Adopting New Safety Solutions: A Guide to Engaging Employees

Adopting New Safety Solutions: A Guide to Engaging Employees

Technology offers a significant opportunity to enhance workplace safety and mitigate risks. However, transitioning from a purchasing decision to successful company-wide adoption often presents challenges. 

Resistance to change, privacy concerns, and integration with existing equipment are vital hurdles to overcome. Failure to address these challenges can result in a lack of adoption, unmet return on investment (ROI), and heightened worker risks. This guide explores essential strategies for navigating these challenges and achieving seamless technology adoption within organisations.

What are the barriers to adoption?

It’s important to identify the most common roadblocks to adopting new technology. Understanding and proactively addressing these concerns can help organisations devise and implement appropriate strategies for successful rollout.

Fear of change: People are creatures of habit, and deviation from the familiar can evoke fear and create resistance to change. Employees may see new ways of doing things as disruptive to their routines. Building on surveys from Personnel Today Magazine and research from Roffey Park Institute, Linda Holbeche highlights this is especially true when top-down change is foisted on them without their input. 

Perceived lack of need: Employees may resist adopting the latest technology if they believe existing solutions are adequate or fail to understand its value. PWC’s “Tech at work: It’s complicated” report found that 90% of C-suite executives believe their company pays attention to people’s needs when introducing new technology. Still, only about half (53%) of staff say the same. 

Complexity and usability: Technologies that are overly complex or difficult to set up or use can negatively impact engagement and adoption. Gartner found that 56% of users said frustrations with new software had made them wish management would bring back old systems. Likewise, if they lack compatibility with existing systems and protocols, they can quickly seem ineffective and become unusable. 

Privacy and security concerns: Data breaches and privacy scandals are rife, so people are often concerned about the safety and confidentiality of their personal information – especially that gathered by their employers. A survey by Accenture found that just 20% of respondents expressed “very confident” levels of trust in the way their data is used and handled in their best interest. 

Trust and transparency: There can be uncertainty about technology providers if employees aren’t familiar with them or don’t trust them to deliver safe solutions.

What are the strategies for successfully adopting workplace safety technology

1. Addressing a real need

Companies worldwide continue to experience health and safety breaches each year. For example, The UN Global Compact reports an estimated 2.78 million workers are fatally injured, and an additional 374 million suffer non-fatal injury through occupational health and safety accidents each year.  In response, organisations are looking to adopt new technologies that support regulatory compliance and  genuinely protect workers from potential workplace risks. 

2. Early engagement

Involving employees and asking for their input along the journey fosters a sense of ownership and value. When employees are involved in the discovery and decision-making stages, as well as in pilots and rollouts, projects have been more effective in terms of broader adoption. 

The World Economic Forum’s Workers’ Insights report on How to Introduce New Technology found that people not involved in the decision-making process “felt frustration because the brought-in solution (which simply mirrored the company’s office spaces) failed to meet their specific needs.” 

Indeed, Salesforce found that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. And this means collaboration and two-way communication. 

One way to ensure diverse voices are heard is to appoint “technology champions” or “super users” to allow workers to suggest how solutions could be best used and point out potential challenges early on. These champions should represent different groups across the business so that diverse perspectives can be considered. 

3. Choosing the right solution

Since the technology adoption process can be challenging, only doing it when necessary can break down barriers and avoid creating a patchwork of defunct systems.  

This makes selecting a single comprehensive, reliable solution that addresses multiple needs even more important. A solution that does this and can integrate seamlessly with existing protocols and infrastructure is always better than choosing many piecemeal devices. 

For instance, where one solution may offer just heart rate monitoring, Bodytrak® provides accurate measures of heart rate and core body temperature, among others, to mitigate risk factors such as fatigue, heat stress, and noise exposure — all from a single solution.

Bodytrak can also detect falls, alert to noise-induced hearing loss, and protect lone workers in the field. It’s easy to use and can seamlessly and comfortably integrate with existing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as ear defenders, coveralls and helmets. 

