Signs of an unbalanced field service workload

Teamwork drives success within most flourishing service businesses. When field crews, office staff and supervisors collaborate effectively, customer satisfaction increases and bottom lines grow.

But some enterprises go overboard with this approach. By failing to address individual performance, they lay the groundwork for unbalanced workloads. In these instances, high-performers anchor the operation, exceeding service delivery expectations and bolstering total team output while weaker workers fly under the radar. This kind of arrangement creates conflict within the business and can catalyze an exodus of valuable talent, according to journalist Rebecca Knight, writing for the Harvard Business Review.

With these unfortunate outcomes in mind, field service business leaders should learn to spot unbalanced workloads so they can address operational issues. Here are two signs that such situations are developing:

Service businesses should not rely solely on workhorse employees.Service businesses should not rely solely on workhorse employees.

Employee complaints
The easiest method for identifying unbalanced field service workloads involves little to no groundwork: fielding employee complaints. While workhorses will for some time compensate for their colleagues in the name of the business, most have breaking points. When these individuals have picked up that one extra service request too many, they will air their grievances with management. In these moments, field service supervisors can see firsthand the imbalance that exists within their operations and start the search for solutions. Managers should, however, avoid rushing to judgment and taking hasty action when a more pragmatic approach often yields better results, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Noticeable skill-based divides
While most service business managers do not have the time to venture out into the field with their crews and evaluate worker performance at the point of service, they can gain insight via internal records. Should these data reveal a natural division of labor wherein select technicians execute tougher jobs while others handle simpler service requests, workloads might be unbalanced, the Houston Chronicle reported. In most cases, supervisors can solve this problem with additional training, providing unsure workers with the technical skills they need to address the demands of all customers.

Service business leaders that have seen both of these signs firsthand should take action as soon as possible to address unbalanced workloads. Service Fusion can help. Our field service management software suite gives managers the power to easily distribute job requests and track worker time, making it an effective tool for addressing operational imbalance. Connect with us today to learn more.

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