Maintaining Good Communication with Your Field Staff

 No matter what the industry, communication will always be an integral factor. Employees will need to talk to their managers, managers have to communicate instructions and directives, and everyone in between will have to interact either for work or non-work purposes. It’s critical to understand that communication isn’t just a simple matter of “talking.” Some systems and processes can be put in place to make communication more efficient.

This is particularly important for businesses and industries that need internal and in-field workers to cooperate, collaborate, and, most importantly, communicate. Having a way to enable seamless communication is necessary to accomplish tasks- especially when you have to balance both in-field and in-office workers, so here are a few tips to help in that regard.

Keep Field Workers Updated with Company News

One of the major problems concerning corporate and field communication is the gap that inevitably happens when one part of the workforce has to go out in-field, and another part has to stay. The ones on the field still want to stay consistently informed like their in-office colleagues.

It’s critical to update field workers with all the important news, from policy changes to any developments within the company. They will appreciate that they’re still being involved in the picture, and they’ll find it easier to adjust when they return to the office. Another benefit is that they won’t be surprised by the changes and will easily adapt.

Establish the Right Practices and Gather In-field Feedback

We’ve already established the difficulty in communicating between in-field and office-based staff. Management needs to establish practices and systems that will enable real-time communication between both workforces. This can range from simple matters like using a satellite push-to-talk radio to make communication efficient to even utilizing collaborative messaging software for better discussion. You can also use video conferencing software to have a better method of having a conversation.

This isn’t so that you can “talk better.” It all leads to a point. That being, live feedback is critical. Since in-field employees are at the ground level, seeing what’s happening, they need to have a way to immediately inform the corporate. Constant feedback and communication are critical to improving your services and overall business, so putting systems and practices in place that foster good communication will allow this to happen.

Always Meet with Your Field Workers

The worst mistake any management or business can make is not having enough actual face-to-face meetings with their field workers. Other than informing your in-field staff of company developments, it’s important to make them feel like they’re part of the company by actually seeing and addressing them.

This will clear up any potential miscommunications, improve the relationship of everyone involved, and generally result in a smoother and more efficient working environment. There will be fewer mistakes because staff can immediately meet and sort it out before it gets out of hand, resulting in a much better quality operation. 

Understanding Co-workers’ Roles and Responsibilities

Office-based workers and in-field workers understand that they have different roles, hence why they’re in separate locations. But not everyone understands the extent to which these roles are different. Different positions have different roles and responsibilities that work alongside other people, and learning what these functions are will help.

It will tell each person to connect and contact the necessary personnel, removing unnecessary red tape because people don’t know who to talk to, and most importantly, make the passing of responsibilities more efficient. This also allows managers to make better use of people’s skills and abilities. In-field workers will better understand the importance of their role, and management will also see its importance. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Transparency is the Key

Regardless of the industry, being transparent about the scope of a position’s responsibility will make people understand its value. Almost 70% of employees don’t trust their managers simply because they’re not transparent and often feel like they’re being led on blindly.

This is even more prominent with in-field workers who don’t have continuous or direct communication lines with everyone else. Being transparent with what’s happening is crucial to communicating properly and creating the right avenues for discussion. Make sure to be direct and open, and your in-field staff will be so as well.

At the end of the day, whether they’re infield staff or office-based employees, communication is an important factor. For in-field workers, it’s even more so. Make sure to keep communication lines open, and everyone’s jobs will be easier.

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