16 Oct Cultivating Healthy Relationships Between Front Office & Field Staff
In home services companies, it can sometimes feel as though you have two different teams working under one roof—your front office staff and your field technicians. These employees may have limited time together, but even so, it’s important that they get along well. Tension between these two groups can be detrimental to morale, productivity, and employee retention.
But what can you do to ensure these two units gel together as one cohesive team? Here are a few suggestions.
Start with Empathy and Respect
First of all, your team members need to respect one another—and that means being able to see the value in each other’s work. If there’s a sense that your front office folks sit around in big cushy chairs all day, or that the field technicians are just out there doing grunt work, tension is bound to flare up.
So what can you do to help employees see the value in each other? One thing you can do is to always very intentionally state the ways in which each team member contributes to the big picture; make it clear to employees the ways in which front office and field team members further your company’s goals.
An even more radical step would be arranging for some ride-alongs or shadowing opportunities—allowing office personnel to walk a mile in the field technicians’ shoes, and vice versa.
Avoid the Blame Game
Lack of respect is one thing that tears teams apart. Another is the blame game.
When things go wrong, it’s natural to want to point the finger at someone else—yet blame is rarely one-sided, and even if it is, pointing the finger doesn’t solve anything. The important thing is accepting both failures and triumphs together, as a team.
In terms of practical advice, you can lead by example. Own up to your failures, and never jump into the blame game yourself. And, if employees start finger pointing, gently remind them that what really matters is working together to make things right.
Address the Malcontents
One more thing you can do is be proactive in addressing employees who are frustrated or dissatisfied. Here’s why it matters: Malcontented employees tend to vent to their co-workers, and that can cause their bad attitude to spread.
Instead, you want them to express their frustrations to you. Regular employee satisfaction surveys can help. In addition, you can make it clear to employees that you’re always around to listen to their concerns—and that you won’t penalize them for voicing their frustrations. Again, you want them coming to you, not to their colleagues.
With these tips, you can start to create a real sense of camaraderie between your employees—even those whose daily experiences are quite diverse.
And as always, if you’d like to talk more about ways to build a stronger home services company, we’re here for you! Reach out to Contractor in Charge at your next convenience.