We live in one of the most automated ages in history. We can rent and pick up a car or bike via our phones, check ourselves out at the grocery store, and utilize self-driving cars! There are even video/audio devices that can be installed in our homes so that when our dogs are barking we get a vibration on our smartwatches and we can shoot out treats for them with the click of a button (yes, this is a real thing).
Yet, with all of the improvements and benefits of automation, studies show that we live in a world more disconnected and discontent than ever.
Here are 5 steps that you can follow when rolling out a new fleet automation process to help keep the human factor in mind so that your users can feel more connected and content in their work:
1. Ask Yourself the Hard Questions
Do you need fleet automation?
Does the automation help lower costs, increase productivity or help your organization run more smoothly? You must understand the drive behind automation so that you can frame your stance for the following steps.
2. Let Your Users Help Drive Your Fleet Automation
Get feedback from the people who will be impacted by the upgrade. What are their questions, comments, and concerns? The easiest way to do this is to hold a meeting where you write down everyone’s input on a whiteboard. Allow this to be an open discussion, and don’t criticize people for their ideas.
This is a time for them to help drive the direction of your implementation to help in its success. At the same time, this practice can increase your team’s participation in the organization and in the important decisions that you have to make.
Sometimes new processes are pushed from upper management and you have no choice but to push them to your users, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get their questions and concerns first.
3. Provide "Authentic" Communication
“Authentic” communication is not: “Hey, we’re rolling out new fleet automation on this process, so click this button and call it a day.” Real, valuable communication is the kind that makes people feel included and respected.
It’s not only important to give people clear instructions on what they must do moving forward, but it’s also important to give them the reasons why you are asking them to do something. In addition to the what, why, and how, your communications to users should also address the following:
- Answers to the commonly asked questions
- Responses to the main concerns about the implementation.
4. Provide Excellent Support
Everyone wants an easy answer to their questions, but everyone’s preferred method of assistance is different. Some individuals will value self-service assistance while others require more one-on-one help. Your support roll-out should include the following key points:
- Provide multiple methods of support: phone, email, self-service, etc.
- Ensure that the support is excellent! No one appreciates being frustrated with something that is broken and contacting support only to become more frustrated with the service you are receiving. Make sure that your support team is well-trained, has good response times, and provides survey responses to help guarantee that their assistance is effective.
5. Have a Backup Plan
No matter how good the technology, the communication, or the process is, it will fail eventually.
Do you remember the last time you went to the vending machine to get a soda and it didn’t work? No matter how minor, that frustration that you felt was real, and thank goodness that there was another vending machine right next to it so you could still get what you wanted at that moment!
Not everyone is going to be on board with new processes in fleet automation. In using the steps above for the rollout, the goal is to help the users to feel connected, valued, and empowered to use the new technology. When users are empowered, there is a greater chance of success for any process!