Field management is all about individual happiness.
Maxime Van Bavel is the field manager of Talent-IT. Since January 2017 he has been concerned with the well-being of every consultant of Talent-IT. In this article he explains what field management is for him and how he tries to keep every consultant happy at his/her place.
Field management is all about individual happiness. When a consultant is happy in his role, he will perform well because he has more energy and will therefore not hesitate to go the extra mile. That’s a winner for everybody: the person itself, the client and for us as supplier. Happy consultants make happy clients.
But how do we achieve this goal? Is there a general approach for everybody? One solution fits all?
I don’t think so. A framework may help, but details will differ for each individual.
Step 1: Make the consultant happy, get to know him and gain trust.
It’s important to get to know the consultant as good as possible. Personal contact is essential to achieve this. That’s why frequent visits on location are organised to have face to face conversations. The frequency will be defined depending the needs of the consultant. The default is every 5 months, but it will increase when needed. It gives him the (minimum) attention he deserves, the feeling he’s not forgotten, but also the possibility to discuss things he wouldn’t by phone. At the end of the talk, you collect a ton of information: how does he feel about his role, the organisation, is he stressed, can he handle the workload or is he giving (visual) signals which could lead to a burn-out, does the project meet his expectations, is traffic an issue, ….
Not only we try to find out about how he’s coping at his job, but it’s also important to gain trust. The consultant must be aware that when he has an issue, question or any need for help, he has a contact to rely on: the field manager. Again, personal contact will help to achieve this.
Step 2: Keep the consultant happy: support him in his needs.
Every employee of Talent-IT is informed about the possibility to follow courses so he can keep up with the newest trends, upgrade his certifications or learn new technologies based upon his interests. For some this is very important, others care less. Some need a little push to get forward, others dislike being told what to do. That’s why everybody is free and not obliged to follow courses. Again, knowing the consultant is essential.
“Keep the consultant happy: support him in his needs.”
Motivation is another key factor in the happiness of an individual. Therefore we define goals in consultation with the consultant. When a goal can be achieved, motivation is born and when motivation is rewarded at the end, happiness is the result. To follow up the progress of the goals set, continuous evaluation tools will help us. These tools will give us on a monthly basis feedback about the progress and well-being of the consultant, but also the client will be involved in this process. An annual evaluation gives the opportunity to discuss past year and look forward to the year to come.
Finally after a hard day of work, it’s time to relax. Every now and then we organise events nearby the location of the working place of the consultants. This give them the chance to meet other colleagues, exchange information, built or strengthen their professional network all in a relaxing atmosphere.
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