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Positive Technology Change Management for the FM Industry

19 May 2023
It’s a fact that most of us don’t like change. If something isn’t broken, then why fix it? We are even more skeptical of change when technology is involved. Within the Facilities Management workspace, resistance to new technology is commonplace. While management may be excited at the prospect of improved productivity, faster decision making, and a boost to revenue, employees often view digital adoption in a less positive way. Staff may be unenthusiastic about new technology because they don’t understand the need for it or see how it will be of benefit to them. Why invest time and money in changing something that has been working well for a long time? Employees may like the stability of their existing work routine or have a fear of the unknown. They may even feel a change will undermine their value or purpose within an organization and view it as something that ultimately poses a threat to their employment. The truth is, no matter how beneficial new technology will be to a business in the long run, integrating innovation is futile unless staff are on board, so handling change management properly is essential.

What is Change Management?

Change management ensures the adoption, control and implementation of change. When a new technology is introduced into an organization, careful change management facilitates increased productivity, with minimal challenge.

It sounds straight forward enough, but a surprisingly large percentage of digital transformations fail, or don’t deliver the results that they should.

The main reasons for failure include a lack of communication and poorly explained goals, leading to frustration and resistance among staff. So how can FM teams besure they are approaching technology change management in the right way?

The Key to FM Change Management Success

The key to success lies in leveraging the right technology for the job. If it is too complicated, clunky and not user-friendly, it will slow the change process rather than accelerate it. In addition, FM companies must select suppliers who will support them throughout the change management process. They must know and understand the organization they are working with, what their staff do in their daily roles, and be there to guide the change that is going to happen. With the right technology, from the right suppliers in place, FM organizations can ensure a smooth transition which results in better results for everyone involved.

Technology Change Management: A Case Study

Let’s look at data driven cleaning as an example of how integrating the right technology has been instrumental in successful tech change management for many FM companies.

Digital adoption within the cleaning industry has seen a drastic shift in recent years from a once manual process to one which can now be completely digitalized. Thanks to sensor driven technology and the use of AI modules, the system produces an abundance of technology that has made the entire process of cleaning standardized, auditable and completely outcome driven.

The introduction of data driven cleaning within FM companies has clearly represented a massive change in the way cleaning teams work. But getting staff on board with a new way of working was inevitably going to be met with some resistance.

The integrators of the SmartClean Matrix, the software used in VERTECO’s smart cleaning technology and the first AI smart cleaning management platform available, share the steps they take to support successful change management when FM companies adopt their tech.

Consider the End User

It’s crucial that the end user is considered when adopting any new technology. Data driven cleaning produces a wealth of information that offers endless possibilities – this is exciting for FM leaders but could be seen as ‘too much’ for cleaning teams, leaving them overwhelmed.

The SmartClean Matrix was designed with user friendliness in mind. The platform can autonomously monitor, operate and manage the entire cleaning process – but the dashboard is extremely simple to follow. It is designed to be readable and manageable, ensuring a positive working experience and reducing the likelihood of user resistance.

Communication

Communication is key. Before rolling out new technology in an organization, managers need to understand the importance of communication within their teams and be prepared to face resistance. VERTECO advises customers to inform their workforce of any planned changes before they happen. This way, staff are far more likely to be on board. Explaining the project’s ambitions from the outset will reduce misunderstanding and mistrust and ensure a shared common goal and smooth adoption.

Invest in Education

Learning and advisory are key to ensuring adoption is seamless. Many members of staff will have been doing their job for a long time and embracing new routines and processes is difficult. The level of data and capabilities of the platform will also be a new concept to most. Ideally, training should be structured in a team environment and supported by ongoing upskilling opportunities. This will not only expedite the adoption of the new technology but will engage the workforce and encourage collaboration between colleagues.

Be Adaptable to Continuous Improvement and Expansion

Leadership should demonstrate that they are open to ideas and improvements. When employees are involved in decision making, they are more likely to remain interested and engaged. The SmartClean Matrix functionality is designed to evolve with market trends and customer demands. The ‘Green Cleaning’ module for example, is set to be introduced following demand from customers and end-users. Mapping resources in efforts to reduce waste, the makers designed the module in response to feedback from cleaning teams looking to make their jobs more environmentally friendly – as well as requests from leadership, who are faced with ever increasing sustainability targets.

Spell Out End User Benefits

Leadership should demonstrate that they are open to ideas and improvements. When employees are involved in decision making, they are more likely to remain interested and engaged. The SmartClean Matrix functionality is designed to evolve with market trends and customer demands. The ‘Green Cleaning’ module for example, is set to be introduced following demand from customers and end-users. Mapping resources in efforts to reduce waste, the makers designed the module in response to feedback from cleaning teams looking to make their jobs more environmentally friendly – as well as requests from leadership, who are faced with ever increasing sustainability targets.

The Difference Between Success and Failure

Advances in technology are changing the way organizations around the world operate. Taking the time to consider how you approach technology change management can be the difference between success and failure. If done properly, with the right technology, you can mitigate the risks, avoid resistance, and ensure successful implementation of new tech that will benefit everyone within the organization.

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