Five Reasons Field Staff Will Embrace Their New Mobile Workforce App
You did your due diligence, identified your field staff needs, evaluated the mobile app capabilities, and provided convincing information to the CFO on the value of the new mobile workforce app.
Now it is time to implement the solution, and you hear rumblings from field staff that they do not want to incorporate a new mobile workforce app into their workday. They may be resistant because it is another new tool they must learn. Or they might feel like they are being micromanaged, or think the processes they use are good enough and they don’t see a reason to change.
If you have ever experienced resistance to change from your field, you understand the potential for misuse, incompliance, system gaming, and naysayers who antagonize the team. These actions can disrupt the workplace, add time and expense to the project, and ultimately ineffective change management can derail the entire project.
“If employees are unclear about the benefits they will get out of the change, they are more likely to resist, and it can cause the project to fail. A well-designed change management plan is essential for a successful employee roll out.” – Laura Theodore, Director Customer Support, StreetSmart
Change can be difficult, but a well-designed employee launch plan can help your team understand why the company has chosen to add a mobile workforce app to their processes. It’s crucial to outline and share the field staff benefits to mobile workforce apps.
Five Field Staff Benefits to Mobile Workforce Apps
Our customers often report that increased visibility and productivity are the biggest benefits to their StreetSmart mobile workforce management solution. However, there are also five great field staff benefits to Mobile Workforce Apps. These include improved safety, less job stress, reduced administrative work, faster expense reimbursement and less travel time.
#1 Improved Safety
Employees should always feel safe at their jobs. But field staff often work under unique and changing circumstances, especially when they are driving and working in remote or unfamiliar areas. Their jobs can take them into neighborhoods considered unsafe, or business parks that have a history of security issues. A company that uses location intelligence capabilities on their worker’s mobile device can easily monitor and quickly respond when an issue arises.
For example, imagine a traveling nurse gets lost late at night. She is in an unfamiliar neighborhood, feels unsafe and decides to call dispatch. The dispatcher looks up her location on the map and helps navigate her back to the highway.
Or think of an HVAC employee who is working alone and hasn’t reported in for an extended period. A lengthy appointment period can set off an alert for the office staff to proactively call, email, or text the employee, and ask them to check back with the office. If there is no response, they will send help to the job site.
Some companies have a submit help form set up for employees to use when they feel unsafe and do not want to alert those around them that they have requested help. Your StreetSmart mobile workforce app provides an extra layer of employee safety and is a significant benefit to your team.
#2 Less Job Stress
The more information your field staff has before they arrive on the job site, the easier it is for them to find the location and get to work. It helps reduce job stress when the employee is well-informed of where the job is, how to get there, and what to expect once they arrive.
For example, picture a pest control technician arriving at a restaurant with all the details of the issue and why he was called. The restaurant manager would be pleased that she doesn’t have to stop what she is doing to re-explain everything she already told the customer support rep. The technician can quickly get to work and leave the job knowing he has a satisfied customer.
Customer complaints about jobs completed improperly can be stressful for field workers. However, with their mobile app set up for job site photos and Proof of Delivery, coupled with GPS and date-time stamps, they easily confirm job completion at the correct place and time. Photo capture and annotations can also help field staff easily explain to their manager why the job needs extra time or resources.
#3 Reduced Administrative Work
Many mobile workers chose their occupation in part because they didn’t want to be a desk jockey. However, most jobs require some administrative work, and a mobile workforce app can reduce the amount of time spent on paperwork.
For example, mobile forms can be used throughout the job to update statuses and provide information to the office in real time. Using drop down menus, picture capture, and text fields allow workers to quickly enter the form details in one place without having to end the job or day with a pile of paperwork. Office staff also appreciates the ability to get information promptly and eliminate the need to interpret messy handwriting and incomplete forms.
Using a mobile workforce app also provides immediate invoice information to the office. Field staff easily submit invoices to the office from the job, rather than completing all paperwork at the end of the day or week. Timely job information makes it easier on the administrative staff, as they can review submitted invoices when they come in, rather than receiving giant piles of paperwork. Using mobile forms for invoice data often reduces mistakes, and if there is an error, the admin team can catch and correct it earlier. This automation can greatly reduce time to invoice.
#4 Faster Expense Reimbursements
Many mobile workers use their vehicles for work, and a mobile workforce app will give the employees a fast and easy way to submit their mileage reimbursement requests. Companies that integrate this digital information into their payroll system can automate the process for faster mileage expense reimbursements. This is a very tangible benefit for many employees.
For example, a contract floral shop delivery driver’s uses her personal vehicle for work. Depending on the number of orders and their delivery locations, mileage varies greatly from week-to-week. An automobile allowance doesn’t work in this situation, and the owner knows fast mileage reimbursements are one way to retain a good driver’s services. A mileage reimbursement form on their mobile app can expedite payment to the driver.
#5 Less Travel Time
Using a mobile workforce app can greatly reduce the need for field staff to come into the office. Submitting timesheets, forms, mileage and invoice information from the app allows the employee to start their shift at the first job site and end their shift at the last job site. They do not have to clock-in or out at the office and with job information sent digitally, and they do not have to drop off their paperwork at the office.
For example, a health inspector that travels all over the city doesn’t have to spend personal time commuting to the office to clock-in or out. And with job information sent digitally, they do not have to drop off their paperwork at the office at the end of the day or week.
“The worker that can leave their home, do their work, and go straight home without having to go to the office is the happiest. Often going to the office is out of the way from their assignments and their homes, so it lengthens their day, and it adds up to even more time spent driving. Employees definitely see the benefits of mobile forms, time sheets, and expense reimbursement requests they can complete on their device.” – Laura Theodore
Adoption of a new mobile workforce management solution is critical if you want to get the most out of your investment. Reframe the value of this new tool and share the field staff benefits to mobile workforce apps, and you will speed the success of your StreetSmart mobile workforce solution implementation.
Print our tip sheet 5 Employee Benefits to Mobile Workforce Management