Today’s most competitive field service companies are adopting GPS time tracking technology. However, some are still using outdated manual methods to keep track of what their employees are doing and where they are which can cost you money in several ways.
Of course, you probably already know this so you are looking for a way to shift from those obsolete timekeeping practices. For some, adopting new technology can feel intimidating. After all, people have been afraid of new technology for hundreds of years.
For field service companies who are adopting new technology, it may seem overwhelming to think of how to get your techs and crews onboard. This guide aims to help you successfully implement GPS time tracking technology so you can start improving productivity, customer satisfaction, and payroll accuracy quickly and easily.
What Employers Should Understand Before Introducing A GPS Time Tracking Solution
Whether you are concerned about your workers not accepting it or afraid of not being able to train them to use it, here are some important things you should understand before introducing your field workers to GPS time tracking.
1. Don’t Assume Your Workers Won’t Like It
Of course, we want our workers to like their jobs because it helps them perform their best. You may feel compelled to think your employees will find artificial intelligence like GPS time tracking to be invasive, difficult, or unnecessary but this is largely untrue.
The fact is, 80 percent of tech experts in the field service industry believe it enhances their skills and efficiency.
2. Don’t View GPS Time Tracking as Spying
If you consider GPS time tracking as spying, your employees will, too. While it certainly will help you keep track of where your employees are and what they’re doing, there are multiple benefits to using it and spying is not one. Safety, accuracy, and efficiency are all valid reasons why GPS time tracking is being incorporated in today’s field service industries.
3. Don’t Assume It Will Be Hard To Get Employees To Accept It
The average age of today’s field service technicians is around 40 years old, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the labor market ages and millennials and Gen Zs become today’s employees, technology is something that comes naturally to them. Since they essentially grew up with technology, they are intuitive with things like AI, VR, and AR and even appreciate the use of technology.
It’s also worth noting that technology in service industries is making the market more competitive and customers appreciate the use of technology to help field service workers do better jobs. And, of course, when your workers are confident in their abilities, they are more satisfied with their work which improves overall customer service.
4. Get Your Workers’ Input
Before you dive in with GPS time tracking, invite your employees to share their concerns. As with any organizational shift or transformation, there are sure to be plenty of questions. It is important for supervisors to encourage their employees to share them. This will allow you to allay any fears or worries they have about using technology in the field and also serves to get buy-in from employees since they feel they are being included in the process.
5. Know the Most Common Concerns
If you are already aware of the most common concerns, you will be better prepared to answer them for your employees. Some of the most common concerns of employees are:
- Privacy issues
- Personal phone issues (short battery life, compatibility, etc.)
- Accuracy of app
- Security measures (is their personal data safe?)
Make sure you have the answers to these questions available before meeting with your teams. Your confidence and knowledge will help increase theirs.
6. Build Your Case
Be prepared with the answers to these concerns as well as a list of the benefits of using GPS time tracking technology. Armed with the right information, your employees will have a better understanding of why you are implementing the technology when you explain these things to them.
Steps To Get Employees On Board With GPS Tracking
When an organization adopts new technology, experts suggest they need to ask three important questions:
- Will it improve the lives of those using it?
- Will it positively disrupt the field?
- Can it be easily and effectively used by your employees?
In the case of GPS time tracking in the field service industry, the answer to these questions is, yes. However, you will need to take certain steps to ensure your employees know this, so they will be more likely to appreciate it.
Employees who are resistant to it will certainly have valid, natural reasons why. It’s important that you put yourself in their shoes and acknowledge their concerns while also providing as much information as possible to put their minds at ease.
1. Explain Why You Are Implementing GPS Tracking
Initially, your employees might see GPS time tracking as an invasion of their privacy, or they may think you are just doing it because you don’t trust them.
There are a lot of reasons why companies are increasingly using GPS time tracking solutions but your employees may not know them.
Field workers may not fully understand what is going on in the office or how using this kind of technology can help your company save time, money, and resources when it comes to administrative duties.
Your employees should understand that using GPS tracking helps with more than just tracking their work hours. With the right solution, it helps keep things organized, keeps everyone connected, simplifies scheduling, controls costs, streamlines invoicing/billing, and more.
