You know there is a proven ROI in putting your safety program online and into the hands of your employees.  

But what are the top mistakes you want to avoid when rolling out a new safety management system?

To help answer that question, we sat down with Jeanette Wilson, iReportSource Customer Success Team Manager. In our conversation with her, she covered 4 common mistakes that can happen during a technology rollout—and what you ought to know to avoid these potential challenges so you can be sure your rollout process is a success.

Mistake #1: Going from 0 to 60 too quickly. 

Jeanette says it can be tempting to roll out a new platform to every employee at the same time, but that approach isn’t as scalable and reliable as it could be.

“We know that a new technology, to some, can be very different, or even daunting. As a result, too much, too fast can have a negative impact,” she says.

Symptoms of a rollout that’s happening too quickly can include pushback from employees, or even frustration from certain employees who are used to turning to others for technology help, if and when those team members are just as new to the technology as them. 

To avoid this, Jeanette recommends a phased approach to training, beginning with the administrator-level users. These are users who have the most permissions and who will oversee workflows and drive usage of the platform. “Once they are comfortable with the platform—usually 1-2 weeks after training with time for them to use the system and ask questions—we will begin training the supervisors. We define ‘supervisors’ as leaders who have less permissions than administrator-level users, but we will know exactly what part in the safety program they play,” she says. 

Finally, those referred to as Reporters are trained. This group’s focus and main function is reporting any incidents or near-misses, and that’s typically the largest number of employees.

This phased, or staggered approach, helps to build and momentum. It also encourages all supervisors to be empowered and comfortable with the system before adding the Reporters. 

Mistake #2: Too many features, too soon.

“The next mistake that can happen with a technology rollout or onboarding is when people feel like they are ‘drinking from a firehose,’” says Jeanette.  

The problem with this feeling is that people can quickly become overwhelmed and shut down.

“What we mean by this is that we typically want to avoid using all functionality of the program from day one. iReportSource has several functionalities that are key components to safety programs, but it can be detrimental to try and begin using all the features right off the bat,” explains Jeanette. 

Just like with the phased approach to training, Jeanette recommends a process where the team identifies the main, key 2-3 features of the program that will initially be used.

Next, team members can begin to use those agreed upon features, gain confidence in those areas, and then learning can continue after those are mastered.

“This really allows people to feel comfortable with the usage and for the administration to outline their own internal workflows using these tools,” says Jeanette, acknowledging the power of “small wins” in the process, too. “After that point of comfort is reached, we can then add to the foundation and it will be a natural increase rather than too much, too soon.”

Mistake #3: A lack of communication.  

When onboarding, it’s important to keep consistent communication so that both sides know what’s going on at all times, and expectations are as clear and visible as possible. 

“Setting expectations is always paramount to the success of a technology rollout, especially in areas that are traditionally pen-and-paper,” says Jeanette.

To start, make sure trusted leaders are proactively sharing the “why” behind the choice of iReportSource as your platform. They should also communicate the benefits of a digitized safety program, and they can outline the immediate results they can expect from using the program, too.

Jeanette says communication is also critical to answer questions as they arise. “iReportSource schedules weekly calls when onboarding to have a regular conversation, even if it is just to confirm that things are moving along as they should. This allows for a smooth onboarding experience.” 

Mistake #4: No positive tone is set from the start.

A rollout should be a positive experience and should add and enhance your safety culture.

With support from all levels, including upper management, that can be possible. 

“Onboarding successfully sets the tone for confident, engaged users with the platform. This results in a safety culture with involvement at all levels of the company, and in turn, it can help avoid incidents and the costs involved,” explains Jeanette. 

Despite what may be a misconception about technology rollouts, onboarding can be a positive, stress-free process where users feel empowered and involved in improving safety. “Onboarding with us really is the first step in a journey to a proactive, efficient and effective digitized safety culture,” adds Jeanette.

Learn More about iReportSource as Your Safety Management System

iReportSource is the easiest, and most affordable, way to get your safety program online. iReportSource helps you improve how you manage near misses and behavior observation, injury and claim management, safety audits, risk assessments, safety walks, OSHA reporting and compliance—and much more. With hands-on, 1 on 1 onboarding and support, we’ll meet your team where you’re at, making onboarding simple and streamlined.

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