As technological developments continue to dramatically transform our world and our workplaces, it’s become increasingly important that employees are able to adapt readily to significant organizational change. Regardless of what industry you work in, formal training programs like “3 Steps to Managing Change” and “Strategies for Embracing Change” can help increase the ability of your team to welcome new tools and workflows to improve overall productivity. Making a direct investment in your human capital can also increase morale and motivation and decrease turnover.
One example of a major innovation that has the potential to radically disrupt multiple industries: Google Glass, Google’s wearable, hands-free computing device. Glass has some medical professionals excited about its potential to totally change the face of American healthcare. Some advocates even predict that doctors, nurses and paramedics across the country will eventually rely on Google Glass to manage all aspects of patient care.
The device has already experienced some early success in the medical field. In January, Dr. Steven Horng saved the life of a patient at Beth Israel Deaconess hospital in Boston while using Google Glass, according to U.S. News and World Report. Horng used the technology to access the man’s drug allergy history fast enough to prevent his brain from hemorrhaging. Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports an ambulance company is testing two pairs of Google Glass for use by paramedics. The device allows an emergency room doctor to watch live video as it streams from the inside of the ambulance. As a patient is en route to the hospital, the physician can offer the emergency responders clinical advice and support, hopefully improving treatment and continuity of care.
The Atlantic magazine recently interviewed Stephanie Shine, a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a strong proponent of using Google Glass in medical settings. When Shine delivered her baby prematurely, she was unable to see or touch him for a full 18 hours. She says that had she had Google Glass, she could have at least watched him from afar as he was treated in the newborn intensive care unit. Now she wants to make that an option for other new mothers of premature infants.
It’s important employers — whether in healthcare or any other industry — embrace developing technology, but it’s also true that adapting to new tools and expectations can be difficult. Empowering your workers through employee training programs can go a long way toward helping them adjust to and embrace upheaval in order to improve and grow. In less than half-an-hour, your workers can learn to let go of existing standards and procedures, open their minds and attitudes to other ways of working and leverage new methods to meet their goals.