In a time frame that is far shorter than we anticipate, mobile, real-time access to centrally stored data is going to become the standard operating protocol for all businesses. Gen Z understands nothing else, it is in their blood and they cannot function without it. They wake up with it, go to sleep with it, and will spend an average of 5.2 hours a day consuming & generating content on their phones.
They will be running our businesses soon, and the use of software will be a given – not a nice to have. It is crucial therefore that, for your business to survive and thrive, that you adopt the use of software in your business today. The problem is that much of your existing workforce is used to doing things differently and as we all know, change is a scary thing.
Changing how your employees’ process and access information is going to be one of the biggest obstacles you will face when adopting EHS software.
The adoption of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) software is challenging as the software will need to be accessed by many employees and various levels in your business. The lack of ability of users to adopt the EHS software is often completely underestimated and can be the primary reason for the software solution not rendering the benefits it can. and the return on investment it should generate!
Here are some management techniques you can use to ensure your staff adopts your EHS software.
Pull, don’t push
A great way to get buy-in from your team is to involve them in the decision about which EHS software to use. Get them to draw up a list of their frustrations with their current process and incorporate this is the EHS software requirements list. This way you get buy-in from the start – your team will see the EHS software as a tool that is being put into your business to help them and not to hinder them. Often this will result in them asking when the tool will be ready for use and how they can help to expedite the process. Your team will pull the business along and you will not have to push them every step of the way.
Some good questions to ask to help them list their frustrations might be:
- Do you spend too much time on non-value adding administration?
- Are you inefficient because you are given incorrect data?
- Are you unable to meet your deadlines because you are waiting on someone else for information?
- Would you be able to operate more efficiently and effectively if you could access your information from anywhere, at any time?
- Do you spend unnecessary time searching for information from multiple sources in multiple places, therefore extending the amount of time you need to complete a task?
- Have you had to take on extra work because a fellow team member has left the business and not done a correct handover?
EHS software alleviates all these issues, so anyone who answers yes to these questions will easily be able to see the benefit of using the solution!
Make sure the EHS software solution you choose is easy to use
Be careful not to assume that because you find an EHS software solution easy to use that users at different levels will also find it easy. A good way to test the ease of use of any EHS software is to get users at all levels of the organisation to test the various solutions you are considering. This way to ensure that the ease of use is perceived by all AND you are involving the team in your upfront decision making again. Offering them a choice of solution will empower your team and make them feel they have been included in the decision, which will gain far higher acceptance of the process!
Explain the benefits of the EHS software so they are clearly understood
If I were sitting next to you on a boat and I told you to jump overboard, you would sit right where you were and not move a muscle. If I told you to jump overboard because the boat was about to explode you would move very quickly. The same goes for the implementation and use of EHS software. Explaining how the solution will benefit both the business and the team will motivate users to adopt the solution. Some key benefits of EHS software include:
- Access to real-time data. This is critical for Health & Safety as people sometimes need to act quickly to avoid further damage or injury.
- No more duplication of data – information needs to only be loaded once into most EHS solutions, and then the same data is available for all. This saves time and improves the accuracy of the information.
- Time-saving – the biggest benefit of any EHS Software solution should the amount of time it saves its users. Centrally stored data, pre-designed templates, automated reporting, easy transfer of tasks, real-time access to data from anywhere, and central communication will result in significant time saving for all members of your team.
- Workflow control is offered with some EHS software solutions, and this benefit will ensure that actions are assigned to the right personnel and authorised by the right manager before they are approved and / or closed. This way you don’t drop the ball!
- Ease of use – dashboard reporting is available in some EHS software solutions and this makes it very easy for the user to quickly assess the current state of affairs, understand where they should prioritise their time and who to engage with to assist.
Make sure your implementation process is user-orientated
Communicating progress during the commissioning of the EHS software, proper training with user guides that are easy to follow and use, use of the software by the team driving the implementation themselves, and patience and understanding are all critical to ensuring maximum user adoption. Make sure they are all part of your plan!
It is important to remember that software is a tool to help you solve a problem—not a solution within itself. The structure of the EHS software should follow the structure of your business needs and not the other way around. Successful software adoption is a process. It involves deciding about adopting a particular tool, weighing the pros and cons, considering how it will help the productivity of your team and your business, and then forming a communication plan and implementation plan. Once you have invested the time and money required to implement an EHS solution, it is going to need to generate the return, so make sure you and your team are fully committed when you take the leap!
Companies like OVS Solutions (Pty) Ltd, the Africa Licensee of the award-winning Rapid Global Software, have been delivering EHS software solutions for over 15 years. Their only business is the continued development and improvement of their software, to make sure that the solutions keep pace with the ever-changing landscape. All their solutions come with mobile apps.
OVS Solutions, the Africa Licensee of Rapid Global, also have a great support team who are available to assist with live demonstrations, user guides, and relevant information you may require. They will share their tips on how to best maximize user adoption and can help you deliver on your plan!