4. Cultivating a positive culture around safety

Creating a positive culture around employee well-being is critical but does not happen overnight. Such a culture emphasises not just the obligations and responsibilities of the employer but also recognises that employees have an essential role in upholding health and safety practices and ensuring a thriving workplace. 

A culture that encourages collaboration and transparency and prioritises training and communication can help instil a shared commitment to safety. Recognising and championing safety achievements reinforces positive behaviour and drives a sense of ownership among employees.

5. Communication

A study from Salesforce found that 86% of executives state that a lack of collaboration and communication is the leading cause of workplace failures. Communication should focus on the benefits of new technology being implemented so that employees understand its value, which, as we’ve seen, drives broader adoption. 

The WEF Workers’ Insight report found that when employers take the time to explain the “why” behind the technological change (rather than just the “what” and the “how”), employees are more likely to have a positive response. This includes explaining the decision-making process — why a technology has been selected — and whether there is a relevant wider context, such as regulation or recent accidents that could have been handled better. 

Before implementation, managers and supervisors should proactively address the most anticipated questions and concerns. For example, how is personal data protected and is it anonymised, what expectations do staff have, and what are the timelines for roll out? The technology provider should be able to help answer some of these questions and define data privacy policies.   

6. Training and adoption

Combining informative communication with user-friendly activities that integrate into a worker’s daily routines can also help drive adoption. Implementing safety incentive programmes and gamification elements, such as rewards, badges, and leaderboards help incentivise participation. 

Researchers at the University of Colorado found that gamification offered 14% higher skill-based knowledge, 9% higher knowledge retention rate, and 11% higher factual knowledge over conventional learning methods for adult learners.

Recognising and celebrating successes further reinforces positive behaviour change and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. Research found that employees are 2.7x times more likely to be highly engaged when they believe they will be recognised. 

7. Ongoing support

It is imperative employee engagement continues even after workers start utilising a new solution. 86% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are critical for successful outcomes. This means providing ongoing opportunities for engagement, including ongoing monitoring and collecting feedback. 

Creating dedicated support channels, such as help desks, online forums, and user communities empowers employees to seek assistance, share insights, and collaborate with peers. Similarly, hosting regular check-ins, focus groups, and feedback sessions enable companies to gauge user satisfaction and identify challenges that can be addressed before they become a problem. Regularly reviewing and updating training materials and resources based on user feedback and evolving business needs ensures ongoing relevance and effectiveness.

If worker well-being isn’t reason enough to focus on the successful adoption of safety technology, statistics show that only 17% of employees would recommend their company as an excellent place to work if they did not view leadership as committed to their well-being and safety (according to a report by the American Psychological Association). And highly engaged employees result in a 21% increase in profitability.


How Bodytrak is helping organisations drive successful adoption

The team at Bodytrak understands these challenges and is working with customers to address them and ensure the successful end-user adoption of its physiological monitoring solution across various industries. 

Bodytrak is helping companies update and enhance their existing policies and practices to accommodate wearable technology that some users may have never had access to before. It is also providing education and onboarding for employees to help drive engagement. This is especially important among those who are more hesitant and may need help understanding the solution’s value to benefit their health and safety.

Bodytrak is lightweight, ergonomic, and non-intrusive. Wearables must be comfortable, users need to forget they’re wearing the device. This is crucial to its widespread adoption among employees. Traditional safety monitoring devices can often be cumbersome, heavy and uncomfortable, leading to employee resistance to using them consistently. 

The data Bodytrak collects can be anonymised to inform and improve shift patterns, worker policies and health and safety strategies. Better-managed shift patterns, for example, result in happier and more productive staff and drive greater output. Training sessions that highlight these benefits will impact the overall approach to safety and create a positive attitude towards new technology. Arrange a demo with the team today to learn how the team at Bodytrak can support your organisation’s requirements.


Conclusion

While people often think fear of technology is the primary barrier to adoption, this is often not the case when organisations delve in further. By prioritising engagement, communication, and support, companies can navigate the most common challenges and reap the benefits of enhanced safety and productivity.

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