Removing Roadblocks to Technician Retention
Have you ever lost a great technician without any warning? Just about everyone in the industry would say yes. But the chances that there was really no warning are actually pretty slim. Spotting a tech who’s getting restless may be tricky, but there are things you can do to identify the signs that your technician might be on the way out the door, and proactively create a workplace they don’t want to leave. Here are some common reasons that good technicians leave.
- They’re overworked. It may be tempting to push more work on your best techs, but that’s a sure way to grow job dissatisfaction over time, especially if they’re running all over town to provide services to your customers. Adopt technology tools like smart technician routing to improve efficiencies and maximize the number of customers they can reasonably see in one day. Star performers will appreciate the productivity boost and respect for their time.
- They’re unappreciated. Gestures of thanks are a simple way to keep technicians satisfied in their jobs, but these gestures are also the easiest to forget. Figure out what means most to them and do more of that when it’s deserved. Some may want public recognition while others will be touched by a smaller gesture of thanks.
- They’re on a road to nowhere. When employees feel like they’ve maxed out, that’s usually when they decide to move on. Create opportunities for professional development and ongoing training and make sure your technicians know about them. If you have a dynamite technician, make sure he or she knows there’s a path forward if they stay with you.
- They’re underpaid. Offering more money only when someone is threatening to jump ship is a terrible way to handle pay increases. Evaluate your pay rates as compared to other pest control companies in your area and make sure you are in the same ballpark. While you might find a technician willing to start at low wage, they’ll leave as soon as something better comes along, even if they really love the job.
- Management stinks. There’s the old saying that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. When you say you’re going to do something, do it. And if you don’t, make sure to explain why. It’s also worthwhile to invest in manager training to improve relationships with technicians and the overall running of your pest control business.
- Management doesn’t care. Like all employees, technicians want to feel like they matter as people to you and your company. They’ll watch how you handle conflict and dismissals, and if the empathy is missing, word will spread beyond your employees. Your customers will feel it too.
Of course, there will always be reasons for a tech to leave that are beyond your control – an out-of-state family move, health issue, or advancement in education all come to mind. But when a great one walks out the door; the loss is felt beyond your daily scheduling. Replacing them is a huge investment of time and money. And if it’s a great technician who leaves, their loyal customers may head out the door right beside them.