Fostering Employee Buy-In for New Construction Technology

Construction companies know that the industry’s future is digital, but there is a widespread struggle to create employee buy-in around technology solutions.

 Effective technology adoption begins well before purchase and is sustained by comprehensive support solutions and thoughtful implementation. There are specific strategies that can make buy-in easier, including:

  • Identify what problems the tech needs to solve by asking internal stakeholders for feedback on specific challenges they are experiencing.
  • Choose a tech partner and solution that understands and aligns with your organization’s specific needs. It’s also essential to have ongoing support and training available.
  • Introduce the tech to a small group of cross-functional employees to become advocates for the larger team.

 Here’s more about what each of these best practices for driving tech buy-in among the employee base looks like:

 Go to the Source: What Are Employee Pain Points?

Before looking into technology solutions, construction companies need to first understand the problem they are trying to solve. What are the challenges, and what do the stakeholders in the construction landscape really need? Not want, but need? 

To answer these questions, it’s best to go to the source. Ask employees for their feedback. Send out a companywide survey or select a small team to work with throughout the decision-making process. Be sure to talk to people in various positions to get different perspectives of the company’s challenges and to identify any underlying causes. Only once problems have been clearly identified should a technology choice be made.

Here’s an example of what this looks like: Many contractors and subcontractors are asked to submit daily job reports and equipment maintenance requests based on what occurred in the field. However, they often find that reports cannot be completed accurately because they can’t remember everything that is typically collected on the forms. Companies experiencing this should look to adopt a technology solution that supports real-time data collection and reporting from a tablet or smartphone in the field. This helps save time and improves communication with clients as teams are able to access readily available data immediately.

 The Problem with Siloed Solutions – And What To Do About Them

Construction technology is a booming industry that continues to see significant growth. Because of this, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the hundreds of software options currently available.

A best practice is for businesses to hone in on finding a solution that addresses their identified problems. There are plenty of point solutions that do one thing only. However, the reality is that companies need an end-to-end solution to manage their workforce, assets, safety and compliance, and workflows. 

Functionality also needs to be a consideration. In addition to solving your identified problems, solutions need to be convenient, easy to use and play well with existing software. Cloud-based systems allow users to access the platform through any wi-fi-capable device. Programs with a mobile app make field-data capture convenient for on-site workers by using equipment they already have on hand. Be sure to look at what existing programs your company already uses, such as HR software and payroll, and look for platforms that integrate with them. 

Software is just one part of a tech solution; the other part is support. After purchase, you will need services like setup, training and customer support to implement effectively. That’s why selecting the right tech company is just as important as choosing the right tech product. You want a company with robust support services and whom you can establish an ongoing relationship with to make the most of your technology experience.

Look for companies that start product education during the sales process. They should illustrate why their product is a good fit for your company through live demonstrations and Q&A sessions that address your company’s specific needs. 

Be sure to browse through their educational library as well. While live support is a great option, many users prefer to troubleshoot problems themselves first. Look for materials that address common questions and obstacles and that those materials come in various formats through videos and print documentation.

Companies looking for extra support may search for solutions that offer dedicated account managers or success managers. This service provides clients with a dedicated point-of-contact for support. Often these managers will do in-person or virtual training, inform you of platform updates and new features, and act as a general knowledge base for the software.

Support services vary from company to company; some charge an additional fee for additional support. Others require clients to be a certain size to qualify for specific services, such as dedicated account managers. Do your research and look at the options available to you as you go through the sales process.

Create Trust with Internal Tech Advocates

When introducing technology on the ground, it is wise to start small. Pick a small group of people to be early adopters of technology. Force-feeding technology to a large group of people at once can be problematic and de-motivating. Starting small ensures that glitches are ironed out faster, and the small group of people feel privileged to be chosen to participate in new technology adoption. Make sure you include employees from each department that will use the technology on a consistent basis. 

Another tactic is to include employees who are resistant to new technologies. Successfully converting nay-sayers will boost the confidence of your decision in other workers.

Once they’ve successfully adopted the technology, they will be the biggest advocates for the rest of the team on the ground. In addition, they can act as additional trainers and resources for the rest of their departments.

Be clear in your communication throughout a technology’s implementation process. Explain how your employees will benefit from it and be specific to their needs. For instance, a common complaint in the construction industry for business owners is delayed information for payment claims; faster payment processing is an excellent feature to highlight.

Avoid using vague, overarching language like improved revenue or increased productivity. Be specific about what this technology will do for your employees. Does it make certain tasks faster? Does it simplify a process? Does it provide additional information that will make it easier to perform tasks? Not only will specific language demonstrate that you listened to your workers’ needs, but it also gives them clearer expectations.

Technology adoption does not have to be an uphill battle for construction companies looking to modernize their workforce. Companies should work with their employees to identify their biggest challenges and conduct thorough research into possible providers. This will help organizations find the best platform to meet their specific needs and ensure they are supported by a tech company that acts as a strategic partner. These best practices are a surefire way to get significant employee buy-in when implementing a new technology.

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