passes on praise you’ll want your sales and marketing team to hear about it. Your marketing team may have a subject for a testimonial or case study and your sales team may have a reason to ask for referrals.

Offer incentives.

By providing incentives that are measurable and achievable you can ensure that your workforce is motivated to contribute.

After all, your field service workforce engineers are the face of your company and with this responsibility resting on their shoulders it’s only fair to give them recognition for their valuable role in your business. Between managing customer expectations and undertaking complex installations and repairs, their jobs are probably a lot tougher than you may think!

However, with training and by using the right field service software you can ensure that your workforce can communicate efficiently with the relevant teams in your business for the benefit of all. And, if you’re after a specific function, we can build bespoke add-ons to suit your precise requirements.

Get in touch for a free demo and #WayTheForceBeWithYou!

Making the field service software switch

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All businesses experience cycles of activity. For those in the gas and heating industry it’s often the summer months when things slow down while others, such as the pest control sector may find winter brings a lull in custom.

So, what do you do during the quieter times? Do you take time out and relax, or do you take the opportunity to do something else?

It’s these quieter times that provide the ideal window to assess your operations and review your work processes and business objectives. By comparing the way your business operates and its progress made against your business plan, you can highlight areas where improvements are needed.

A business with smoothly-executed operations is essential for workforce efficiency, optimised productivity and, ultimately, increased profitability.

This is where a review of your field service management software may be useful. Field Service technology is integral to the smooth running of your business and ensuring it’s fit for purpose is an astute move. If it isn’t performing in line with your business needs, it’s time to consider switching providers.

And what better time do this than those slower months, so that you have the resources to review your requirements and implement changes in readiness for the inevitable increase in work load.

We have talked about this previously here.

When changing your field service software consider this:

Be prepared to change. Beginning your journey to improving your mobile workforce operations is likely to involve changing both the processes your staff follow and getting to grips with how the new software works. Being prepared and communicating the changes to everyone involved will make the whole process a lot easier to manage.

Take time to train. Refreshing employee training will be necessary when implementing new field service software. You need to make sure all parties, including office staff and those working out in the field, are using it effectively and confidently so that it reaps the best possible benefits for your business.

Switching your field service software could be the best move you make to secure the future success of your business; and doing it during your slower months is an ideal time!

Workplace efficiency is essential for the growth of your business and our goal is to help you manage your workforce as effectively as possible with our field service management software.

The Wayforce field service software is easy and swift to implement for businesses across all sizes and sectors, it offers precision to your scheduling process, and will improve the use of your workforce as well as customer satisfaction.

If you’re after a specific function, we can build bespoke add-ons to suit your precise business requirements.

It’s the answer to keeping your workforce troops out in the field, where they need to be and at the right time. Take control, no other field service software technology beats this.

Get in touch for a free demonstration and #WayTheForceBeWithYou!

Why saying thank you is good for business

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Thank you! This is one of the first phrases we learn, and it’s startling how in business it’s often neglected, undervalued or completely forgotten.

When was the last time you received or sent a handwritten card, note or even made a phone call to simply say thank you to someone that has helped you, recommended you to others or has given you their time or business?

While we’re all occasionally guilty of taking a relationship for granted or not showing appreciation properly, the simple act of saying thank you can have a long-lasting positive impact on business.

Here are three reasons that show saying thank you is crucial to business success.

Build customer loyalty. It goes without saying that if treated properly customers will recommend and/or return for more, which is obviously great for business. So, it’s important to encourage brand loyalty at every stage of the process, even after the job is done.

An excellent service is one of the best ways to achieve customer loyalty and by going the extra mile to make your customers feel valued you can leave a lasting mark that will encourage them to remember you when they next need a service you offer.

Saying thank you for their custom might not seem like much but it will be the last thing they remember about using your services.

Why not go that step further with loyal customers: remember their special dates such as birthdays or work anniversaries and send a special gift or a card to encourage them to use your business again even sooner!

Improve workforce morale. No one likes feeling undervalued, especially at work and your workforce is likely to be your company’s biggest asset so it’s important to make them feel valued and happy.

You can improve motivation and job satisfaction by rewarding your workforce for a job well done. And while incentives and rewards programmes can be a great way to retain staff, the power of a simple thank you is often overlooked. An email of gratitude or a verbal thank you every now and then can really help your workforce feel appreciated and motivated, which in turn will improve morale and boost business productivity.

