Construction workers are often surrounded by the most advanced machinery, but they’ve been reluctant to adopt digital workplace solutions to manage the administrative side of the industry. An operational communication platform could revolutionize how construction companies operate, but the change has to happen from the inside out. You need employee buy-in for a digital workplace to be successful.
As tech-savvy millennials opt for more white-collar jobs, there’s a growing labor shortage in the construction industry. On top of that, the average age of construction workers is 42, and climbing. This skilled and experienced workforce has been in construction since before the advancement of the digital workplace and don’t see a reason to change.
While a company app will make your business more efficient and will increase your profit margin by cutting costs and saving time, it will also elevate the employee experience. As you pitch the idea of a workforce app to your frontline team, get them on board by demonstrating the benefits of an employee app, including:
- More autonomy for every worker with the ability to do their own time-reporting, shift swapping, and individual payroll access.
- More transparency with access to company information.
- Streamlined workflows to make jobs quicker and easier.
- Information will be at their fingertips which will reduce the numerous trips field workers often make to the main office for paperwork and plans.
- Increased on-site collaboration as the company app will connect different sectors of your field team.
Once you plant the seed, follow these action items to get employee buy-in to your digital workplace.
Invest in a Digital Project Manager
As you start a digital transformation in your construction organization, your first step should be to hire a project manager who is skilled in both digital workplaces and the construction trade. The project manager can conduct digital workplace training, help with onboarding and be the go-to person in charge of overseeing the digital workplace. Their experience in construction will allow your project manager to speak the same industry language as your workforce which will build trust as your team adopts the new technology.
Choose an Employee-Focused Workforce App
There are a lot of options when it comes to a digital workplace. Many companies make the mistake of using consumer software for their company app. Make sure you choose an operational communication platform
designed specifically for deskless workers like your construction crews. This employee communication app is more compatible with the mobile nature of your employees’ work, including its far-reaching ability and features created to optimize workflows (such as file sharing). Also, Beekeeper can integrate your stand-alone apps your company already has in place for individual tasks like payroll and organize them into a central portal.
Have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy
When transitioning to a digital workplace in the construction industry, your biggest hurdle to employee buy-in is fear of the unknown. An employee app is unfamiliar territory for an industry and workforce rooted in manual labor. Ease the transition by allowing them to use the workforce app on their own mobile devices. Not only will this save you money, but it will allow easier acceptance of the employee communication app when it’s used on a device they’re familiar with.
Empower Your Crew with Information
Once your team has the employee app installed, start sharing company information. Their view is from the field. Give them a 360-view of company goals to get them excited about this project, and the next. Share plans and renderings so they have a big-picture scope of the project. A welder can see where her or his role really fits in when they have access to the entire plan. Word will spread, your team will start using the employee communication app and you’ll have full employee buy-in, not to mention a more productive team
. Transparency fosters emotional investment into a company when employees feel appreciated and trusted by including them in the conversation.
A Digital Workplace as a One-Stop App Shop
A company app like Beekeeper can integrate the multiple software programs a construction company might already be using, such as project management software, scheduling, and payroll. Giving employees access to numerous applications is burdensome and they’ll reject going digital. This workforce is on the go so your digital workplace should enhance the employee experience, not weigh it down. An communication and productivity app like Beekeeper integrates all of your apps into one central location. Employees can find anything they need through one dedicated company app.
Recognize that employee buy-in for a digital workplace is about changing a mindset, so have this roll-out strategy ready for greater success. Once your construction team gets on the digital bandwagon they’ll never want to work without their employee app again.
To start your construction company’s digital transformation, download our case study of construction outfit Holcim.