Introducing new technology to your employees can be a big undertaking. Some are resistant to change. Some may not consider themselves tech-savvy. And some just don’t see the point. You can see the long-term benefits of implementing a technology-based system, but getting everyone on board may be a challenge. It can be especially difficult in the notoriously tech-resistant construction industry.
But it doesn’t have to be a painful process! If you’re putting off tech upgrades to avoid the learning curve, here are a few tips for successful implementation:
1. Before you start using a new gadget or program, let your employees know the direction you’re heading.
Get their input on what they would be comfortable using and what would help make their job easier. Let them know that your investment in new technology is an investment in improving their day-to-day workflow and helping them gain new skills.
2. Identify the problems you want to solve.
Do you need a better way to track operator hours? Are you looking for an easier way to track IFTA reports? Do you need an ELD for vehicles in your fleet that are part of the Mandate? No matter what the issue is, make sure it’s clearly defined so you can choose the right solution.
3. Do your research.
Don’t get distracted by a flashy UX or clever name — make sure the tool is useful, not just pretty. Whatever technology you introduce needs to actually solve the problems you’ve identified. Chances are, there’s more than one technology solution that could work for you. So you should thoroughly vet each option, and pick which one solves your problems in the most efficient, useful way.
4. Start training before fully implementing new technology.
Let employees get familiar with the new tool they’ll be using before it’s the only way to do the job. A slow, smooth transition versus a sudden change means your employees will be less stressed and as a result, learn better and faster. You should also recognize that your employees have different learning styles and paces, and meet their needs to the best of your abilities. If it’s not possible to make a slow transition, be sure to begin training before its implementation.
5. Get your employees’ feedback.
Decide on an evaluation timeline and set dates for several evaluations. What are everyone’s thoughts after using the new technology for a month? Three months? Six months? A year? By a year out from implementation, you should have a pretty good idea of how your employees feel about the technology they’re using and if it’s doing the job it’s meant to do. On the other hand, if they’re having problems with the new system, you can offer more training and help employees gain valuable new tech skills.
Though technology can be tricky, and implementation even trickier, a little planning and patience can go a long way toward making it easier for you and your employees.