Selecting the best QHSE platform is relatively easy; getting it adopted is the challenge. This is probably one of the most heard phrases when it comes to automating Management Systems. The buying process can be quite a challenge when it comes to making sure all the departments agree on the solution and finding the budget. However, the adoption and implementation is a different game and, most likely, a tough nut to crack. This is why we like to share some of our experiences on how to make it as smooth as possible.
During implementation, external help from consultants and product specialists is key. They know all the tricks in the book and how to set up the platform in such a way that it really fits the organization. They also have seen it running at other companies in the same industry and therefore have a good idea about best practices. Second, the consultant brings in a fresh pair of eyes. They allow the company to really look at all the documentation and check its relevance in the new setup. Great examples are things like procedures for managing NCRs or Document Control, activities that with a good QHSE platform will be automated.
Usually, the consultants will help with internal training. They train key users and administrators for the QHSE platform. However, most of the time, the internal training is mainly done by these key users who are the group expert on a department, plant or project team. Keep in mind that the internal training is as important as the training by the key users. Employees need to be trained on how to use the platform as effectively as possible to allow Quality & Safety to thrive in the company. Quality & Safety is part of everybody’s role in the organization, so people should know where to look when it comes to this.
There will always be resistance by people; they are not really into change. Every organization has that one person that prefers not to change because everything seems fine as is. In the new way of working, some people might need to do a little bit more to bring the entire company to the next level. Convincing these people that they need to do a little bit more isn’t very easy. Regardless of the reason, there will be resistance, which will be hard to break.
The number one rule is making people part of the process while introducing the QHSE platform. Ask employees what they expect and what they would like to see resolved. Make them part of the design of a checklist or NCR form. Of course, you need to do this within reasonable levels because you cannot debate endlessly about a particular question. When they are involved, they will have a feeling of ownership and it will motivate them to want to use it in the future.
Second, show them how much easier it is than before. Make it clear how much time they save searching for documents. Also explain that they cannot do anything wrong. This will take away the fear of messing up. Lastly, communicate how the company benefits from it. Most employees do care about the company operating as good as possible. Showing them how the company benefit will help break resistance.
Make sure there is some form of accessible training materials. These can be guides, videos or other documents. This allows people to have help options whenever needed. This documentation is critical for a great adoption.