Most people claim to like surprises, but when you’re introducing new technology and processes in the workplace, it’s best not to surprise your employees.
Both large and small businesses will spend significant time researching the selection of biometric devices to integrate with their time and attendance software. Yet when it comes to implementation, companies often believe “the faster, the better!”. Although you may be eager to see immediate benefits — biometric readers that capture in/out punches of employees can result in a solid ROI for organizations of all sizes — faster is not necessarily better. Adoption of new devices can be difficult and if employees fail to use them, the ROI payback can extend from 3 months to up to a year. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take in order to ensure biometric success.
Like any change in the workplace, employees often view new technology with cynicism and an “us vs. them” mindset can easily develop. Biometrics in particular can be viewed negatively by staff, potentially stirring ideas about Big Brother watching over or lack of trust from management. Yet, with well thought out explanation and communication, biometrics can be received by employees as a positive sign that their company is technically advanced, smart with their money, looking to preserve jobs and operate efficiently. It is also essential to ensure you provide proper warning or discussion before a biometric reader appears on a wall — lack of communication will leave your supervisors and employees to interpret this change on their own.
Five tips for how to implement a biometric reader successfully:
- Get your managers and supervisors on board: explain why the company has chosen the device and how it will benefit the managers and the employees.
- Hold a town hall meeting: often the biometric supplier will be happy to attend and explain the technology, how it works and field questions from employees. Encourage employees to ask questions and voice their concerns upfront.
- Create an internal newsletter or Post FAQs: explain the technology before it is on the wall and ease anxiety about the technology and its purpose.
- Do a pilot with champion managers and employees: positive feedback from a respected, select group will spread the word of how it works and why it is good for the employees and the company.
- Communicate with the employee in mind: explain why the biometric technology is good for the employee. For example: no more lost swipe cards, no need to remember pin numbers, faster recording of their time and the company will save money, which in turn protects their job and leads to profitability, which leads to raises in the future.
These few simple steps can make a huge difference when implementing biometric devices within your company. Open communication allows you to answer concerns and get buy-in early in the implementation stage, rather than asking what went wrong after you have made the investment. Proper implementation will not only save you time and money but will ultimately preserve your employee relationships.