How to improve employee engagement with your travelling workforce
Revenue might be the one thing that keeps a company’s doors open – but its people are still its most valuable asset.
Keeping your staff involved and engaged is key to a productive company and it’s easy to feel involved if all your staff are onsite, but road warriors or engineers or travelling team members can often feel left out, which can lead to low employee engagement levels.
This ultimately ends up hurting the business in more ways than one: an actively disengaged team member can cost the company 34 percent of their salary every year, a Gallup study found.
Identifying causes of poor employee engagement levels, implementing long-term fixes and leveraging the right digital platforms to do so is an art in itself.
What drives a disengaged employee?
The travelling workforce can often get the short end of the stick when it comes to, well, just about everything. Team members miss out on company outings, free lunch and important announcements. Sometimes, travel bookers even have trouble getting their business hotel bookings right.
Small disappointments can lead to poor performance with clients and a corporate reputation that leaves little to the imagination for future candidates. Reversing a stagnant sentiment among remote employees is the key to unlocking growth – and general happiness – within a business. Case in point: just a 5 percent increase in employee engagement leads to a 3 percent increase in revenue across the board.
Actually improving mobile worker engagement isn’t entirely as simple as saying it needs to happen though. Companies with great employee engagement generally have three characteristics in common. They:
- Constantly communicate with their staff, informing them of even the most minor policy changes that may affect their routines.
- Periodically survey the workforce – including those out of the office – to gather honest feedback on current conditions and how they can improve.
- Pinpoint frustration and do everything they can to create a stress-free professional relationship with their teams.
It should go without saying that communication is key when managing a travelling workforce, but it often needs to be said anyway. Just because a member of staff isn’t being vocal about frustration doesn’t mean they’re happy. Poor access to channels – i.e. only using email – can isolate staff members who don’t have the opportunity to talk face-to-face.
Ultimately, companies will need to locate the sources of frustration to work towards finding long-term solutions for them.
3 quick tips to improve engagement with your travelling workforce
Creating a more engaged remote workforce can be achieved in a variety of ways, but there are a few easy tips that organisations can use to get the process started.
- Be active with workload management
Work-life balance is an important factor for any happy employee at the office; it’s one of the highest priorities for mobile employees. With so much travel involved with the job, it can be difficult to balance personal and professional priorities if there’s no leniency with the latter.
Managers should look to actively cut back workloads in notoriously busy seasons or during holidays if at all possible. Give the travelling workforce – who isn’t always able to be with their family at the end of the day – the opportunity to spend as much time as possible at home in order to balance the scales.
- Hold regular training sessions
Training is important for every employee, no matter where they work or how high they rank in the organisation. While individual certifications and courses are great, they can further isolate team members who find themselves travelling most of the year anyway.
Regularly hold training classes with the ulterior motive of bringing the entire team together. They allow people to get familiar with each other and to put a face to the name they’ve been emailing back and forth or are on the phone with. Group outings can also promote better collaboration and shouldn’t be overlooked, even if they can be difficult to schedule.
- Make business travel simpler to deal with
Business travel plays a major role in the happiness of mobile employees. If your company lacks an excellent process, or if policies are more of a suggestion than a guide that should be followed, confusion and stress can take over.
Using a business hotel booking platform can make the process easier for both sides – those who book the hotels and those who stay in them. By being able to find hotels in minutes – and not to mention save 12 to 21 percent on every deal – the entire process is smoothened and becomes less of a headache.
With your travelling workforce always on the road, it makes sense to streamline the routine that keeps them on it to create happier staff and happier managers.