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It is always important to maintain work ethics and mutual trust between the employee and employer. There are ways to keep track of field employees and I suggest it is best done in the awareness of the employees.
If you type " Tracking Employes" in the RESEARCH tab at the top of the site, you will find many discussions on similar topics. You can get answers there.
10th April 2013 From India, Bangalore
You have written that your employees "field duty". But then what kind of job do they do? Are they technicians? Do they visit their customers? If yes then for what?
Chasing employee should not be "cat and mouse" game. Monitoring staff productivity canb be well done by sitting at office as well.
There are scores of employee who work in the field for variety of purposes. Now how to check the productivity of the couriers? Simple - check number of documents and non-documents issued to them for delivery and find out actual delivery made. At the end of the day, supervisors are supposed to check are there valid reasons for non-delivery. Maintain statistics for non-delivery against each courier.
If employees are passing time at home or somewhere then they may not have sufficient work. Many times I found that these poor field employees do not get time even for lunch also. Why in your case opposite is happening?
You need to do study on workforce planning and staff productivity. Map the entire process of their delivery and find out cycle time for each sub-process. You will find some gaps. Find out reasons for those gaps.
You will end up in treating your employees as children if you start chasing them.
Dinesh V Divekar
10th April 2013 From India, Bangalore
In addition to what have been contributed by our experts, I am certain you have a clear view to the deliverables by those employees. Have you identified what motivates them to perform ?
I echo Dinesh . I completely understand the concept of discipline, but inspirational work stronger and pushes an employee to achieve the impossible.
Looking forward to hear from you
10th April 2013 From India, Mumbai
Thanks for your time and giving me the insight out for tracking the ghost employees.
Your comments really helped me to create a check & balance and audit system on field employees.
In addition to Dinesh question... Yes they are technicians and supervisors working on Installing Internet & Telephone lines for vendor.
12th April 2013 From Saudi Arabia,
Thankyou for your response. We are certain you would resolve this. Here's my suggestion, once you review the job content and the time taken to deliver it, try and see if you can make it official for the employees to work only for those hours. A cut-back in the number of working hours might offer an added benefit to your employees.
If you can make this official, you will be able to review how many employee would you require per area , per hour. That way you might be able to optimise the talent allocation , if it is feasible.
please share the options you may find and help us suggest you what is best and legal for your company. Wish you all the best !
12th April 2013 From India, Mumbai
Today, life has become simpler due to technology.
One way is to check the activation time of the Internet / phone line the field staff has completed. You can check it against the standard work time to know whether they are efficient of wasting time.
However, a more sure way is use of gps trackers.
Latitude from google is one such software. Most of your employee must be having smartphones (my office boy has an android phone), where latitude can be activated and used to track the exact location of the person. He should be instructed not to switch it off during office hours. Ghost working will also be detected as you can call to check and obviously if same voice answers 4 numbers, then you know what is happening.
Some Indian companies have made personnel tracking gps devices as stand alone products. I know 3 courier companies that use these. Ostensively they are give so that HO knows where you are and you can be diverted quickly to a customer in emergency service needs. Actually these are being used to know where the employee is. The tracker is correct to as much as 10 ft radius.
You being a telecom company, you can get free or low cost connectivity for your gps trackers. In india, the cinnectivity cost is as low as Rs 99 per month. The GPS devices cost between Rs 3500 to 9500 depending on what you want. Blue dart for example has combined it with a bar code reader and takes receivers signature electronically to confirm and update the deliver status to the sender. That would be costly, but they can afford it. Another local delivery company has just opted for a tracker built into a pager type of device that all their field staff carry. That's at the lowest range
Of course cheapest is to use an app in a smart phone and track the entire workforce from office free of cost.
Hope this helps.
13th April 2013 From India, Mumbai