On-boarding Employees and Their Importance in Successfully Integrating New Construction Technology
5 Minute Read
Humans are an ironic bunch. On the one hand, we have a desire to improve what we do, who we are, what we achieve. We are striving to be better than before. Yet, simultaneously, so many of us have an aversion to change. Whenever a new thing or activity is introduced to us, we start stressing ourselves out and grouching about the time we must spend learning how to do a new process or use a new tool. For no rational reason, we’re usually too attached to the old ways we’ve mastered over time.
“Why?” we think to ourselves, “should I change the way I do things, doing that will require time and effort to learn?” We seemingly forget that the process of learning will see us make initial mistakes but eventually master the task and forge ahead.
Why the Need to Change?
Ultimately, the hard truth is this: If we want our organisations to prosper and grow, there is a need to implement systemic change which improves baseline operations. Not only is there a legal requirement to improve practices, but an ever-changing landscape, new technologies and tightening budgets compel us to enhance what we do or risk losing large projects to other contractors.
In itself, the construction industry, despite being governed by scopes of works documentation, project phases and timelines, can be dynamic and unpredictable and it is only those who are agile and responsive that thrive. Streamlining operations — so as to improve the ability to respond and pivot — is the idea place to start and can be done by introducing new technologies and methodologies periodically. Tools such as Jobpac (our integrated construction ERP) are designed to help companies reduce operational costs, improve productivity and promote efficiency.
What You Can Do
As a leader, it is your right (some may say responsibility) to research, identify and facilitate a frictionless transition from your current processes to new and improved ones. It may not be a rapid process, but the task can be broken down by building a business case identifying issues and introducing how the solution will mitigate them. You can then articulate the costs of something like cloud software implementation and counterbalance these with the implied cost and time savings, reduced errors and faster decision making.
Keep in mind that your employees and contractors are your main agents of change, so your game plan should be mainly focused on them. Here are some steps you can use to get your employees on board, promote team collaboration and avoid a major backlash.
1. Do internal research
Organise demonstrations which show those who will benefit what it means to them. For example, if you are looking to show how team communication can be enhanced take real life scenarios and use the team management app functions to demonstrate real solutions.
2. Engage technological ambassadors in your organisation
Above and beyond a steering committee (see below) it is essential that you have a core group of key level managers, decision makers, directors and well-networked employees who can test the new construction software and challenge how it will add value. Your goal is to make them identify possible usage issues that the rest of the employees might potentially experience and to develop user-friendly solutions to address each question and concern. You can task them to convince reluctant employees and promote the new technology to the rest of the team.
3. Plan how to announce the change
Any widespread change requires a steering committee who are charged with evangelising the system. It is up to them to make people excited about the impending software or integrated system you’re putting in place across your organisation. Whether you do regular updates through the process, seek involvement, or plan to launch it through an in-house event the key is to make your employees and those using the system enthusiastic about the technological change. Through it all, it is important to communicate clearly why the change is happening and how it will improve business if adopted correctly. Similarly, advising the issues which will come and make life harder if not adopted is important too. A roadmap where milestones, goals and objectives are laid out can be of great use. Through it all, remind yourself that only when employees understand what is going to happen will you be able to elicit a positive reaction from them.
4. Provide training
There is no other way to make your employees proficient in a new program than to train them in the first place. It may seem an expense not worth spending, however, the expense of implementing something which is not used properly is far higher! Hands-on training will allow your employees to master the tool and as the main users they are the ones who will derive the most incremental value, which will have an aggregated value which filters back to the top. Ideally, training should be in stages: during scoping (so people know what is and is not included), from orientation prior to the launch, during launch and for weeks after and then ongoing in the form of readily available resources that everyone can access.
5. Encourage Feedback
Remember to make your employees a part of the big change by acknowledging their opinion on the new software. You can solicit feedback by having one-on-one sessions, by asking a department manager to arrange a meeting solely for the purpose, or to have issues logged in your existing team collaboration software. Whatever approach you choose to utilise, make sure to tackle the feedback and inform workers how you value their input so that you can gain their support.
Read more on successful technology adoption throughout the organisation: 5 Keys to Successfully Launching Technology Change Initiatives.
Sustaining Your Construction Business with New Technology
Surviving in the construction industry demands openness to drive change. That is why it is essential for you to employ strategies that will make it easier for the entire organisation to engage innovative construction software and team management tools.
And because these programs represent capital expenditure line items, it is essential you ensure that your employees embrace it immediately from the get-go. Call us biased, but choosing from Viewpoint’s suite of a user-friendly, integrated, construction and project management solutions will provide you with a leader in the industry, allowing you can rest easy knowing your investment will reap significant rewards.
Connect with us to learn more about how we can partner with you to truly implement successful digital transformation with our integrated systems which are designed to simplify the complexities of managing large and varied construction projects.