Contributed by: Steve Brand, SGSA
Some managers believe that after funding and arranging a training class for a field service engineer that their work in enabling high-levels of performance is done…but this is not the case.
Knowledge is defined as information organised in a way that I can act on it. This implies that it has to be in context, i.e., what is knowledge to you might not be knowledge to me. By nature, knowledge is incomplete, abstract and difficult to transfer. We gain knowledge by experience or after an interaction with someone or something, for example, an instructor or a manual. It is the instructor’s responsibility to transfer appropriate knowledge to the student, achieve understanding and promote self-efficacy, or the willingness to act on the knowledge learned.
Skill is defined as the ability, coming from knowledge, to do something well. It is the manager’s responsibility to recognise the difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ and help their field service engineers to develop the skills they need to do their job well. We need to do something forty-two times for it to become a habit. This means that a student is unlikely to return to the office after training and automatically be skilled at a new task without being given time to practice, the tools to do the job and encouragement.
Motivation can be negative, extrinsic or intrinsic. Even if a field service engineer has the skill, there is no guarantee of high performance. Motivation is usually provided using sticks or carrots even though the most effective form of motivation is self-motivation, or I do it well because I want to. Increasing self-motivation in field service engineers is the responsibility of the manager and there are simple and effective techniques to achieve this.
SGSA supports the service industry by providing training for field service engineers on how to do their job well and to managers on how to develop the skills of their team and motivate them to perform to the best of their ability.