We now live in a world where employees aren’t always in the same place at the same time, therefore communication between the field and office staff can be a challenge. No matter the industry, seamless communication between all members of your landscape business is key to success.
With the tools and technology available today, there is no reason to not take advantage, promote better productivity, and streamline how you do business. Below are just a few ways you can better streamline your landscape business’ field and office staff.
Use a Company Chat Tool: Yes, you can chat with your employees in real time and there are many tools out there to help you do just that. Yammer, for example, is a social network for businesses, which promotes collaboration. Setting a clear standard for clear and frequent communication between your field and office staff will help to streamline the workflow process and avoid miscommunication. Also, conducting a weekly meeting with all team members should never be underestimated—It helps all team members feel included, and is an important took for managing team tasks and productivity. Even if some members have to video conference in, there are tools geared towards just that—think Google Hangout, to name one.
Store Documents, Files and Work Orders in One Accessible Place: Using a collaborative operations software, like Common Areas, for example, can help keep track of and organize your crews, jobs, files, employees, and invoices in one place so all field and office employees are on the same page. With all employees able to access the same estimates and quotes, for example, from anywhere, the entire team is then able to collaborate in one spot, have the most up to date information and make sure the job gets done effectively and efficiently.
Foster a Company Culture: Company culture is that powerful alignment that shapes your work enjoyment, the work process, and your relationships. And it starts from the top down and is learned through interaction. To ensure that your company culture extends to your office staff that works in the field, it is important to make sure both teams feel engaged, invested, be on the same page and come together. Have the office staff do occasional site visits to get a better understanding of what that field workforce does and vice versa. You never know who might help to brainstorm a solution for an issue or have the next great idea for a project. If that interaction doesn’t take place, you are missing a critical component of streamlining your organization.
By establishing core values that include frequent communication, by leveraging the right tools and storing and sharing documents from one location, it is much easier to streamline workflow between remote field employees and office staff and maintain the company culture you hope to promote.