How to Increase EHSQ Program Adoption with Technology


Worker engagement and adoption is by far the most common topic of discussion whenever we meet with our clients to discuss their EHSQ program success. It makes sense too. The value you get out of any health and safety management or quality management program is only as good as the people (and the number of people) who use it – the more people across your organization understanding and participating in the program, the more successful it will be.

Likewise, from a technology standpoint, the data and potential insights you can get out of your EHSQ management system can only be good as the source data that you put in.

It stands to reason then that the most successfully implemented programs are ones where widespread adoption occurs, while programs that stall often end up stuck within individual departments or business units.

One observation to be made is that user adoption also partially has a problem of how we’ve defined it. User adoption is a complex topic and needs to be looked at through a broader lens than simply whether employees are switching from filling out paper forms to logging in to a computer system.

Adoption is more than just tasks and actions, it is about users seeing real value from those tasks that they are asked to do and from the software they are being asked to adopt. Understanding that value is what can transform those tasks from an irritation to part of their day-to-day work life. That change in behavior, in turn, is what can lead to a broader understanding of how those tasks can impact themselves as well as others across the business.

The great news is that today, there are a number of technological innovations that can help EHSQ professionals to achieve this. The best of these technologies go beyond just automating manual tasks to deliver value by driving new behaviors. In our case, this means driving EHSQ program adoption and encouraging employees to contribute to building a stronger culture around managing those verticals.

Here are the five truly massive waves of disruption that you should consider.

  1. Cloud

Cloud computing and the proliferation of SaaS has tremendously disrupted the way organizations view enterprise software. By effectively eliminating the need to consider infrastructure cost as part of solution deployment, the evaluation focus can be shifted almost entirely to the business value a solution can offer.

This change in mindset can dramatically shift the perception of new enterprise software purchases away from a purely cost containment-based ROI discussion to one of potential future ongoing value. EHSQ is one of many solutions that can take advantage of this by moving from the perception of being a sunk cost, to the perception of being the starting point for new business innovation. Likewise the speed in which SaaS solutions can be deployed allows organizations, and their users, to dramatically reduce the time to value that these solutions can deliver.

  1. Mobile

Smartphones have dramatically changed the connectivity of the global workforce. Research from Google estimates that nearly 80% of the global workforce is desk-less. Before the proliferation of smartphones, these users simply did not have regular access to enterprise software, regardless of the potential benefit to their job function. In today’s mobile era, the mere fact that these workers now have a viable point of access to modern software tools at all is the foundation for what could be huge changes and acceleration in the benefit of software such as EHSQ management tools.

It makes sense to give the workers who are at greatest risk of injury, those out in the field and on the factory floor, direct access to the programs that support their safety. Smartphones make this a reality. Mobility can help to dramatically drive adoption by making regular usage or EHSQ software a reality at all.

  1. Social

People inherently trust other people and have a desire to communicate and share knowledge and best practices. Health and safety, and quality management are domains within a business where knowledge shared by word of mouth has always had tremendous value. Online social networks and focused member communities allow workers of all stripes an opportunity to share this knowledge and learn from each other.

Forward looking vendors in the EHSQ space are making social sharing a priority. Specifically, driving more cross-organization and cross-industry discussions related to EHSQ are becoming more central to the leading product offerings. These social elements help to deliver tangible value at the user level, serving to accelerate usage and ultimately adoption.

  1. Data science

As adoption of EHSQ data management systems increase, so too does the total pool of data that these platforms collect. Today, many are referring to data as the “new oil.” Historically data has generally been used to measure past performance. The reason data has recently gained so much value as a resource is because advances in data science and modelling techniques increasingly allow  organizations to uncover predictive and prescriptive insights from their pools of safety data. The most mature EHSQ programs have begun to evolve from being purely reactive platforms to ones that actively seek out innovations that can prevent incidents before they happen. Showing the results that can be achieved from widespread EHSQ program adoption can help increase employee buy-in and program adoption.

  1. Internet of things

Internet of things (IoT) presents the next horizon of adding to the pool of data that can be used by EHSQ professionals. Devices, equipment, and other elements of a business are becoming increasingly connected to each other. These IoT devices and beacons can send, in real-time,data that can be used to drive insights as part of a modern EHSQ program.

From notifications alerting workers when they enter areas with unique safety requirements, to harvesting diagnostic data from machinery and equipment, IoT and the data it collects can help to accelerate the development of organizational big data programs that could have a massive positive impact on health and safety management and quality management programs.

Not every organization and not every EHSQ program will be equally impacted by these innovations. But all of these technologies can help drive adoption of EHSQ software, in turn improving worker safer, product quality, and, eventually, organizational efficiency. To reap these benefits, user adoption needs to be widespread and rapid.

User adoption of EHSQ software was an integral part of the success leading manufacturer Pace Industries achieved with their Safety Management Software solution. To learn how Pace Industries saved $1.2M in Workers’ Compensation, and achieved an 85% reduction in Incident Severity Rate, sign-up for our webinar, “The ROI of Safety in Manufacturing.”

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