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People don’t always know what’s best for them when it comes to new innovations. Heck, folks used corn cobs in lieu of toilet paper well into the early 20th century. (Side note: Ouch!) Point being, even if a new-fangled tool is the best thing since sliced bread, you can’t take it for granted that your team will buy into it. Even if you have all the latest technologies at your employees’ fingertips, it doesn’t mean a thing if they don’t want to use them.
Fortunately, there are ways to get everyone on board so your investment doesn’t sit abandoned like last year’s toys the day after Christmas.
Focus your efforts. Sure, there are tons of tools that you could use, but which ones will truly benefit your business? Instead of overwhelming your team with a flood of new stuff, start by rolling out just the most critical technologies. Maybe your dispatchers are overwhelmed with scheduling woes. Perhaps you need help with efficient route tracking. Employees will absorb smaller steps more completely, and then you can always build on them with more initiatives. When you match the tools to your greatest needs, that’s where you’ll find the greatest value — and you’ll keep your employees engaged in the process.
Sell it strategically. Every company has those standout employees whom other workers trust. Get their buy-in first, and they’ll serve as disciples that help you spread the gospel of your newest initiatives. It’s one thing when your boss tells you to start using a new tool. It’s a whole other, much gentler ballgame when you hear it from a peer. Chances are, if that employee is so great in the first place, he’ll probably be enthusiastic about adopting technologies that will make his job even simpler—and he’ll eagerly tell others they should do the same.
Manage expectations. You’re not going to get everyone on board overnight, so don’t give up if it takes awhile to see change. And avoid meeting negativity with negativity — if your drivers whine about GPS vehicle tracking, for example, listen to them rather than snapping back. If they sense you’re irritated, they’ll just start to question why you want to implement the technology in the first place. Make it clear that they’ll benefit from new tools, too. And repeat, repeat, repeat those benefits to them until they become ingrained in the culture of your company.
It’s just human nature to resist change. But when you’re as conscious about how you deploy new technologies as you are about what those technologies are, employee buy-in will go a heck of a lot more smoothly. Just like the switch from corn cobs to toilet paper.