Successfully Managing Change to Achieve Workforce Alignment and Adoption
September 21, 2023
Workforce adoption is critical to the successful implementation and utilization of EAM and FSM technology – but when implementing new technologies, worker resistance is not uncommon. In a poll during a recent KloudGin Expert Insights session, 43% of respondents said that almost all of their employees are resistant to change, while 43% said over half of their employees are change adverse – totalling a whopping 86% of respondents who think that over half of their employees are change adverse! We recently sat down with Emily O’Mara from Louisville Water Company to explore how utility companies can approach these challenges and manage change while supporting employees, with the end goal of enabling better outcomes across the organization.
Driving Change in Today’s Workforce
In many ways, introducing new technologies to a workforce is easier than ever. As personal and professional technology has become similar, people are more familiar with the types of systems and applications that are utilized in enterprise environments. There is less resistance to change as a result, but there are also higher expectations of the ease of use in the user experience. The permeation of mobile technology in everyday life means that workers expect a simple and straightforward experience when using mobile-native applications and software, and technology needs to be built with the end user and their devices in mind.
This is also being impacted by an increasingly multi-generational workforce. Today, as more Gen Z and millennial employees enter the workforce, there is an even greater expectation that the tools and technologies they use are both intuitive and can guide them in how to do their job. The diversity of today’s workforce means that it’s important to receive continuous feedback and have an ear to the ground to understand the ever-changing needs and challenges of employees.
Best Practices for Managing Change
When it comes to introducing any new technology or process to a workforce, the most helpful step is to make sure to involve workers at all levels at an early stage, in order to get their feedback and inputs during the planning process. Open and early communication is essential to making sure that the needs and considerations of the end user are being met, and there aren’t any unexpected surprises once an implementation begins.
Another important consideration is making sure that the new technology is being built around how the workforce actually performs their jobs on a day to day basis, and that the new component being introduced seamlessly fits into the stack of applications, devices and processes that they are already using, or better yet, integrates multiple applications or devices into a single view for them. Making sure that the user experience is as uncomplicated as possible helps avoid resistance and encourage user adoption.
Another approach that can be positively employed to help encourage adoption of new technologies is the use of incentives. By listening to users and understanding their needs, it’s possible to encourage adoption by facilitating things that make their work and lives easier – paper-free timekeeping, scheduling assistance, and other simplified and automated processes. Saving workers time or making aspects of their job easier as an incentive is a collective win for the organization, and can help with workforce adoption.
Proper training and support for employees is also critical when introducing new technologies. Having subject matter experts who are wholly dedicated to training employees and helping facilitate adoption is essential. Any implementation or upgrades can be supported by these experts, so as to not take away from the main responsibilities of workers and their supervisors, who can remain dedicated to their primary roles.
Engaging Across the Workforce to Manage Change
It’s also critical when introducing new technologies to make sure that there’s engagement from both the leadership level all the way through to the field worker level. Ensuring that there’s input and communication from all stakeholders at an early stage is critical to the success of any implementation. Executives should take the time to go out into the field and to the front lines of their operations to understand how work is happening on the ground, the challenges their workers are facing, and what solutions workers need to better facilitate the work that they do. Fostering positive relationships between managers and employees is essential to successfully managing change. To watch the full recording of our webinar with Emily, click here.
KloudGin is a trusted provider of the only combined, cloud-based field and asset management solution that connects customers, employees, and assets using AI-powered access to information, on any device. Built for the workers who use it most, KloudGin eliminates traditional information and process silos to enable clients to transform the customer experience and improve work order productivity through a single face of work that also unifies siloed processes and systems so they can effectively meet the challenges of today—and the demands of tomorrow.
Tanya brings expertise driving growth for small and mid-sized businesses and managing successful marketing programs. Her experience includes leading marketing teams at SaaS start-ups and private equity companies like Bigleaf Networks, Innovyze, and NAVEX. Tanya received her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix. In her spare time, she enjoys scuba diving and traveling with her husband Mike, riding horses competitively and nature walks with her Labrador Chesney.