How to Increase Tech Adoption in the Field

A Look At Strategies for Tech Adoption

When onboarding a new employee, they are not usually expected to be as productive as a tenured employee on their first day on the job. To put the workload of a tenured employee on a new one would be stressful and overall, a bad experience. Your company could have the best pay and culture, but the new employee would quickly form a negative opinion based on the pressure of being accountable for a mountain of information. The onboarding process usually consists of a ramp-up period of step-by-step training protocols that increase the learners’ abilities and thus responsibilities over time. Once trained, full production can be expected, and the employee can confidently perform the job assigned.

Ironically, technology adoption in construction has not always taken this approach. Usually, technology decisions are made, then utilization mandated to the staff regardless of their technical aptitude. Some companies ask staff to complete forms or functions in software that others can’t do or are just resistant to do.

It’s no secret that construction as an industry is behind in tech adoption and the need to keep up has only increased as the production gap between the best performing industries and construction increases. This gap has fueled software development strategies to lean toward platforms instead of single-point solutions. McKinsey & Company covers how venture capitalists are heavily investing in construction tech companies due to the high opportunity for technology growth.  

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/private-equity-and-principal-investors/our-insights/rise-of-the-platform-era-the-next-chapter-in-construction-technology

The idea of developing towards one platform for all, being that if we can reduce how many apps must be trained on and utilized, we can accelerate adoption and production. This isn’t entirely untrue; however, we may never be able to solve human resistance by the craftiest development strategies. We must address how we encourage adoption.

Step By Step Onboarding Approach

Some of our clients have taken the “Step by Step Onboarding Approach” to encourage adoption in the field, with some success. Below are a few basic steps they have used for this method.

  • Where possible, implement intranet/company portals to consolidate the number of applications a user must log in to and train on. A simpler experience for field personnel with a simpler set of features to learn equals more field productivity.
  • Providing configurable technology for ease of use is key to increasing the adoption
  • Implement a stepped approach for those less experienced or resistant to technology

Step 1: Take a picture of a paper form and text it to the office

Step 2: Take a picture of a paper form then email it to the office

Step 3: Fill out a simple & customizable form then submit.

Step 4: Increase the number of forms required to submit.

Some of our clients have used a top-down mandate to begin utilizing technology but providing an incentive for taking these steps toward adoption. Incentives might be a carbon fiber hard hat or entry into a field raffle for new tools. A mandate plus the incentivized speed of adoption seems to be one working strategy for many companies. Either way, we are seeing a younger workforce that tends to embrace new software solutions. But we must not forget that tenured field personnel is the anchors of productivity and they need training at pace to navigate the systems that give management the ability to make strategic decisions.

Our firm, Omnidek prides itself in providing construction portal software that can accommodate multiple departmental needs and integrate with most accounting systems thus simplifying the technology experience for the field. Contact us for more information at www.omnidek.com

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