As we road warriors travel the world, we have the unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in the local culture, whether we’re chatting with the natives or eating the unique foods of the area. It’s that exposure to diverse cultures that has the potential for making us better at what we do, if we’ll let it.
Yet, the life of a road warrior is not for everyone. Most people mistakenly focus on the downside, instead of the upside. They don’t feel like it’s worth it, in part, because they don’t feel valued by their employers. As a management consultant and futurist, I urge employers it’s time to take action. These skilled labor shortages we’re already experiencing are not going away. There are no easy fixes, but I believe there are positive steps employers can take to ease the trials and tribulations their road warrior employees face. Ideas I suggest include:
• Allow them to leave for a trip on Monday morning instead of Sunday evening
• Recognize that they do have families and support that by offering a little extra to allow the Road Warrior to have a phone call every day with family (or better yet, tell them about Skype calling)
• Try to engineer it so they can be home by 5 pm on Friday
• Give people comp time for the extra time outside of business hours they spent on airplanes and in airports
• Make sure that they have all the support they need in terms of numbers they can call in case of emergencies and help handling traveling challenges such as delays.
Even what seem simple ideas can have a great impact. Remember, if you take care of your employees and they will take care of you.