Kris Oldland - Nov 18, 2020

How has Covid-19 Impacted our Relationship with our Engineers

As we continue our series looking into the findings of our exclusive research run in partnership with FieldAware we reflect on how the pandemic has impacted the relationships between service organisations and their field service engineers...

The pandemic has put a strain on all of us both in our working lives and our personal lives.

As we touched on during the introduction to this report, while those of us who were office based had the relatively easy transition of moving to home-based working, it was our engineers who continued in the face of adversity to keep things moving while the world went into lockdown.

As IDC’s Aly Pinder Jr commented during a Field Service News Digital Symposium live stream, “we have to understand that it is not just a resource we are sending out into this environment, it is a person.”

There has never been a more important time to make our engineers feel valued within the organisation not just because it is the right thing to do, but equally because as we look to reclaim lost capacity and bring ourselves back on track, the skill-sets of a highly trained engineer or technician are likely to be very much in demand.

Those companies who have failed to emphasise the value their field service team bring to the organisation at this most testing of times could just see their key personnel jumping ship to their competitors at the worst possible moment – just when they are beginning to head down the road to recovery.

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The study findings though reveal that most organisations are aware of the importance of ensuring their relationships with their engineers has stayed healthy throughout the pandemic. In fact, the study shows that the overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) believe that their relationships with their engineers has improved since Covid19. (Figure 11 above)

It is perhaps of little surprise that the key to sustaining such strong relationships with our engineers lies in communication. Almost half of the total respondents (43%) stated that they speak with their engineers on a daily basis while a further quarter (26%) of companies stated that they speak with their engineers’ multiple times a week. Interestingly while there is very slight fluctuations, as would be expected, these numbers remain consistent across all of the various segments of company size we’ve monitored across the study.

The deployment of communication tools which allow field service engineers to connect with the wider organisation and for their to be two-way communication between engineers and their line management also appears to be near ubiquitous, with nine out of ten (90%) companies stating that their engineers have effective means of communicating with management.

Similarly, 86% of companies within the survey also state that they have tools in place which allow for peer-to-peer communication. Of these organisations, over two-thirds (70%) state that they have a dedicated tool to do so.

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Written by Kris Oldland

Kris Oldland has been working in Business to Business Publishing for almost a decade. As a journalist he has covered a diverse range of industries from Fire Juggling through to Terrorism Insurance. Prior to this he was a Quality Services Manager with a globally recognised hospitality brand. An intimate understanding of what is important when it comes to Service and a passion for emerging technology means that in Field Service he has found an industry that excites him everyday.