Table of Contents
How to Bolster Technician Retention in the Pest Control Industry
One of the biggest issues affecting the pest control industry is not a lack of work, it’s a lack of workers. Technician retention is at an all-time low.
Qualified technicians are out there, but why is it so difficult for pest control operators to attain and retain quality employees these days?
In this guide, we speak to the current employment climate, the importance of retaining good employees, and how you can make sure your best techs aren’t walking.
Common Reasons Why Pest Control Technicians Choose to Leave a Company
When you think about technician retention, your first instinct might be compensation. Pay them well, and they’ll stick around, right?
One of the most common reasons pest control technicians quit is company culture, followed by feeling overworked or under-appreciated.
Of course, compensation is always a factor, but it’s important to remember that employees are equally, if not more, concerned about how they will be treated and whether there is any enjoyment in their work day.
Why It's Vital to Boost Technician Retention in the Current Market
It’s painful for any PCO to lose a good technician. In today’s job market, you may receive 100 applications and schedule six interviews, but only have two people show up. That’s tough!
The hiring and training process is expensive and doing it over and over can put a strain on any PCO, especially smaller, local companies who already have a hard time competing with national chains.
This is why it’s incredibly important to retain your best technicians once they’re hired. This requires effort on the part of the PCO, but trust us, in the end, it will be well worth it.
9 Actionable Tips for Increasing Your Pest Control Company’s Technician Retention
#1: Create a Positive Company Culture
Creating a positive company culture may seem easy enough, but it’s more than the occasional pizza lunch during the busy season — it’s about truly valuing your employees at an intrinsic level.
This may start with encouraging positivity in the workplace. If the boss comes in feeling grumpy and stressed every day, it’s only a matter of time before the employees follow suit.
Or you may want to place emphasis on employee wellness by ensuring employees have the tools, resources, and onsite opportunities to invest in their health. This may be as simple as installing a basketball net in your back lot or offering gym memberships as part of your employee rewards program.
Some other ways to foster a positive company culture include:
- Providing meaning and purpose to the job
- Creating a goals and rewards system
- Fostering social connections
- Being a good listener
- Empowering your most positive employees to lead
From weekly round-table meetings to company picnics, there's more than one way to create a culture that shows you value and appreciate your technicians.
#2: Offer Competitive Benefits
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if your benefits aren’t competitive, you will lose employees — and fast.
Market research is essential in understanding what your competitors are offering outside the industry salary, so you can stay ahead of the game.
Benefits may include:
- Health, dental, and vision insurance
- Employee wellness programs
- Child daycare
- Loan reimbursement
- Mileage reimbursement
- 401(k) or other retirement plans
- Vacation packages
- Sick or personal days
When your benefits are competitive and attractive, employees are less likely to want to leave your company.
#3: Ensure Your Employees Feel Heard and Appreciated
Many managers sit behind closed doors making decisions that affect the entire company. This is an old-school mentality that needs to be ditched if you want to retain your technicians.
When you include your techs in important policy or procedure changes, you’re telling them their voice matters. Empowerment improves morale and increases productivity because your techs will feel as though they have a personal stake in the company and its success.
Thank your employees for showing up and being part of the team. Simple acts of gratitude go a long way because, let’s face it, without your technicians, you don’t have a pest control company.
#4: Make Pay Competitive
Low pay = low technician retention.
You simply cannot pay less than your competitors if you want to survive. For smaller operations, this may seem difficult, but there are other ways to ensure your pay retains your top techs.
Loyalty bonuses can be offered each year as a reward for sticking with the company, for example. Or you may want to consider offering some commission on upsells, or perhaps an employee referral program.
#5: Provide Quality Training
When employees feel competent in their position, it gives them confidence and so much more. The value of quality training can’t be understated.
Ongoing employee training will:
- Address any weaknesses
- Improve employee performance
- Ensure greater job satisfaction; and
- Lead to development and promotion opportunities
#6: Prioritize Safety
Everyone deserves to feel safe and valued at their place of employment. When you train your employees in safety matters, it lets them know that you care about them.
Safety topics can be included in every aspect of your training and should include all staff, not just your technicians. When support staff understands safety needs in the field, they’re more likely to participate in implementing and supporting these needs.
Not all safety training requires multiple-day sessions, but may include:
- Written reminders and signs
- 10-minute daily launch meetings
- Company newsletters
- Monthly safety topics
A safe and healthy workplace protects workers from illness, injury, or worse. Safety training also lowers the cost associated with injury/illness, absenteeism, and turnover, and increases morale and productivity.
#7: Offer Professional Development Opportunities
Companies that offer continuing education and professional development opportunities are far more attractive to potential hires than those that don’t.
One study showed that:
- 92% of employees see professional development in employment as important or very important.
- Employees who have professional development opportunities have 34% higher retention.
- Employees with professional development at work are 15% more engaged in their jobs.
Try speaking with your employees about their career goals, then offer the corresponding training to help them achieve those goals.
#8: Let Them Have Independence
One of the perks of being a pest control technician is the independence associated with the job. When your employees are well-trained, they’re more likely to use those skills and knowledge to make educated decisions in the field.
A well-trained tech will:
- Possess good problem-solving skills
- Count on their skills and knowledge
- Work more efficiently
- Have a higher rate of productivity
- Depend less on supervisors throughout the day
When employees are empowered to think independently without management breathing down their necks all day, they’re more likely to stick around.
#9: Make Sure They Have the Tools They Need
When a technician has the tools to do their job effectively and efficiently, on-the-job frustrations decrease and job satisfaction improves. Nothing is worse than battling with outdated systems or having mounds of paperwork to complete at the end of a long day in the field.
High-quality pest control management software is a must for technician retention. Below are just some features you should look for when researching pest control software for your company.
Any pest control software should be technician-centered. After all, they’re your eyes and ears in the field and should have full visibility.
Ensuring your techs have access to customer service management, reporting, and payment processing tools is just the start.
Your software should be user-friendly and mobile-ready, and it should integrate with the software programs you already use, streamlining your business both in and out of the field.
Optimized Scheduling & Routing
With scheduling and routing software, techs are not driving from one end of the city and back to complete jobs.
Techs need scheduling and routing software to provide a bird’s-eye view of their workday, and scheduling operators need to know where their techs are and when jobs are complete.
An optimized scheduling and routing feature means you’re always sending the most qualified tech for the job and avoiding the inevitable frustration of service issues in the field.
Essential Mobile Features
If it’s not mobile, it’s not tech-friendly. Dealing with clunky laptops is a thing of the past. Techs should be able to communicate with central command with the touch of a button using iOS or Android systems.
Your techs will stay organized with mobile reporting, work order completion, payment processing, and appointment management.
Providing technicians with the most efficient tools, using devices they’re already familiar with, means they spend less time fumbling with legacy software or paperwork, and more time getting jobs done.
Cedar Pest: Providing Key Software Tools That Will Help Your Technicians Find Success
Cedar Pest was designed with technician retention in mind.
Our software is fully technician-centered, mobile-friendly, and so easy to use, even your most “seasoned” technicians will catch on quickly.
By offering field-friendly features, such as …
- Scheduling and routing
- Customer management
- Payment processing
- Sales management
- Reporting; and
- Automated notifications
… techs are equipped with everything they need to make their days go as smoothly as possible.
Your business is important to you, and your techs are at the heart of it all.
Trust Cedar Pest to provide the tools needed to keep your team happy in the field.