Food service repair and maintenance companies are busy. All indicators point to steady—or even above-average—demand lasting for the foreseeable future.
Typically, high demand is great for business, but nothing has been typical about service in the last year. The current workforce is maxed out and hiring is a challenge.
It’s time to stop turning away clients and additional revenue because you have too much demand and too few employees—especially because there are ways to scale up your workforce in the face of today’s service challenges. With an empowered workforce of Millennials and Gen Z-ers behind you, you can provide great customer service to existing clients and make room in the schedule to take on new clients.
There’s just one caveat in building the tech-savvy, customer-centric, and skilled multigenerational workforce you need. Talented, young service workers require the right mix of tools and training to enable their learning and professional development. Here’s how you can start upskilling your workforce and taking on extra business.
- Use motivation as the baseline for hiring—and provide technical training.
Navigate the labor shortage using every tool available. Focus on hiring candidates who demonstrate job potential and hold a wide array of soft skills, such as curiosity, rather than specific field experience. Look for candidates with traits that are key to success with your company and customers, then train those employees on service specifics. Set up mentorship programs, develop accessible training courses, and adopt technology that helps transfer knowledge.
- Emphasize soft-skills training.
Your technicians spend more time with clients than the sales team or their account managers. But field technician training is often focused on equipment repair and technical skills, while guidance on people or communication skills remain optional. Incorporate soft skills best practices into mentoring programs. In addition, create formal training that focuses on specific soft skill development aimed at improving the customer experience and building loyalty.
- Provide rapid access to knowledge for faster and more accurate service.
Even if you could hire a team with five to 10 years of experience, you still need to distribute tribal knowledge and provide access to specific diagnostic information for a wide range of equipment. Offer tools that extend real-time access to critical service information. Ensure your dispatch team diagnoses the problem correctly during the initial customer complaint call, and provide the technician with all the relevant information before they arrive at the job site. The outcome: you’ll be able to complete and invoice more jobs each day.
All data suggests that Millennials and Gen Z-ers want to use—and master—the latest and greatest digital tools to help them do their jobs more effectively, which means faster onboarding and better customer experiences. For more actionable recommendations to get your team up to speed, download our eBook, 3 Tips to Hire and Retain Millennials in the Food Service Repair Industry.