HR Resources and Tools for Home Service Companies
- June 26, 2019
- By: Vonigo
This article about HR for home service companies is by Carolyn Krokus, a contributor for 365 Business Tips.
HR and hiring pose many intimidating tasks for some employers, especially those that manage home service companies.
With the right tools and execution however, home service companies can excel in customer experience and company culture. How HR decides to use various tools and resources, can be a prime determinant factor of the quality of team members that home service companies employ.
There are specific steps your team can take to remove a lot of friction from HR management. They can help with all stages in the hiring process as well as the retention of top performers.
While one of the most sought-after qualities in the home service industry is a hard skill like moving furniture or window cleaning, it is not the only thing that HR needs to prioritize during the hiring process. It’s important to remember that these technicians will be entering private homes on a regular basis.
For example, you may have a new employee with a lot of technical skill. But what if they exhibit inappropriate behavior, poor people skills or even steal from a private residence? Should a customer have a bad experience like any of these, it will reflect poorly upon the company.
Aside from issues with brand imaging that could arise, some cases could even lead to legal battles for not properly conducting pre-employment background checks.
Workplace accidents are a reality of the home service industry. Still, a large number of smaller home service companies operate without adhering to the relevant safety guidelines outlined by OSHA.
The ideal scenario is that HR would already have communicated a crystal clear set of guidelines to the team for how to approach safety in the workplace. Use HR as a resource for injury prevention and also to report any suspicious workplace behavior in terms of safety. Do this swiftly and comprehensively. You may prevent employees from getting hurt in the future.
Without these safety guidelines in place, a company may be exposing itself to the potential for lawsuits. Legal action of that nature can be catastrophic to a company’s survival.
Safety Part 2: The Tools of the Trade
In the home service industry, the use of tools is very common. Part of adhering to proper safety guidelines as the employer is by providing equipment that is well-maintained and constantly inspected.
It would be wise to keep schedules and records of all equipment maintenance and purchases.
Naturally, you should also record all workplace accidents, safety complaints, OSHA Training, etc. By keeping detailed records all of your bases are more likely to be covered in the event that somebody gets hurt on the job.
Working in home services means constantly being on the road, visiting a variety of neighborhoods and working on multiple jobs. The main limiting factor of a team member’s performance is the number of hours per shift. To help efficiency and ensure no time is wasted, field service managers and technicians should be aware of their performance metrics.
If a company provides vehicles to its employees, they should be properly stocked with the correct equipment for the day. This is to ensure no employees have to delay their schedule in order to restock and retrieve any necessary equipment. If there is no company vehicle, it is up to the company to inform their employees of what they expect in terms of what supplies they should have, a protocol for clocking mileage (as most companies will reimburse employees for gas they use to drive to job sites), etc.
Unnecessary trips for equipment not only hamper efficiency and profitability, but they can adversely affect the schedule of the client. Some of them will even have taken time off of work to accommodate the appointment and will not appreciate having their time wasted.
The Right Teams for the Right Jobs
Another significant component that leaders overlook is maximizing your team’s efficiency. Coordinate and decide which technicians should go to which job site and have it visible to everyone in your scheduling software.
Lay out all of the job sites and group them by team before the start of each day.
You don’t want to waste time by sending one team or vehicle to the other end of town, only to have them turn right back around and do another job.
Try to group teams by location in order to cut down the amount of time they spend in the vehicle. All these planning efforts can help to improve employee experience and make for better company culture. This could amount to an extra 3-5 jobs completed per day which can result in more long-term earnings as a company.
Training & Customer Service
We live in a world where a company’s reputation and revenues can sustain damage by a single bad online review. It is of utmost importance that you offer proper training on how home service teams can give customers a great experience. The important thing is that your teams get the job done correctly, in an efficient manner. But soft skills are important too.
What keeps customers returning is the level of customer service you provide them with on the first visit. That initial visit is the most important — it will shape the customer’s view of the company.
Make it a Priority
Add it to your list of human resources goals to train all new team members on how to conduct themselves with customers. This will help to convey the importance of how others view the brand and give everyone a clear idea of the company’s expectations for their conduct.
This training time can also include highlighting mistakes to avoid and any necessary tutorials on tools and equipment. As mentioned above, keep detailed, up-to-date records of training. Check your training materials annually to make sure they are current with industry standards and safety protocols.
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