It’s one thing to say or think you need to deal with an aging service workforce, but an entirely different thing to take steps to address it. There are several great resources to read while you research ways to address it (linked at the end of the article) and we’ve written about it before here on this blog and on Field Service Digital (links also below), but this post focuses on solid steps toward dealing with an aging workforce.
Some organizations like to wait until they “need” a new technician to add a new technician—it’s a reactive way to address the workforce rather than a proactive way. And, we all know reactive is a thing of the past in service. Instead of waiting, hire now. Hire younger technicians who can spend quality time with your experienced technicians. It’s a great mentoring opportunity and it’s a perfect opportunity to spread the wealth (or knowledge) to newer technicians.
It’s a nice sentiment to say you’ll collect your aging workforce’s knowledge before they go, but the real action is in doing it. Start collecting now. You never know when a technician may need to retire or leave for reasons unseen before. Mobile tools and knowledge bases allow organizations better access to technicians’ knowledge. Record them doing work, sit down and ask them how to do something step by step, shadow them and ask questions to get their secrets to success. Not everything can be pared down into a simple “how to”, but you can’t figure out what can be easily shared until you figure out what knowledge everyone has.
As mentioned above, you should collect your experienced technicians’ knowledge now before they retire or leave for other reasons. However, simply collecting knowledge is not a sure path to supporting a new workforce. Without the mobile tools and knowledge bases that make such knowledge accessible to all, you are simply collecting data without a place to put it, which makes it unusable. Look at what tools will best hold the information your experienced technicians give you and take steps to implement the solution.
Set Up Training Now
We’ve talked about it on the blog before, but training and onboarding will be an essential part to transitioning to a new workforce. Many younger candidates will come from community colleges, meaning their technical skills may not be available up front. Therefore, it is important to support incoming new hires with the training and mentoring they need to feel comfortable and succeed.
How are you dealing with an aging workforce? We hope it involves some of the above actions every service organization should consider taking as soon as possible. The aging workforce won’t stop aging, so sitting and only thinking about the issue won’t solve the problem before it becomes a bigger issue.
“Why We Need to Address the Ageing Workforce Today” – Field Service News
“How to Attract Young Field Service Personnel” – CoreSystems
“How to Close the Field Service Skills Gap by Spreading Knowledge” – Field Service Digital
“Recruitment 101: Sell Students on Joining Your Service Organization” – Field Service Digital
“Design an Effective Training Program – Part 1” – Jolt Blog
“Design an Effective Training Program – Part 2” – Jolt Blog
“Design an Effective Training Program – Part 3” – Jolt Blog