Running a successful service operation means respecting your employees as much as your most valued customers. In field service, however, employers are often prone to treating new hires as if employment is a privilege rather than an opportunity that has been earned. Joe Crisara points out an unfortunately typical scenario in a recent post on ContractorSelling.com:
The story goes like this: Manger hires new tech. Tech spends first day going through new hire training. Tech comes into work on the second day, turns in his keys and doesn’t look back. Manager is befuddled. “Why did he quit without saying a word?”
As it turns out, the answer is obvious. The manager’s busy schedule caught up with him on the tech’s first day and instead of properly welcoming his new employee, the manager skipped a planned morning training session and gave the tech keys to a disorganized service van that had been abandoned by the previous tech, who happened to get the boot a week before.
“Basically when you tell an employee how important it is to be neat and clean and then fail to follow through with your actions on what your words have promised, it is a let down,” Crisara writes. “Walk the walk don’t just talk the talk.”
Crisara’s example paints the perfect picture of what not to do on your new tech’s first day. Since the list of “don’ts” may not be as obvious as we’d hope, here’s a list of common sense ways to prepare for a new employee’s first day:
No matter how high their qualifications, a new employee is going to require some training. Nothing gives off a worse impression than not being prepared. Have their email set up. Give them the keys to a (clean!) service van. Outfit them with a crisp uniform if your team wears them.
Be ready to introduce them to the team they’ll be working with and the materials they’ll be working with on a daily basis. Company culture and values are important, so make sure they’re familiar with how those fit into the daily operations of your business.
Any new employee will have questions. Be prepared to dedicate a substantial part of your day to their orientation. The involvement of management says a lot about how a business is run so start off on the right foot by letting your new tech know you’re invested in his or her success.