Editor's Note: This post was originally published on April 6, 2017, and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
For many corporate executives and managers, informing their field workforce about adopting and using a new application or software conjures up thoughts of angry mobs revolting in the streets, pitchforks in hand.
Organizations should be confident in their field workforce reactions as they convert to a new way of managing their operations. Instead, they should fully understand the concerns and fears that evoke these emotions; communicate with workers to ensure that their fears are heard and addressed; and assure them that the proposed solutions will help them, not hurt them.
Some of the most common fears from field service teams about implementing new technology relate to being replaced, being overwhelmed with how much there is to learn, and satisfaction with the pen-and-paper status quo. We help customers address these concerns with the successes of others who’ve gone through the process and who now see their workers fully embrace and benefit from the new technology.
“My Job is Being Replaced with Automated Software.”
One of the fears most often shared by workers, especially those in the field, is that new software means replacement by intelligent software. They sense that layoffs will follow the implementation of software that knows more than they do. So, naturally, this causes pushback from acceptance of any new undertaking.
In reality, software implementations are usually the opposite. Most software is a tool to aid users in their daily activities, not a device intended to replace workers. Therefore, reassuring users that a new application streamlines their work processes is essential. When users understand that the new application will help them – not replace them – they willingly use new software and view it as a tool that benefits them.
“New Software is Too Hard to Learn.”
A common misconception when implementing a new solution is that learning will take more work. As a result, the field workforce is less likely to adopt something they feel will take hefty manuals to learn. This is especially evident with an aging workforce. One study found that people 55 and over will make up 25 percent of the workforce by 2022, while another study estimates that the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. workforce between now and 2024 will be 65 to 74. An aging workforce is an issue for the global economy, not only the U.S.
While the knowledge and expertise that an older, more experienced workforce brings to organizations are vast, it is hard to deny the challenges associated with moving older workers away from pen and paper. Add to that the resistance from workers about using software that can run on phones or touchscreen devices – and you have a big obstacle on your path.
Today’s best software applications are highly intuitive for users. Gone are the days of needing context-sensitive help. Gone are the days of expecting every field on every screen to have detailed descriptions in large, searchable help files. Instead, today’s most readily embraced applications don’t require endless training sessions but enable workers to use the software and be productive from day one.
“I Like The Way I Do Things Today.”
When a field workforce sees data presented in a particular layout, it can be a big shock to the system to see large, wholescale changes to processes and how data presentation. However, a new software implementation does not require workers to re-learn everything they do; it requires only adding a layer of knowledge and skill on top of what they already know.
Remember, the goal of an exemplary software implementation should be to aid and improve field workforce productivity. Therefore, the ideal application allows organizations to configure their work processes and present their data to protect the good aspects of the work users are doing while updating that same process and screen layout to improve productivity. The challenge is to do it without alarming and alienating the workforce.
Convert to Gomocha’s Simple and Sophisticated Solution
FMP360 is a standardized, off-the-shelf solution that’s easy to configure to meet the needs of any mobile workforce. It fully supports your back-office, mid-office, and mobile-office teams by publishing and distributing the correct information to the right people at the right time. As a result, you’ll experience fewer errors and greater productivity, which means better profits and happier customers!
To simplify and streamline your organization’s operations, Gomocha will guide you in implementing the FSM technology to thrive. Gomocha solutions uncover hidden efficiencies, matching skill with demand, so your field team delivers an exceptional customer service experience time after time. Learn more.