Attract new business! Many businesses compete for the same customers, so demonstrating that your company thanks its customers and workforce is a powerfully positive message. And thanks to the reach that social media offers, doing this couldn’t be easier.

Simply showcasing that you say thank you to your workforce, customers and those that recommend your services on your networking platforms is a great way to spread the word that your business looks after those that matter.

So, whether you pick up the phone or send a letter to say thank you, make sure you put some thought into it, make it personal, be relevant and have some fun!

Ultimately, make saying thank you part of your philosophy in doing business.

We reach out and say thank you to all of our customers so watch this space and #WayTheForceBeWithYou

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Remove the frustration of no shows!

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There’s nothing more exasperating than being unable to access a customer’s property or premises to complete a job. Time is precious, and delays are costly for everyone involved.

But, last-minute cancellations and no-shows are inevitable. Plans change, things crop up unexpectedly, and sometimes the customer may forget about the appointment.

Common reasons include poor communication between your workforce and the customer and overly long appointment windows with no fixed time for arrival.

If your workforce is running late, perhaps because of heavy traffic or leaving a previous job later than expected, and don’t send a notification, the customer may assume they’re not coming and cancel.

It’s true that most of us don’t like to wait! Your customers may book time off work or rearrange plans to be home for the appointment but if they have no firm time there’s a risk that they’ll get tired of waiting and cancel.

Field service can seem unpredictable at times, and while customer cancellations will occasionally happen, there are ways to minimise them.

With Wayforce field service software, it’s possible to predict no-shows or prepare for them in case they occur.

Three ways to predict and prevent no-shows

Real-time tracking. Allowing your customers to track your workforce’s route gives them the flexibility to do other things while they wait. The customer will know exactly where the engineer is and when to expect them by being able to track their location on map on a mobile device. You could also send a text notification to alert customers when the engineer is on their way.

Mobile communication. Your workforce and your customers should be able to use a mobile app, call or text to communicate with each other when necessary. If your workforce is running late, they should let the customer know and confirm a time of arrival.

Using reminder notifications will also minimise the risk of last-minute cancellations. It’s a good idea to send a reminder the night before and give the customer the option to cancel if needed. This will allow you to revise the working day schedule.

Collecting data. Understanding your customer’s and their service history will equip you with the knowledge to be able to predict the possibility of a no-show. By collecting and using this data you can prioritise jobs with lower cancellation rates and adjust the schedule accordingly.

By collecting the right data and using the right field service software, you can create an efficient schedule with limited cancellations.

Wayforce field service software can greatly reduce the risk of cancellations and no-shows. Rather than having to go back to square one each time an appointment changes its intelligent online scheduling allows you to constantly optimise all your resources, adjusting to changing requirements such locations and skill sets with speed and agility.

This gives you the flexibility to reduce unnecessary delays and cancellations and deliver an excellent customer experience.

Want an in-depth look at how we can help you remove the frustrations of appointment cancellations and no-shows?

See how it’s done with a free demo and #WayTheForceBeWithYou.

GDPR and Wayforce

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most significant legislative change in European data protection laws. The GDPR, which becomes enforceable on May 25, 2018, seeks to strengthen the security and protection of personal data in the EU and serve as a single piece of legislation for all of the EU.  GDPR will replace the EU Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) as well as any and all the local laws relating to it.

Who does the GDPR apply to?

The GDPR applies to all organisations operating in the EU or processing “personal data” of EU residents. It defines personal data as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.  It is important to know that businesses operating outside of the EU who also process personal data of EU residents are also subject to the GDPR

What do the changes mean for your business?

All organisations will need to demonstrate the security of the data they are processing and their compliance with GDPR on a continual basis. This will require you to construct, implement and regularly review your processes, technical measures as well as compliance policies.

Does Waymark IT have an updated privacy policy to meet GDPR requirements?

Yes – we at Waymark have a new privacy policy that applies to all companies within the Waymark group of companies. Our new privacy policy reflects the changes we have made in the operation of our business to ensure GDPR compliance.

Our Privacy Policy can be accessed here.

Where does Wayforce fit into your GDPR accountability?

Wayforce is designed to help businesses carry out work they are instructed to do by their customers. The data collected and stored to deliver those services should already be in line with your GDPR policy.

