We’re running out of time. To meet growing demand and successfully deliver projects within increasingly tight deadlines, construction companies must increase their productivity. While technological innovation is often the key to major productivity gains in most industries, construction is lagging behind.
Yet this industry has the luxury of having innovations that are already being touted, without the need to develop them internally. From construction site monitoring software to drones and BIM, there is no shortage of choices.
But the challenge goes far beyond the simple decision to procure one or the other of these technologies, which is relatively easy to do. No, the real challenge for business leaders lies first in the acceptance or adoption by their employees of the chosen technology and then in the integration of this technology into the company’s processes and culture.
Five essential steps to take in to facilitate technology adoption in your company
1. Choosing the right technology
The question is not to choose the best, most efficient technology, much less the “flavour of the moment”, but rather to choose the one that will allow the organization to achieve its objectives.
In order to encourage its adoption, a technology must not require any major changes to your business processes, but must adapt to them. In addition, good technology must be simple, intuitive and useful. Put yourself in the shoes of the potential user and ask yourself a simple question: Will this technology be easy to use by your superintendents, project managers, site supervisors, etc.?
Finally, beyond the choice of technology, you must also choose the company that produces or markets this technology, because it is with them that you will do business from start to finish and who will be able to support you in the event of a problem. Evaluate your options by considering factors such as expertise, notoriety, past results and proximity.
2. Generate enthusiasm for the technology
The strategic benefits of implementing a technology are often known to executives, but if they are not understood by the users of the technology, they may be suspicious or even opposed to it. It is critical that users understand the reasons why the organization is changing its methods. Leaders need to take the time to communicate their goals and vision and explain how this new technology is a way to achieve them.
In addition, users will need to understand the benefits of the new technology not only for the organization, but for themselves. What will be the positive impacts on their quality of work life? How is the newness an improvement to existing processes or technologies?
3. Proceed one step at a time
In trying to catch up with the accumulated technological backlog, it is not uncommon to see companies trying to do too much, or to do it too fast. Common mistakes often observed are, for example, digitizing all processes at the same time or acquiring a panoply of gadgets that will unfortunately remain unused.
The key to success is to adopt a new technology one step at a time. Once the technology is chosen, implementation should be done gradually, module by module if it is new software, for example. Dividing adoption into several stages allows everyone to progress at their own pace and implement the technology into their routine.
A pilot project can also be a good strategy to start using a new tool. It allows you to first select the people and processes involved in the first deployment and then, based on the results, determine the best way to proceed with the implementation of the technology throughout the organization.
4. Identify and involve “champions
When it comes to technology, not all individuals start out on the same footing. It is absolutely essential to prevent the implementation of new tools from widening the gap between the most technologically advanced and the others. The champion should be among the first to use the new tool, for example, in a pilot project as mentioned above. The champion will then naturally become a resource that others can turn to when needed.
5. Highlighting progress and celebrating victories
Remember that change is uncomfortable for most people. In this respect, people who work in the construction industry are no different from anyone else. Constant encouragement, congratulations and positive reinforcement from managers and leaders are therefore essential from the beginning to the end of the technological implementation.
To facilitate the acceptance and adoption of any new technology or way of doing things, human resource experts suggest planning the adoption of these new developments so that users quickly win small victories. This could be done by setting measurable, specific and attainable goals for the new technology.
There’s nothing like recognizing the efforts of its employees to generate engagement and commitment. Celebrating team victories as well as the individual victories of each member of the team will ensure that you generate positive excitement around the new technology and thus promote its adoption.
Finally, by following these five steps and using the internal and external resources at your disposal, you will create the necessary conditions for technology adoption. You will then be able to put innovation at the service of your company to reach your objectives and even exceed them!