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The people piece of the technology puzzle

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Jaime Nielsen

Jaime Nielsen, Trimble’s divisional vice president, human resources, took a moment to talk with Fleet Equipment on how to work with the people within your fleet when putting new technology to work.

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Fleet Equipment (FE): As new technology and change enters the workplace, what are some managing tips that help ease those growing pains?

Jaime: I believe the key to managing both new technology and change is continuous communication and access to training. The communication needs to be timely, consumable and as transparent as the situation allows. We also want to communicate frequently, to minimize any chance of someone not hearing about a change in the organization. As it relates to new technology, we need to find ways for our team to have an environment of continuous learning, access to training both internally and externally and a workload that allows for those growth opportunities, both personally and professionally.

The key to technology adoption in the workplace is to properly train users on the new solutions and to clearly articulate the benefit it will have in their daily workflows. If individuals can understand how to use technology to their advantage, the adoption rate will be significant. Continuing to get feedback from users on what is working and what isn’t also allows us to adjust how we are using technology and further improve adoption based on this valuable input.

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FE: As new technology and change enters the workplace, what are some managing tips that help ease those growing pains?

Jaime: I believe the key to managing both new technology and change is continuous communication and access to training. The communication needs to be timely, consumable and as transparent as the situation allows. We also want to communicate frequently, to minimize any chance of someone not hearing about a change in the organization. Regardless of what the change is our goal is to ensure we’re communicating in various ways that connect with our evolving and diverse workforce.

As it relates to new technology, we need to find ways for our team to have an environment of continuous learning, access to training both internally and externally and a workload that allows for those growth opportunities, both personally and professionally. It’s a balance, for sure, one that we continue to prioritize and refine.

FE: What advice do you have related to creating conversation around technology adoption? When should managers start talking about? How do they keep the conversation going after adoption?

Jaime: As we know firsthand from the solutions we develop, technology is rapidly changing and there are all sorts of new platforms for organizations to use to improve collaboration and efficiency. 

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Whether you are a trucking company, a logistics provider, or technology company like Trimble, the key to technology adoption in the workplace is to properly train users on the new solutions and to clearly articulate the benefit it will have in their daily workflows. If individuals can understand how to use technology to their advantage, the adoption rate will be significant. Continuing to get feedback from users on what is working and what isn’t also allows us to adjust how we are using technology and further improve adoption based on this valuable input.

From a Trimble perspective, harnessing technology has been instrumental in helping us transition to a single Transportation sector. With teams throughout different locations and geographies, being able to virtually work and interact with each other has been crucial in fostering a collaborative work environment throughout our organization. By giving our teams the tools to work more effectively together, we can not only increase engagement but maximize our productivity to benefit all of the customers we serve.

FE: “Change Management” is a term I hear more and more, but isn’t change constant? What’s the new Change Management approach?

Jaime: There are many change management models – all that are effective in their own right. I would say as an organization we don’t get hung up on what change model approach we use, but rather subscribe to the fact that change is part of our constant.

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What also makes us effective in how we manage change is that our approach aligns with some of the core components of the most effective change models. Some of these include: making sure the vision/change is clearly articulated; helping employees understand “the why” to help develop buy-in; ensuring employees see or understand the value in the change; continuous dialogue; and frequent “check-ins/validations” with those impacted by the change to ensure that what was implemented is working. 

We subscribe to, where it makes sense, an agile development methodology. And to the extent it works for everything we do related to change, we apply it. It allows us to continuously innovate and evolve all aspects of our organization, to coincide with the continuous change within the industry we serve.

For more answers to your tough trucking technology questions, read Fleet Equipment’s September cover story:

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