When great field workers leave, we always assume it’s for financial reasons, that we didn’t pay them enough. However, we know people don’t leave bad businesses, they leave bad bosses. If you have great field workers without whom your business would be lost without, you need to take good care of them! The skills’ shortage is a real issue in the trade, so retaining your best talent is more important than ever.

Here’s 5 things that make great field workers quit and how you can avoid them:

“I don’t feel valued”

The Problem:

Often, when your workload is high, you simply get on with it and never take the time to let your best field workers know that they’re doing a good job. The only contact you might have with them is when you’re calling to chase up a late job sheet! This could make them feel like you don’t care about them or appreciate the work they do for you.

How to overcome it:

There are two approaches you can take to make employees feel more valued. The first one is free! Simply give your employees good feedback, especially when they’re doing a good job. Take time out to sit down with them for a real chat about how they’re getting on. Listen to their concerns, understand the things they enjoy doing and let them know about the positive impact they’re having on the business.

The second way takes a little investment. There are many companies out there who’s core value is to help company bosses keeping the workforce happy and satisfied. As an example, perkbox.co.uk allows you to reward your staff with discounts at selected supermarkets and restaurants as well as free cinema tickets. It’s a small gesture, but it can make a big difference to your employees.

“I have no idea what’s going on in the business”

The problem:

Lack of communication with your employees can really cause friction and make them feel like they’re not an essential part of the company. If you won’t tell them when the business is doing well, or share your plans for the future, they might feel uncertain about the company and start worrying unnecessarily. It could also cause animosity as field workers might think that you don’t understand how long certain jobs can take, and at the same time you might think they’re not keeping you informed. This way everyone ends up feeling they’re kept in the dark!

How to overcome it:

Consider sending out regular company announcements, informing your team of the progress the business has had that month, any new hires, new contracts or just general news. Apps like Okappy can help too, as you’re regularly connected with your employees and subcontractors. You can add jobs, see them updated in real-time, and keep in touch via the messaging service.

“I can’t handle the workload!”

The problem:

When your field workers do a great job, what do you often do? You give them more work! You might even give them an extra load to support those who aren’t doing as great, which makes them feel like you’re punishing them for doing well. This can lead to resentment, stress and a degree of anxiety.

How to overcome It:

Communicating with your employees regularly and asking them how they’re coping is important to ensure you don’t overload them. If you need to increase their workload due to the needs of the business, then discuss it with them and make sure they’re rewarded for it. This might mean a pay rise or a promotion. Providing an incentive will certainly make them more inclined to do the extra work that the business needs.

“I don’t feel like I’m developing”

The problem:

After a couple of years working for you, employees might want to challenge themselves, expand their skillset and learn something new. If you don’t provide them with that opportunity, one of your competitors will. The lack of challenges or of a development program for your workers can lead to real frustration, disengagement and lesser productivity.

How to overcome it:

From day one, give your field workers a goal to work towards. It can be tricky when your employees work in the field. Take the time to go out to visit them on the job, get to know them a little better and perhaps teach them a new skill yourself. If you’re looking to expand your business, would you not rather train an existing employee that has proven himself and knows the business inside out then go to market to find the required skills? Both parties will benefit from it and it’ll help towards building a long-term relationship.

“I don’t understand why he/she was promoted”

The problem:

Talent attracts talent and great field workers often want to work with other great field workers. They know they can learn from them, they feel more motivated and push themselves to do even better. Imagine their disappointment then when a new starter doesn’t make the grade, or simply doesn’t commit to the work. Even worse when a colleague who doesn’t work nearly as hard as they do is promoted.

How to overcome it:

Before making big changes within your team, or hiring new staff, listen to the opinion of those in the field that you respect the most. If you have fantastic employees whom you believe represent everything positive about your business, talk to them. Ask why you should or shouldn’t hire a new prospect. Consider involving them in interviews for new hires too. Make them feel like they can positively contribute to the future of your company.

Great employees are the reason behind a successful company. You know your business would be lost without them, so do all you can to reward them, make them feel valued and keep them happy. Their hard work will repay you ten times over!

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