How to help new field based workers feel part of the team

field based workersYou’ve spent time interviewing and recruiting and finally you’ve welcomed a great new employee to your field based team.  However, remote workers can easily feel just that ‘remote’. Being based in the field is great for delivering service to clients but what happens once the initial induction and training period is over?  How long before they feel out of the loop?  Here are our tips for helping new members of a field based team settle in and become part of the team.

1. Buddy up

Take some advice from software developers and try pairing up!  Software developers often pair up when creating software, one writes the code whilst the other checks it.  This approach has been shown to reduce mistakes and has the added benefit of providing social interaction in what is often a lonely job.  Why not adapt this idea and assign another field based colleague to each new team member to provide peer to peer support.  Having someone who’s doing the same or similar job role to talk to or ask questions can be very reassuring and they may feel more comfortable asking those ‘silly’ questions.

2. Tools for the job

Don’t disappear once the initial training and induction period is over.  It’s great to leave a new employee to get on with things once their training is over, but make the most of modern technology, try sending regular text messages and email updates to help and support them in their role.  Ensure they have the right tools to make communication easy, the Webroster Bee app gives easy access to work schedules and bookings for example.

3. Set team goals

Setting and sharing team goals for a field based team can get people working together for a common purpose.  Regular recognition of each person’s contribution towards the goals helps reinforce team bonding.  Take a look at the OKR system (Objectives and Key Results) for setting goals popularized by Google for inspiration.

4. Have a coffee

Field based workers don’t get that ‘tea break’ chat time that office based workers can benefit from.  Chatting with colleagues can help build the social ties that bind people to an organisation thereby reducing staff turnover.  Downtime is a great opportunity to establish bonds of friendship and empathy, why not encourage field based workers to meet up during breaks or call each other between jobs.