Applying the use of telematics to your business and consequently to your crew can be a challenging task for a number of reasons. Employee push back and unwillingness to adapt new technologies or systems is common in any sort of enterprise, and telematics is no exception. The ‘big brother’ stigma comes from the unwanted feeling of constantly being watched by hardware and software devices mounted to fleet vehicles and has been known to keep employees from retaining an open mind about telematics. This is a natural reaction that managers should expect; it does not however, mean that there is no way of alleviating your employees and yourself from whatever anxieties exists towards implementation. Here are a few ways you might want to approach the situation.
Manage resistance head on. It’s important to manage resistance without beating around the bushes. Once the change is set in motion, it’s the managers duty to carry out the right professional steps to make sure it follows through. This can be achieved by employing a well thought-out structured change management approach from the initiation of the project. Being able to keep a healthy balance where employees are able to express their concerns will go a long way in helping you identify root causes of resistance, and just overall attitude of resistance. At MarshallGIS we offer a several week long training regimen designed to familiarize employees with the technology. We recommend that managers use this training schedule or some form of our structured step-by-step integration process.
Don’t be surprised by resistance to change. Chances are there is going to be some resistance to any workplace change. This can arise from a number of things including a fear of how these changes affect job roles, negative experiences from attempted changes in the past, or just a fear of losing a job all together. There is a considerable amount of psychological research pointing to the fact that change spurs resistance in people regardless of potential outcomes of said changes. The point is, that resistance should be expected and not feared. It might help management to create a list of possible points of resistance beforehand, which might prepare and make it harder to be caught off guard with points of resistance.
Communication and transparency is key. Managers must be open and clear with their employees about the changes especially when said changes entail monitoring employee behavior during work. If there is no transparency, there is no trust which is a necessary precursor to things working out. Involving employees in the various stages of change makes it more appealing but also gives the employee’s more comfort in the process of change by making it clear to them that they are a part of the change.
Emphasize the positive aspects of the change. One of the best ways to promote more favorable attitudes towards telematics is to outline the benefits that may come to employees. It’s true that telematics alert managers to negative employee behavior, but it works equally as well for positive behavior. Focusing on the fact that telematics may actually protect drivers to some extent is a good idea. Elaborating on how the new systems will not only benefit the company but the workers themselves as well. This does not mean to completely omit anything you know might trigger resistance behavior, as that wouldn’t be creating a clear and transparent picture of the whole.