Are you operating at maximum efficiency? Chances are, there’s room for improvement in your business’s productivity – or you’re already aware of a problem with your employee productivity. But before you write off your techs as unmotivated, dig deeper into the root causes. Chances are, it’s related to one of these 6 ways to make your techs more productive.
6 tips to make your service techs more productive
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Measure your productivity
It seems clear, but we’ll say it anyway: You can’t know if your techs are becoming more or less productive if you’re not measuring it. At a minimum, you should track how many total hours a technician is at work per week (including breaks, time spent waiting for assignments, ordering parts, etc.), in addition to how many hours they spend on actual jobs (driving time and work time). From there, you can average those hours to create a baseline for how much time certain jobs should take, and then determine each tech’s efficiency.
Why should you measure productivity? The simple answer is this: You can’t argue with numbers. Your measurements will provide you with the information you need to help your techs be more productive – and know when to cut the cord.
Provide constructive feedback
There’s no point in determining each tech’s efficiency if you’re not going to help them maximize their productivity. Most people enjoy being part of a team and want to be good at their jobs – but they may need some help to get there. Before you write off one of your techs, ask yourself: Have you given them specific, constructive feedback?
Many employers think they’re giving proper feedback, but one-off tips or a “talking to” don’t fit the bill. Use your measurements to gather consistent data and seek out patterns in behavior and skills, then have an official employee review. Sit your tech down and let them know the specific goals you have for them, then help them reach those goals. For example, if you’d like them to do installs faster, pair them with one of your faster techs to observe a few jobs.
Your techs might not be lazy – they might be bored. Professional development opportunities are a must in any industry, and that includes home services. Challenging work keeps employees engaged and gives them a sense of empowerment. However, you must ensure the challenge is positive and attainable, rather than an impossible goal that will only decrease their motivation.
If you think they can handle it, assign your techs to more complicated jobs or put them in charge of a certain region. You can also turn the challenge into a team competition. Post daily targets somewhere in the office and add the names of those who reach them. Make a tally of total jobs completed or create a leaderboard of the fastest-completed jobs. You might find your techs are more competitive than you think!
Give them an incentive
Competitions work best when you provide a prize to the winner. The prize could be a monetary bonus, a new tool, a useful gift or even the right to first choice of the jobs they want. But you don’t have to run a competition to give your techs a gift.
Yearly bonuses are effective because techs know they’re coming and when to expect them, so they have something to work towards. But sometimes, you should give your techs useful gifts or other recognition besides money. And let’s not forget, always make sure you’re paying a salary and giving benefits that are on par with your industry and your geographic location.
The saying “communication is key” didn’t come out of nowhere. Communication is essential to running nearly every aspect of your business. Billionaire investor Richard Branson even said, “Communication is the most important skill any leader can possess.” Efficient communication is how you streamline your processes and get more jobs done faster.
Some common communication roadblocks in the home services industry include having to repeat the same information to multiple people, not being able to get in touch with customers or techs and difficulty changing work orders – especially if you still use pen and paper. Eliminate these roadblocks and you’ll see your tech’s productivity soar.
Give them the tools they need
At the end of the day, in order to communicate efficiently and improve productivity, your techs need the right tools. In this industry, “tools” can mean a number of things. First, you have your literal tools: All your trucks must be properly outfitted and stocked so that your techs are prepared. Also ensure they’re getting the parts they need on time.
Next, “tools” can also include training. Your onboarding process should give all the information your techs need to be successful. Proper training can have an up-front cost, but think of it this way: It’s even more expensive to have high employee turnover and unproductive techs.
Finally, your techs need to use the latest technology “tools” to really increase their productivity. There’s no question your techs need at least a smartphone, and preferably a tablet—whether you should provide them is another debate. A solid GPS system is a must so that techs don’t get lost on their way to a job.
Housecall Pro’s dispatching software has GPS tracking, real-time dispatching, in-app notifications and more. There’s even a chat feature so you can communicate with techs directly. Housecall Pro’s software can also speed up your customer approvals process, payment process and more, all of which will leave you more time to focus on doing the work – and that’s always the ultimate goal.