When leaders treat their employees with respect, it increases the likelihood of employee retention by 10%.

Here are Seven strategies to attract and retain field service technicians:

A recent survey revealed that more than 60% of employees claim they lack the time to be polite. This notion seems puzzling, as being nice requires no more effort than being rude or indifferent. However, the real issue lies in the organizational context that these individuals have experienced. Their behavior simply mirrors that of their bosses, as there are no role models for respect within their organizations.

Companies invest considerable resources in engagement surveys and recognition programs, which are undoubtedly important. However, they allocate very few resources to developing the soft skills of their managers, enabling them to establish better connections with their subordinates. In light of the aforementioned findings, wise organizational leaders should prioritize the training of their managers without delay.

Treating employees with respect is crucial for many reasons:

  1. Turnover:
    The average turnover rate across industries in 2021-2022, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, stood at a shocking 47.2%. The situation is even worse in trades-related fields, with turnover rates of 56.9% in construction and 54.5% in trade, transportation, and utilities. Manufacturing fares slightly better at 39.9%, but it is still a cause for concern. Turnover carries substantial costs in terms of recruitment, hiring, and lost productivity. Replacing an employee is estimated to cost between 50% and 200% of their salary, depending on the position. With such high turnover rates, organizations end up hemorrhaging money.
  2. Intent to leave:
    Over half of employees who do not feel respected or lack a healthy work-life balance are planning to leave their current jobs soon. Even if employers believe their employees are content, engagement statistics suggest that approximately 65% of them are actively seeking other job opportunities. The primary reason behind their search is to escape their managers.
  3. Negative influence:
    Unhappy employees tend to influence their colleagues, creating a ripple effect. If a workplace culture lacks respect, employees are likely to discuss their dissatisfaction and collaborate on plans to find alternative employment.
  4. Impact on productivity:
    The benefits of engagement highlighted earlier hold true in reverse when employees are disengaged. Disengaged employees tend to be less productive, experience more safety incidents and absenteeism, show less concern for customers, and are less likely to take initiative or contribute as creative problem-solvers. These factors have a direct impact on the organization’s bottom line.

To address the issues, follow these steps:

  1. Manager training:
    Begin by providing comprehensive training for managers, focusing on the importance of soft skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, collaboration, and change management. Excellent courses and management books are readily available for this purpose.
  2. Regular coaching and support:
    Managers should receive regular coaching and ongoing support as they strive to become effective leaders. If unsure about how to provide this, consider enrolling in a course to learn effective coaching techniques.
  3. Top-down culture of respect:
    Foster a culture of respect throughout the organization, starting from senior leaders. Managers reporting to these leaders deserve the same care and respect that they are expected to provide to their subordinates.
  4. Establish one-on-one conversations:
    Implement a policy of regular, consistent, and frequent one-on-one conversations across the company. Establish a schedule for these conversations and hold leaders accountable for conducting them.

When hiring new employees, follow these steps to a respectful workplace culture:

  1. Effective onboarding:
    Implement a comprehensive onboarding program. According to the Brandon Hall Group, a robust onboarding process can improve employee retention by up to 82% and overall productivity by 70%. The impact on revenue can be significant.
  2. Early manager engagement:
    Coach managers to establish connections with new employees as soon as they join the organization.

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