How to encourage your team to use a new H&S tool

How to encourage your team to use a new H&S tool

How to encourage your team to use a new H&S tool

So you’ve signed up to a new Health and Safety app, you’re on a free trial, or you just want to get your ducks in a row before you invest? Although you’re on the right path to simplifying your H&S processes, there’s a big hurdle you’re about to have to face - getting people to actually use the software.

What can you do to get a bunch of busy staff to stop, pick up a new app and take the time to learn it? Here are some ideas:

1. Make it simple

Everyone’s busy, tradies in particular. And sometimes software can take time to learn, and that’s time nobody ever feels like they have. So, if you want to get your team onto a new piece of software you need to keep things simple.

That means investing in simplicity

The more an app is designed to ‘pick up and play’, the more likely you are to get people to use it. There are a lot of apps out there that have a huge range of utterly fabulous features, but if they’re complex, can’t be used on mobile, or the design is clunky, you’ll likely see adoption rates plummet.

Simplicity is key when it comes to Site App Pro’s user interface

While admins have access to a full range of features via the desktop admin console, day-to-day users just need their regular smartphones to seamlessly navigate our app’s functional features.  

Forms can be filled out with the push of a button or even voice-to-text, it’s easy to assign individuals to actions or link other forms, and checking in or out of site just takes one-tap (or the scanning of a QR code).

2. Communicate the five Ws and H

Who, What, Where, When, Why, & How. Each of these questions are vital for someone to understand a new tool, when to use it, and - most importantly - why they should bother.

We’re betting that if you’ve either invested in or are about to invest in, a new app for your team, you’ve got a good reason to. So, share it with the team! Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who should use the tool? Is it for visitors, subcontractors? What level of access do people need and how do they get it?
  • What does the tool do? What is its purpose? What is its benefit?
  • Where would you use the tool? Is it an on-site thing only, or in the office too? Do you need to carry any extra equipment to use it?
  • When will people need to use the new tool? How does it fit into their day-to-day?
  • Why bother? “What’s in it for me?”
  • How do you use the tool? How can you get the most out of it? How can you make it easier to use or learn?

Essentially, building out the answers to these questions enables you to respond to almost any FAQ and really ‘sell’ the change - get people excited.

3. Get people to back you up

People tend to look to other people for ‘social proof’ of any new thing. Generally, we want to know that others have done a thing before we do it ourselves.

This is both a great thing and a not-so-great thing. If nobody picks up your new tool, chances are nobody will. But, if you can get that social proof, you may find your uptake leaps.

You will need to find and encourage users

It’s important that in the early phases of adopting a new app, you find what people in the corporate world call ‘change champions’. While a little cliche (OK, a lot cliche), what it refers to is people who are in your corner, backing you up.

  • Change champions understand why the new tool has been brought in and agree with its adoption. They’re probably well-versed in the five Ws and H.
  • Additionally, they encourage others to use the software and can act as on-site trainers and problem-solvers for new adopters.

Basically, they cut the burden on you to champion the change and train people in the new software - because they share the load.

4. Listen to feedback

We’ve talked a lot about communication at this point - answering questions, training people, selling the idea. But communication is just lecturing unless it’s a two-way street. Nobody particularly enjoys a lecture, especially when they’re busy. Chances are, you’re going to generate a lot of feedback.

All technology rollouts, whether in construction or any other sector, whether large or small, generate a considerable amount of discussion - both positive and negative.

Try to make yourself available to hear it

Encourage people to use certain channels to talk to you (like feedback surveys, discussion at toolbox talks, or just making sure people know you’re OK with being pulled aside on the job to have a quick word). Your change champions can also be involved.

Then actually listen to the feedback

What’s the benefit of feedback if it goes nowhere? Look for consistent problems among the differing feedback you receive. What changes can you make to patch those up? Listen, make a change, then communicate that the change has been made at the applicable daily talks.

5. Understand that change isn’t always a smooth thing

There’s a reason that change management is an entire industry. Even on a small site with a small team, getting people to adopt a new way of working can get a fair bit of pushback.

But pushback isn’t necessarily bad

Workers pushing back on change, especially big change, shouldn’t be viewed as inherently bad. It’s not the sign of a poor employee or contractor and is perfectly natural.

When people go through change, they often go through what’s known as the Change Curve. This ‘curve’ shows us that humans tend to act irrationally, emotionally, at first, then work through a similar process to the five stages of grief, before finally acting rationally.

People go through this curve at their own speed, in their own way. Some jump straight to acceptance, others zig-zag between various emotional states and struggle to get through at all.

So what can you do?

All of the lessons we discussed above in this article can help you sell change, communicate it openly, ensure your people feel comfortable with their new software, and that there are people in your corner helping share the load.

Try to be empathetic - put yourself in someone else’s boots before talking to them, so you can guess how they will react. What will they feel? With these combined, you should be prepared to help walk your people through each stage of the curve.

Still looking for a health and safety app? We can help

Site App Pro has been designed as an easy-to-adopt digital H&S management tool. As long as someone can use a smartphone and push a few buttons, they can use Site App Pro.

To see it in action and to ask questions about how it might work for your company, book a live demo today.