It’s an exciting time to be involved in the construction or field service industry. With advances in technology and computing, processes that were once time-consuming and repetitive can now be streamlined with a couple of clicks. Not to mention, smart technology is now making job sites safer than ever for workers and project managers alike. And with venture capital to support construction technology setting a record high of $1.05 billion in the first half of 2018 alone, it’s clear investors are taking aim and putting their money into the space.
This influx of cash has led to a bump in the market of software solutions for the construction and field service industries. But with so many options now available, employees can sometimes feel left behind if training on how to use the software is lackluster, if it makes their work more cumbersome, or if higher-ups appear to have adopted the software because they don’t trust their workers.
If you’re careful in your implementation, though, you can have the best of both worlds. Here’s how to apply new software and processes without alienating your employees—and even get them excited about the change.
#1. Demonstrate open communication.
Open communication with your team is the most important element when adopting new technology or systems in the workplace. Nearly all hiccups when introducing new construction software result from a lapse in communication—employees might feel the app will present yet another hurdle for their already-busy workflow, or that their supervisors don’t trust them.
The more trust there is between workers and employers, the more productive and efficient your crews will be—and the smoother your projects will go.
There are easy ways to combat these communication issues. To start, you can host regular team meetings or toolbox talks to establish good rapport and a healthy relationship with your crews. Before throwing something new at your workers, you should also explain the reason you’re implementing the software in the first place. Let them know what problems it will solve—and let them know how it will benefit them.
For instance, if the app is simply a way to sharpen company margins, tell your workers how more profit means more work for them in the long term. If you’re installing smart devices on your job sites to promote safety, let your workers know how it will decrease the chances they’ll get injured during their shifts.
The more trust there is between workers and employers, the more productive and efficient your crews will be—and the smoother your projects will go. By communicating openly with your employees from the top down, fresh software and processes will experience far less backlash at your company.
#2. Invest in the right tools.
One way to get workers excited about new software that’s often overlooked is by investing only in the best tools and apps the market has to offer. The most effective tools on the market should, of course, benefit the employer—but they should also make workers’ lives easier. For example, our software here at ExakTime gets rids of paper time cards for construction businesses. This saves employers time and money, but also makes the lives of employees easier too by eliminating the tasks of having to remember their hours and manually fill out time cards.
If you only consider software with a track record of providing value to its customers, your chances of getting pushback will more than likely drop. To start, be sure the software or process you’re diving into has the following:
Proven capabilities: Look through customer testimonials and case studies on the company’s website as well as reviews on sites like Capterra to find out what users have to say about the service. Lastly, look at how long the company has been in business—money tells no lies, so if an organization has kept its doors open for years, they must be doing something right.
Seamless onboarding: A product that has intuitive design and functionality will save you and your crew loads of time that’d otherwise be spent learning the ins and outs of the app. Before partnering with a software solution, ask your designated sales rep if they offer product training or have materials to teach users how to use their product you can circulate throughout your organization.
#3. Don’t throw employees in the deep end.
Before implementing a software across your entire organization, be sure your workers are properly trained on how to use the product. If the solution offers product training, have your project managers and foremen sit in on it with you so they can teach workers about the service to the best of their ability. As a rule of thumb, as long as your honest workers don’t feel like a tool or app will negatively impact their everyday workflow (the dishonest ones will be dissatisfied regardless), they’ll be much more receptive to it.
For over 20 years, ExakTime has proudly helped construction and field service industry professionals like you better manage their mobile workforces. To learn more about our award-winning solution, visit our website here—or to hear what our customers are saying about us, check out our Testimonials page.