December 28, 2021

Tips for Retaining Your Deskless Workforce

Sam Caucci

Deskless worker

Deskless workers make up about 80 percent of the global workforce. This includes people who work as field service technicians, utility workers, flight crews and more. Retention rates in these industries are notoriously low. This is due to the challenging, stressful and isolating nature that comes with working in these jobs. Helping improve your deskless workforces’ retention can be one of the most important things as a leader, but many don’t know the best way to do that. 

Tips for Employee Retention for Deskless Workers

Try implementing the following employee retention techniques that can help you improve your connection and support to your deskless teams so you can better retain your top talent. 

Help them excel at the jobs that they do.

One major reason that deskless workers leave their jobs is because they lack confidence in their ability to do their job right. Unlike desk jobs, deskless work means diving headfirst into the unknown and using what you know and the resources that you have at hand to solve a problem in real time. In most cases, with a customer standing right next to you, watching. 

For example, a field technician will constantly need to stay on top of new products or upgrades that the company offers, while at the same time understanding how to install and fix, on top of being able to sell their products and services to the customer. And if that wasn’t enough, the real challenge can begin once they arrive at a customer’s door and are faced with a situation that they have never experienced before, which they must solve quickly. It’s a tough and stressful job, however with the right support, deskless workers can feel great about it, rather than anxious and stressed.

Giving deskless workers quality, continuous training online and in-person is an important part of the equation. However, that isn’t all. Employers should also focus their efforts on supporting deskless workers in real time. For instance, say a service worker encounters an issue and isn’t sure which of the two ways they learned to fix it is correct. They need instant help. 

For most companies, the process of getting this help means going through a phone line tree or through sending an email that gets lumped in with all of the other help requests. This results in so much time wasted due to these inefficient processes, plus it can affect the metrics that field-based workers are measured against. 

By investing in real-time communication technology that is able to replace these traditional methods you can make a huge impact on retention rates. Companies who do this are able to see an increase in employee engagement, ensuring that deskless teams receive the support that they need which helps boost their confidence and performance. They can get answers instantly and be able to move onto the next job more efficiently. 

Remove any issues and unnecessary friction from day-to-day work. 

The second main reason that deskless employees leave is due to frustration. Deskless workers do not work from a computer with access to apps and technologies and convenient answers. They often carry many different devices and rely on workflow management software to help them follow a schedule and track work orders. The latest communication technology is slowly reaching deskless workers, while in-office workers have been able to collaborate using these apps for many years prior.

However, because of the unique nature of deskless work, these communication applications built for desk workers do not translate well to deskless workers. Many deskless workers have a hard time getting into contact with the people they need. This can be frustrating to deal with every day. 

Other than communication, another issue is finding the information that they need to complete their work. Many field service technicians find that looking for information is one of the most challenging parts of their day. It can be frustrating when information is not readily available, or only available in a manual that can take forever to leaf through. Especially since finding this information affects how quickly you can get the job done. Innovative deskless worker solutions should find ways to remove these unnecessary frustrations. 

Be sure to create a culture of connectivity. 

Finally, your employee retention techniques should include a real effort to develop a culture of connectivity. Working as a deskless worker can be very isolating and challenging. Employees who are always on the move, travelling to customer sites rarely get to interact with their coworkers. Getting teams on a single communication platform and working on communication from the top down can be a good way to help boost employee engagement. Teammates who were not able to speak before can now become connected online and this can help create a sense of community. 

Level Up Your Deskless Team With 1Huddle

1Huddle can help you and your team stay ahead of the learning curve. We offer cloud-based employee gamification software. You can customize your content for a seamless experience and all of your employees will be able to access their training anywhere, anytime, and at the push of a button. You can use our game platform to measure their performance and make key decisions on where you should take your gamification strategy next. 

Do you want to learn more about how 1Huddle can help you level up your own workforce? Leave your information on the Talk To Us Page and schedule a call.

Sam Caucci, Founder & CEO at 1Huddle

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