It’s important for you to explain your reasoning behind using it to ensure they do not take it personally. Once they understand the many benefits of it, they will be more open to accepting your decision to use it.
2. Address Employee Concerns and Debunk GPS Tracking Myths
Today’s workplaces are increasingly adopting an open-door policy that encourages honest, open communication and invite questions from workers.
When you have a remote team or field workers, they may not be as connected as those in the office who see each other daily. You should make sure all employees’ concerns are addressed and be prepared with information that debunks common GPS tracking myths.
For example, make sure they clearly understand you are not implementing GPS time tracking because you don’t trust them. Instead, clarify that GPS and traffic information can help increase productive hours by 15 percent and helps automate processes like payroll, which could boost profitability by as much as 20 to 30 percent, according to research.
Depending on what system you choose to use - have employees use their personal phones (BYOD) or provide company devices - make sure they understand the technology is not intended to invade their privacy and, when they are off the clock, they can turn it off.
Assure them that statistics show at least ⅓ of today’s modern companies use GPS tracking and seven out of 10 employees don’t have a problem with their employer knowing their location.
Reinforce that employees who are doing their best will have nothing to worry about. In fact, they will appreciate the ways it will benefit their lives and help them do even better in the field.
3. Discuss How They will Benefit From GPS Time Tracking
Ideally, our employees will want what’s best for our companies but let’s be realistic: They need to know how this technology will help them, too.
This is a fair question and knowing the benefits will be more likely to create some excitement around it.
There are many ways - both directly and indirectly - GPS time tracking helps employees in their day-to-day jobs.
With a simple swipe on their smartphone or tablet, they can clock in, clock out, or change tasks. They will no longer have to worry about inaccurate paychecks because everything will be automated.
Credit For Work Done
With the ability to change tasks, they will be able to easily and quickly report the work they have done. They can also find accurate records of jobs they have done in the past using this technology. No more guesswork about who did what, when.
A cloud-based GPS tracking solution provides a central place to share information, so employees can find job updates and information without needing to go through a lot of paperwork or make a lot of phone calls.
Since their time is being recorded accurately, scheduling is made easier to prevent them from being overworked or over-extended.
4. Explain The Safety Benefits
When you know where your employees are, you can help them get to where they need to go in the most efficient way. They won’t have to worry about getting caught in heavy traffic because you are able to direct them to the best route based on traffic conditions.
The farther they have to drive, the more risk of accidents drivers have. But with GPS tracking, you are aware of which employee is closest to a job so you can reduce their drive time.
For some field workers, there are job risks that GPS time tracking can help with. For example, if someone is injured from a fall and the homeowner or customer is not home, and the worker can’t be reached by phone, you will know where they are so you can send help.
5. Describe How The System Works
When employees are unfamiliar with something, their mental images might be intimidating. They may think they will need to have a lot of advanced technological know-how so you should be well-versed in how it works.
Ideally, you can have the app installed on your phone (or company phone) and give a demonstration of how to use the system. This will give them an idea of how simple it is to use.
You might even have someone in payroll explain how it integrates with their programs and makes payroll easier. This will increase their understanding of how effective the technology is at increasing the productivity and efficiency of your company. Plus hearing from other personnel how it helps, can help reduce their angst.
6. Create and Explain The Training
Develop a training session that will include someone from customer support who is available to answer any questions.
Make sure you set aside enough time and choose a day when all employees can be present to learn about it.
Explain to your workers what the training will entail and make sure they bring their devices, so they can practice using the program while there is someone there to guide them and answer questions.
7. Clarify The New Policy
Any time you implement a new policy, it has to be clear what the policy is and what the procedures are if the policy is not adhered to. Make sure you use absolute terms and don’t be vague with words like “sometimes” or “generally” because they can be confusing.
Experts suggest your new policy should have five components:
- _Purpose Statement - The reason for the new policy.
- Specifications Statement - Details about what is expected.
- Implementation Statement - Identifies any specific roles of different individuals.
- Effective Date - the date it takes effect
- Glossary - a list of terms that make everything clear.
