In today’s world, technology moves so fast that it’s not always easy to keep up with. It seems like new tools are always surfacing to help save time, money and boost productivity. Especially in the manufacturing world, technology has become an even more popular buzzword with everything from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to robotics and more. The trick to making technology work for you and your team will depend on how it’s integrated.
Learn more in our infographics on IoT and IIoT
With the speed of change in technology, it’s understandable that not everyone will be at the same comfort level when it comes to actually using it. If you decide to invest in applications or devices to improve productivity and communication, you’ll want to ensure a smooth transition for all team members from the old way to the new.
You can use these three tips to help your employees to successfully embrace technology:
1. Highlight the Benefits
Technology can do so much to make our lives easier, but the process of learning new technology can still be daunting. To ensure team members are bought in, help them understand the decision to implement new technology. Identify the limitations or problems in the current processes. Help them see how technology could solve those problems and make their job run smoother. Although fear is normal in the face of change, we can’t let fear stop us from making a good decision. Ultimately, technology will make their job easier and allow them to be more productive, but employees may need help to see past any perceived short-term pain to the long-term vision.
2. Find Your Tech Champions
There are always people who readily accept new technology. These are your champions! They can help convince reluctant coworkers where no one else can. Get power-users engaged and see if they have ideas on how to promote the new technology to the rest of their team. Have them be available for questions and training to those who are slower to adopt. Some employees may not be convinced of the benefits of technology until they see someone else do it. Simply seeing others have success in learning and using technology may be what they need to convince them to give it a try. Encourage everyone to work together to make a positive change, so that no one is left behind.
3. Provide Ongoing Training
Training is critical to the adoption of technology. You must ensure that team members of all levels of technologic know-how have the access they need to learn at their own speed. They should feel at ease asking questions and have ongoing support available. Training can be looked at as a two-step process: You need training from external sources (the software manufacturer, for instance), and then you need a core group of internal employees who are comfortable in the new system and can help others if needed. Let employees know that they may make some mistakes, and that’s not only okay, but a normal part of learning new technology.
To ensure you fully realize the financial value of the technology you invest in, you must make sure the whole team participates. If everyone is not fully using systems, the gaps in communication will remain, and the effectiveness of implementing technology will be reduced.
The key to successful implementation is creating a supportive environment with plenty of communication to make everyone feel included and empowered. Patience, persistence and support will help ensure your whole staff is committed to making a change to improve their work environment.