It is important to note that Wayforce is a Field Service Management product and not a GDPR compliance tool, and the use of Wayforce should be in line with your company’s own GDPR policy.

As mentioned, there are many aspects of your business outside of Wayforce where you will need to review processes to ensure they are in compliance with GDPR. It is recommended that you seek professional advice on GDPR if you are unsure of your requirements and responsibilities in relation to the law.

There are a number of areas applicable to your use of Wayforce which should be reviewed regularly as part of ensuring your compliance to your GDPR policies.  We have provided a checklist below, on your use of Wayforce and how it applies to GDPR compliance.

The publications on this website with regards to GDPR are only intended to provide a summary and general overview on the application of the GDPR to your business whilst using our systems. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice.

Basic GDPR Checklist for using Wayforce

Below we have detailed some of the basic measures you should be implementing and be reviewing regularly to ensure you comply with GDPR during your use of Wayforce.

Remember – there are many other parts to the operation of your business outside of Wayforce where processes will need to be reviewed to ensure they are in compliance with the GDPR also.

As you know, every business is unique in how they operate and therefore the information is to be only used as a quick guide with regards to your use of Wayforce.

If in doubt as to how GDPR will affect your business we always recommend you seek professional advice from a GDPR specialist.

How do I ensure data is protected in Wayforce?

User Accounts

  1. Ensure regular reviewing / auditing of access to your users of the Wayforce system.
  2. Ensure that unused or expired accounts have their access removed to limit the potential for unlawful access to data.

User Permissions

It is important that assigned user permissions within Wayforce are appropriately set and reviewed regularly.

Wayforce security groups are designed to restrict or limit access to various functions within Wayforce based upon a user’s role in your organisation.

Passwords

Enforce a strong password policy to protect systems and data. Ensuring these passwords are complex will add an additional level of security to your data, in line with your security processes.

We also recommend having a password policy in place to ensure users change their passwords on a regular basis, this again minimises any potential risk of data breaches.

Mobile Device Management

One of the benefits of cloud-based software like Wayforce is that it can be accessed anywhere using a mobile device. However, this raises issues with how data on the device is kept safe particularly if staff are using their own devices.

Companies who use Wayforce mobile applications have full control over who is using it and therefore who can access personal data within it. From within Wayforce, you can control who is able to use the app and turn off access if someone leaves or if a device is lost or stolen, to prevent any data breaches.

If you operate a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy it is your responsibility to know what devices your business data is being accessed on and to ensure that these devices are secure.

GEO Information

The adoption of GDPR does not prevent you using geo related information around jobs and engineers activities, within the Wayforce Mobile application. However, it is recommended that you consider a company policy around this in order to comply.

Using Personal Data

If you look to export personal data from Wayforce into another 3rd party software such as a CRM. Then you will also need to ensure that the usage of that 3rd party software is also in line with the GDPR, as well as ensuring any temporary storage of data, during a transfer, is handled in accordance to your own GDPR compliant data handling policy.

Need more information?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) web site has an excellent range of information and a number of helpful guides on the GDPR that may be helpful in reviewing your compliance.

Get your workforce on excellent form – all the time!

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There’s no longer any room for excuses to provide anything less than a professional service. Your customers expect it and, undoubtedly, it affects your reputation and ultimate success.

However, the nature of the jobs your workforce undertake can often result in mess, dirty-looking uniforms and paraphernalia, along with scruffy paperwork, certificates and other documentation.

While this is certainly no fault of your workforce, good appearances and professional documentation are important; you want to ensure that your customers are left with a long-lasting good impression of your company.

This is where digitalising forms, certificates and other documentation can help.

Few things create a worse impression than handing over scruffy and battered certificates after carrying out services, repairs or inspections. Whether it’s a new installation or repair and maintenance works, your customers should receive clean, crisp and legible documentation. This is particularly essential for documentation that evidences compliance and statutory requirements such as gas safety LGSRs (CP12) certificates.

But, it’s true to state that traditional paper pads and forms can easily get battered in work vehicles and often get covered in dirt and grease, while poor handwriting impenetrable jargon and bad spelling or grammar all contribute to making reading certificates difficult.

With Wayforce field service software, every document produced will be presentable and legible.

Auto-filled information is standardised, making every certificate easy to read and understand, and the need to print out is removed – copies can be sent to all concerned parties in a heartbeat and stored on a computer instead of in bulky filing cabinets.

