All Aboard? Building Total
Buy-In for Your Construction Project Technology
April 26, 2022
If you’re exploring and adopting new construction technology to improve processes or solve particular business needs, you’ve likely discovered this isn’t just about the technology. Yes, it’s about what it can do for your construction company. But it goes beyond that. It’s really more about the people, especially those who will frequently be engaging with it.
Smooth adoption depends on their acceptance and full participation. That may be a bit trickier than anticipated. And at times it might even seem more challenging than the implementation itself. Some employees may be continuing what construction companies themselves started a long time ago: hesitating to embrace construction technology, regardless of the business case. This is understandable as it takes effort to change and that in itself can sometimes drive people to stay where they are.
Yet without those employees on board, it’s going to make it that much harder for your business to keep pace with industry competitors who are jumping on the construction technology bandwagon.
So how do you successfully encourage buy-in?
Build awareness of the benefits of the construction technology
There’s a lot of planning behind construction technology implementation — that’s the how. But even before that, there has to be deliberate consideration around its adoption — the why. The why is the reason for the technology in the first place. It’s also the motivating factor for everyone getting on board with something that will have an effect on how things are done.
One way to foster early buy-in? Involve the most likely users in the exploratory phase. Find out what their pain points are — whether it’s cumbersome processes, workflow bottlenecks, inaccurate or incomplete data, or inefficiencies that create extra work. What you learn from this valuable user input will help narrow down the list of construction technology options to evaluate and can pave the way for smoother adoption. Skipping this step could increase the risk of procuring the wrong technology for your needs.
As those options are whittled down, securing upper management endorsement is a must. They have to see the value of backing such an investment — from both the ROI business perspective and the user benefit perspective. Parallel with gaining this top-down support is enlisting peers as bottom-up support who can serve as the technology adoption advocates. Consider pulling these advocates from the business functions that will most use the different facets of the technology, such as accounting, payroll, procurement, project management, safety compliance, etc. They’ll be the ones championing the advantages of implementing the new technology to the broader team, especially those who weren’t involved in the exploratory phase or who may still be on the fence.
Share regular updates and invite feedback
Lack of communication keeps people feeling like they’re in the dark and is the surest way to lose momentum for support of any technology. So, open up dialogue at the very beginning. Establishing accessible communication channels helps build that support for smoother adoption.
That means proactively and regularly sharing the what, why, how and when of any construction technology implementation to reduce the potential for rumors or misinformation to spread. It also means inviting questions and feedback. You’ll likely encounter hesitation around the perceived role the technology may play. You may detect outright resistance at having to learn something new, especially if it’s assumed to be unnecessary. And there may be an undercurrent of fear that the technology may eventually take over their job.
This is where you’ll gain valuable insights you can use to foster buy-in. And that’s going to come through in how you respond to their implied question, “What’s in it for me?”
Answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
As with any soon-to-be-adopted construction technology, it’s anticipated there will be business gains — enhanced efficiencies, a positive impact on the bottom line, and/or improved competitiveness, for example. While those are certainly important, employees are more concerned about how it impacts them. And if you want their buy-in, you have to address not just the impact but the improvements such technology will make in their daily tasks. Depending on the technology, these could include:
- How it will make their job easier and more efficient
- How current processes may change and become more streamlined
- The time it will save them on routine tasks
- The workflow bottlenecks it will clear up
- Better planning and forecasting resulting in a more manageable schedule
- Access to more accurate, real-time data to better track project performance
- Better data-informed decisions
- And you can’t overlook less frustration and fewer headaches once the technology is in full swing
Invite them to interact with the technology during the trial phase
Involve people at all levels, including the non tech-savvy, to ensure understanding and usability. What about any remaining tech holdouts who may need just a little nudge? Consider inviting them. It can be an effective way of building on the answers to the “what’s in it for me” questions by showing them how such technology can work for them and what it might be like to use. Seeing it and interacting with it can help “seal the deal” in becoming more vested in adopting the technology.
As you’re exploring your construction technology options, consider one like InEight integrated platform that will scale with you and connect your data across business functions to further streamline your employees’ efforts. When you’re ready, schedule a demo so we can show you how it can work for you.