Employees who clearly understand the policy will have greater success in using it.
Avoid Employee Backlash
Transparency is important in the workplace and this is particularly true when making changes or upgrades. Make sure your employees don’t feel put off or offended by thrusting the GPS time tracking technology on them without warning or information.
Don’t keep it a secret
Announce your intention to start using GPS time tracking even before you decide on which one you will use.
This way your employees won’t be surprised when you announce that you have chosen a service.
Don’t Hide The Company’s Benefits From Using It
If your employees have a clear understanding of the many ways GPS time tracking will serve your company, they will be able to see why you are adopting the technology.
After all, they know a good and profitable company will continue to provide work for them so ensuring they understand how much your company will gain, reassures them that you’re doing it for everyone’s good, not to spy or punish them.
How ClockShark’s GPS Time Tracking Feature Helps The Mobile Workforce
Before you can explain how this technology improves everyone’s life, you should first be clear about it yourself. ClockShark offers many different options for today’s field service industries and each has unique features.
Mobile Time Tracking
With ClockShark’s mobile time tracking solutions, employees don’t have to worry about keeping accurate time records with a pen or pencil. Using either their personal phones, a company phone, or CrewClock™, mobile time tracking makes keeping accurate records a breeze.
Download the app and you’re ready to go. You can clock in, clock out, or change tasks with just a swipe. Reminders will also give your employees notifications so they don’t forget.
ClockShark’s GPS tracking service uses the power of satellites to bring your employees to your screen. You never have to wonder where your employees are or where they’ve been. When you see an employee is clocked in, you can check their location any time to make sure they’re in the right place.
Your employees can be sure they will be paid for doing exactly what they have done. They no longer have to worry about inaccurate paychecks and can get the right credit for each job they do.
With ClockShark’s geofencing technology, you can set invisible, virtual boundaries that remind workers to clock in when they enter a particular area or out if they leave. You can also receive notifications of employees who clock in when they are outside of the designated area. This is helpful whether you have one job site or 100.
Who’s Working Now
Wondering where everyone is? No problem!
ClockShark’s Who’s Working Now feature lets you pull up a real-time map so you can see where everyone is. This is helpful for service industries that receive emergency calls. Pull up the map to see which employee is closest. Employees can also use the service to find help from whomever is nearest their location.
Customer Success Story - Extreme Janitorial
Abel Casanga took his window-washing jobs to the next level when he founded Extreme Janitorial in 2004. Based in the San Francisco Bay area, this full-service janitorial company employs dozens of professionals to provide services to such facilities as:
- Retail stores
- Manufacturing/industrial facilities
- Fitness Clubs
- Veterinary clinics and hospitals
- And more
Naturally, their workforce includes a lot of field workers and, according to Co-founder Mery Casagna, the rapid growth of their customer base meant hiring even more professionals.
The challenge, however, was employee accountability. There was no accurate way to tell if employees were at the jobs they were supposed to be at, or if they were at the job site for as long as they were supposed to be.
Since Extreme Janitorial prides itself on timely work and punctuality, it was an important issue to resolve. Their old system of timekeeping and employee tracking was not working for them, so they set out to find a solution.
After discovering ClockShark, the company signed up and was happy with how quickly and easily their employees were set up. ClockShark made utilizing their services easy with quality customer service and guidance.
The employees love that they can take photos and show their supervisors the work that has been done. The supervisors love that they can see where every employee is at any given time, in real-time, and see when they clock in and out.
ClockShark has helped elevate this services company, so they can provide accurate pay to their employees and provide even more exemplary service to their clients.
“ClockShark has given me the peace of mind I needed to carry Extreme Janitorial to the next level.” --Abel Casanga
Introducing new technology can be an intimidating thing for any company. With ClockShark’s GPS Time Tracking and mobile time tracking solutions, it doesn’t have to be.
We will work with you to make sure you are fully prepared to make the transition. If you are ready to start saving time and money, contact us today to discuss the best solutions for your company. Or you can sign+ up for a free ClockShark trial to see for yourself the many ways it helps your company and employees work more efficiently.