Field team management has a lot of moving parts that have to be just right for an effective and productive team.
Efficient field teams instill cost-saving measures, gather more data and increase overall company productivity. Getting to the optimal level of output requires a SaaS rollout through field management that recognizes obstacles in the way of maximum efficiency, has a strategy for procedure implementation and finds software solutions that work best for your field team.
Addressing Field Team Management Obstacles
One of the biggest challenges you face as a field team manager is getting your employees to effectively work together. In a field team position, you don't have the same atmosphere you do when working together in an office. The procedures and software used out in the field have to be easy to understand, well explained and flexible to accommodate changing working environments.
Implementing New Procedures
An efficient workflow requires an in-depth strategy for implementing new procedures. You can't simply introduce new technology and expect employee buy-in immediately. Thoroughly explaining instructions during the implementation period and letting team members know the benefits of the change are essential steps in a rollout. Do your research on how your team works together. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to field team management, so the right procedure for a previous team may fall flat with your current one. Don't be afraid to adjust procedures to promote team synthesis.
Is Your Software Doing Its Job?
The technology world is constantly coming out with new solutions, so staying on top of the latest software is an essential part of maximizing field team productivity. Does your field team understand the technology they are using now? Training manuals and sessions may be necessary to help employees take full advantage of available features. Document your training calls and make sure all employees have full access to training material when they need it. If you're considering a new solution, talk with your team to see which features they want and need so you can pick the best mobile data collection tool. When you tailor the tool to your team, you get more employee buy-in and better software adoption.
Monitoring Field Operations
Keep an eye on essential field operations. Ideally, your software solutions let you check your team's performance, but if you don't have that functionality, have a process in place so you can stay on top of how well they're doing. Also keep track of team morale, polling your team members for their feedback on a consistent basis. When you know how your team is feeling, you can address small issues before they snowball into larger problems. Also use these systems to reward high-performing field team members to improve morale and provide motivation for better productivity.
Handling Remote Communication
Field team management has another layer of complexity compared to the typical office environment. It's hard to keep your team in good communication with each other due to limited face-to-face time. Spend time setting up a system that provides equal time for each employee to share their input. Do your best to keep feedback fair and consistent from employee to employee, identifying team members who need additional training. If you can't arrange face-to-face time with your team, set aside time for phone calls or video chats instead of relying on text-based communication.
Ensuring a field SaaS rollout goes off without a hitch requires a strong understanding of your team, what their main concerns are and the procedures and solutions you have for handling the job. A well-managed team with the right training and a consistent manager will drastically increase company productivity.