5 TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID ACCEPTANCE PROBLEMS
Digitalization processes such as the introduction of smart glasses in the company are tantamount to a change process. While young professionals are usually open to new technologies and even expect them from potential employers, established employees are often skeptical or even dismissive of the innovations. Those who do not take them on board run the risk that the new technology will get stuck in the notorious “Pilot Purgatory”, never making it into concrete application. This means that the opportunity to optimize important processes and significantly reduce costs is lost.
The difficulties of acceptance are understandable: New technologies force employees to change their habits and sometimes even to redefine their own roles. For the frontline worker or service technician, for example, the use of smart glasses can have the consequence of working more during inconvenient times or even ad hoc – namely when a problem arises acutely and can be solved immediately thanks to remote assistance. In the area of maintenance, technicians are increasingly fixing problems unnoticedly before they even occur (predictive maintenance), instead of troubleshooting – which can result in less recognition within the company.
These changes require adaptation processes that are often overlooked, as market research and advisory firm Gartner notes: “Too often, IT operates in a bubble where new technology simply appears and is deployed without consideration of the impact it will have on existing users and well-established workflows.” (1)
1. GOOD COMMUNICATION IS ALREADY HALF THE SUCCESS
A good internal communication strategy must therefore definitely be part of the project planning, in order to involve the employees from the very beginning, and to demonstrate the advantages of using smart glasses. We recommend involving employees at an early stage and including them in the change process. Information about the reason why and a clear buy-in from all levels facilitate acceptance.
Ask employees about their exact needs and, if possible, involve them in the selection of the right model of smart glasses. If there is resistance to the rollout, one solution may be to have a smaller team test and evaluate the technology first, or even hire new employees specifically for this purpose.
2. MAKE IT EASY FOR EMPLOYEES
With growing digitalization, the pressure on the frontline is increasing. Service and maintenance are becoming more complex. Smart glasses should therefore solve problems reliably and not create new difficulties in operating them. What is needed are solutions that are intelligent but easy to use and intuitive to follow. Find out what the teams specifically need – it is certainly not the full spectrum of all technological possibilities. With pre-configured and immediately usable systems, you save time-consuming briefings.
3. HEALTH PROTECTION IS A MUST
Smart glasses are worn directly on the body for long periods at work. It is therefore essential that they have no negative impact on the health of the wearer and that the manufacturer complies with the applicable safety regulations, for example the standards for eye protection. Employees will be happy to have systems where they do not wear radiation-emitting modules close to their head and which do not send laser beams into their eyes.
4. WEARING COMFORT: EVERY NOSE IS DIFFERENT
Unfortunately, clunky design and poor wearing comfort are still the weak points of many smart glasses. Tip: Offer the favored system to the employees involved for trial wear. Data glasses that sit comfortably on the nose and look good will be easily accepted.
The possibility to customize the glasses is just as important. Since every nose and every facial anatomy is different, not every pair of glasses can be worn by everyone. If the system offers nose pads in different sizes, the wearing comfort can be individually optimized. And are the lenses interchangeable? This makes it easy to change corrective lenses, tinted or self-tinting lenses or lenses with color filters for certain activities.
5. OBSERVE DATA PROTECTION
In order to protect employees, data processing must be bindingly defined in a company agreement or an internal guideline for the use of data glasses. If streams are recorded and stored, the agreement must also include rules for deleting the data.
As with other video or photo recordings, appropriate information should be placed in inhouse when recordings are made. Hardware solutions such as a light-emitting diode on the front of the glasses frame can signal employees and third parties when a recording is in progress. (2)
If the introduction of data glasses is well planned and the decision-makers get their employees on board at an early stage, companies can exploit the potential of smart glasses and significantly improve their processes.
(1) Gartner, “Treat Wearable Investments as Tactical, Not Strategic,” Rob Smith, Chris Silva, March 27, 2019.
(2) Further information on the subject of data security: https://viewpointsystem.com/smart-glasses-erfolgreich-im-unternehmen-einfuehren/