Over the past 4 years and having on boarded SafetyIQ Technology into hundreds of companies around the globe, we are acutely aware that there is a very distinct difference between those companies who are successful in effectively on boarding and those that just give up.
Based on this experience I want to share our observations of why companies have been successful in implementing a change. SafetyIQ is just one technology, but the fundamental principles have relevance across the board, particularly when introducing new concepts, systems or processes within the work environment.
Culture of trust
Trusting your people is critical. If you trust that your people inherently want to do the right thing and have the maturity to embrace continuous improvement, then the ability to introduce technology becomes part of the company culture. Surprisingly we often hear ‘leaders’ express this lack of trust with employees through comments such as “our people don’t get technology” or “they won’t follow process” or “they will all want company phones”. Our experience shows that, those companies who trust their workforce to embrace change, also have a workforce that in turn trusts the leadership. In this type of trust-based culture there are less barriers to change.
Appreciating the change management process
For most of us just the thought of changing or upgrading our mobile phone can create anxiety. This is even more stressful for people in a work environment, when they are suddenly confronted with new technology or processes, especially when they have had no say in the decision to change and don’t understand the reasons for it.
Our SafetyIQ technology is so easy to use, even for those that are not technically savvy. However, when on boarding SafetyIQ, the most important key to success is ensuring that:
Our first-hand experience shows us that companies that take the time to review the process, plan the on-boarding and include a strong communication schedule, that is well supported from the leadership team, have a proven higher success rate.
Introducing any new technology disrupts the status quo and creates a period of confusion or as we at SafetyIQ call it ‘noise”. Determined leaders understand that the ‘noise’ is natural but only lasts for a short period while people adjust to the new way of doing things.
Sadly, we have observed leaders who fold under the ‘noise’. Our experience shows that this typically occurs because they:
The ‘noise’ for those leaders becomes too loud, and their willingness to continue is diminished. When a leader says to us “they just won’t do it”, it leaves us wondering what other processes their workforce doesn’t follow just because ‘they don’t want to’.
Our experience shows determined leaders have the big picture in mind, persist and are not distracted by the ‘noise’. They know that once the technology becomes embedded in the business, the efficiencies far out way the short-term disruption.
Knowing who is the company product owner
For many years, we assumed that SafetyIQ would be championed and owned by the Safety (HSE) division within companies. How wrong we were!
Unfortunately, we have seen many scenarios where SafetyIQ has been ‘suggested’ or ‘promoted’ by the Safety Division in a company and have been challenged in leading the on boarding process to achieve a successful outcome. We have also experienced scenarios where ‘operations’ have tasked the Safety division to implement the system, only to see it languish and flounder.
Why? Generally, speaking, Safety divisions are often risk averse (which is their primary role within a company), often don’t have the influence across the workforce and more importantly are not necessarily represented as a key stakeholder within the Leadership team.
Our experience shows that when ‘operational leaders’ are the main owner and driver of SafetyIQ, the system becomes part of their core business functionality and implementation is highly successful.
This makes sense since operational leaders are those that are emotionally connected to the problem of not knowing where people are and if they are okay. They know first-hand what it feels like when something goes wrong. They also recognise that the SafetyIQ automated audit logs results in significant cost savings – both in time and resources.
Google ‘implementing technology’ and see how frequently the subject is talked about.
As a Leader of continuous improvement in your company, I implore you to really value and appreciate that on boarding change can be extremely successful.
In our experience, there are 4 key attributes that contribute to successfully on-boarding SafetyIQ, Journey Management Technology.
1 Culture of Trust
Trust your workforce when developing a continuous improvement culture.
2 Appreciate the change management process
Recognize that change can create anxiety for your people, especially when they don’t understand the ‘why’. When communicating change don’t just focus on the ‘what’, always emphasise the ‘why’.
3 Determined leadership
As a leader be engaged with your employees so that you can clearly articulate the benefits of the change. Don’t fold under the short-term ‘noise’ of change.
4 Knowing who is the company product owner
Assign the product to a division within the company that has the greatest emotional connection to the problem. Their desire to succeed in implementing the solution is heightened by this.
This blog was written by our Director of Customer Solutions, Kathy Wilson.
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