The need for your workforce to take copies of documents back to the office is also removed as the files can be made available to your administrative staff the moment they are completed.

What are the other benefits?

Personalised branding. With digital documents you can give your customers certificates and other paperwork that are branded with your company logo and other important information like contact and VAT details. Customising these documents with your field service company’s name and colours ensure that the certificates are unmistakably yours and contributes to presenting a professional service and image.

Streamline your data. Digitising your documentation will transform your operations and optimise the collection and processing of your field service data. It will allow your workforce to capture information on their electronic devices like tablets and phones, when out on the field; automatically reschedule appointments; remove the risk of losing vital information; and seamlessly fit into the rest of your workflows and systems.

Meet your environmental credentials. Using digital documents eliminates the need for paper; this will improve the carbon footprint of your field service business, allowing you to work towards a more sustainable world and meet any carbon reduction measures and environmental standards you’ve got in place.

Digital documents and certificates can address many of the day-to-day pain points you face while operating a modern field service business. With all of these benefits, you can ensure that your field service workforce is always providing the excellent customer service that is expected while projecting the glowing professional image that your business deserves.

Get in touch for a free demonstration and #WayTheForceBeWithYou!

With a plan, you can achieve anything!

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Our Commercial Director, Paul Lofthouse, successfully completed an Ironman triathlon, which comprised a 2.4 miles swim, 112 miles cycle and running for 26.2 miles. This impressive task was achieved within 11 hours and 44 minutes.

But achieving this dream didn’t come overnight. While Paul was reasonably fit and had completed a few marathons, he could barely swim and hadn’t cycled in earnest for decades.

It took a lot of planning coupled with determination and sheer hard work to face the physical and mental challenges that the Ironman triathlon the triathlon presented.

The parallels that can be drawn between applying the techniques between achieving a big goal like this and running a successful business shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Here’s our tips on how to improve your chances of achieving your ambition, no matter how impossible it seems.

Make a plan. It sounds obvious, but to achieve any goal, you need to think about how you’ll get there. Write down the actions you’ll need to complete. Think about the skills equipment and resources you’ll need; the help you’ll need from other people; any finances required; and a realistic timetable. Writing all this down will not only help clarify what you need to do, it’ll also be a useful document to show anyone who may want to pitch in and help out.

Put in the time. When the going gets tough, stick in and use your time wisely. Make your goals time-bound and set realistic but aggressive deadlines so that your goals challenge you. Even if it’s just 20 minutes each day – be ruthless about using this time to help achieve your ambition.

Focus your energy. Plan and monitor your performance. Stop dissipating your energy in areas which won’t take you closer to your goal. Instead, review your plan and its actions and be prepared to review and revise as you go along.

Seek support. No matter how ambitious you are to succeed, it can be difficult to achieve goals on your own. So, if you’re serious about achieving your big goal build a support network. Get friends and family involved to cheerlead you; find a mentor who can help you stay on track; or join a group of like-minded people who may be willing to help you.

Don’t be shy! With the right plan in place you can dream big and enjoy the success of achieving your goal! #WayTheForceBeWithYou

Scheduling your troops the Wayforce way

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We unveil a new Wayforce scheduling feature!

We understand that in today’s marketplace there is constant demand to increase productivity and reduce operating costs.

That’s why we’ve launched a new scheduling feature to the Wayforce field service management software, which will make running your business even easier.

The scheduling feature will help to enhance your customer service while handling complex customer demands and the logistics of managing your field workforce.

How does it work?

  • The Wayforce workforce management software intelligently manages all the details about your field workforce including skills, locations and diary commitments.
  • It automatically matches the workforce details to create and schedule jobs.
  • Wayforce can schedule jobs, including service covers and gas safety LGSR’s ( CP12) certificates that are required annually by law, into the system for as long as your customers contract is active.
  • If a job can’t be completed it will automatically be rescheduled ensuring that customers don’t get neglected.
  • Automatically reschedule No Access visits.

Workplace efficiency is essential for the growth of your business and our goal is to help you manage your workforce as effectively as possible with our field service management software.

This new feature offers precision to your scheduling process and will improve the use of your workforce as well as customer satisfaction.

It’s your answer to keeping your workforce troops out in the field, where they need to be and at the right place at the right time.

Take control, no other field service software technology beats this!

#WayTheForceBeWithYou and get in touch for a free demo.