Congratulations! You’ve found enough money in the budget to invest in a lone worker check-in system. You’ve done your research and found the perfect partner to provide technology and monitoring for the lone workers at your organization (organisation, for our American friends). Although it took a lot of research, planning, and maybe even lobbying to get the budget approved, the hard part comes next: implementing the program and getting employee adoption. After all, if nobody uses the check-in system, what is the point?
[Related: If you are still in the decision-making process and searching for the right partner, check out this resource.]
Start with technology
Your adoption efforts actually start with the technology you choose. For organizations with a large workforce that includes Gen X employees or non-digital natives, app-based technology that seems intuitive to a digital native may be confusing and intimidating to an older or less tech-savvy employee.
The first step is to start with a platform and interface that is user-friendly. You can verify user-friendliness by completing product demonstrations, leveraging referrals from peer companies, and breaking your own workforce into smaller user groups determined by training needs. In some cases, the tech-savvy segment of your workforce can help train the less technical group.
You’ll likely find that the training needs of your less technical group (no matter how user-friendly the technology) are different from the needs of the more technically inclined group. Sometimes employees require assistance just to download an app or utilize the app store with an apple ID. Conversely, tech-savvy employees may download an app and begin using it without any formal training at all.
Of course, there are technology options beyond smartphone apps, just be sure your device of choice (app, satellite GPS, gas detection device, wearables, etc) is a match for the training you will provide.
If you want to find success with your new lone worker check-in program, you must demonstrate the value to the end users. It is imperative that employees using the lone worker technology understand the purpose and benefit. For most companies, the sole reason conveyed to employees is to get them home safe at the end of each day. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Take the time to show managers and supervisors the monitored alerts and GPS tracking screen to demonstrate how and when employees are monitored. Then, show employees what happens on the monitoring platform when they signal an alert from their personal device.
Instead of simply telling employees that there is a new tool or policy, and adherence is mandatory, this approach allows employees to be more involved and they can better understand program value.
Use a third party for monitoring
One of the common objections end users (and unions) have to lone worker check-in systems is being monitored while on the job. Using a third-party monitoring team not only lifts the burden on supervisors and managers but also serves as an essential buffer between employees and management that often makes employees more comfortable with being monitored.
Next, be sure to explain the nature of the monitoring and how tracking works. It’s important that employees know that productivity is not being measured and that the purpose and design of the check-in system is for safety only. As one HSE Superintendent at a Utility company put it “The minute a supervisor calls an employee to reprimand them for being at Home Depot instead of at work, the whole thing falls apart”.
Gamify and leverage usage reports
Lastly, you can leverage usage reports to show who is and isn’t using the program. Although it is important to use non-punitive measures, usage reports can be great for holding employees accountable.
Take it a step further and gamify the program. Give rewards or acknowledge employees with exceptional usage, and ask questions to employees who are not adopting as expected. You can jumpstart this process by selecting an employee to help you champion the new program; choose someone who the crew naturally gravitates toward, someone with leadership qualities that can lead by example.