Are you thinking of implementing a fleet driver report card, but afraid of the employee backlash around snooping and “big brothering?” The success of your program can be impacted by the way you introduce scorecards to your team. This article provides some tips on how to communicate the reasons and benefits of driver behavior monitoring so you can get maximum fleet driver buy-in and achieve great results.
Engaged Employees Are Happy Employees
The annual Gallup Work and Education survey which measures worker satisfaction and employee engagement reveals that engaged employees are thoroughly invested and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They are more likely to come to work, less likely to leave, they treat customers better and are more productive. Don’t you wish that described your fleet drivers?
Another Gallup survey on employee engagement found that 63% of American workers are not engaged in their work, while another 24% are “actively disengaged.” Disengaged workers are more likely to look for other opportunities, or worse, bring down the productivity of the entire team. In fact, Gallup estimates that the cost of disengaged workers sits somewhere between $450-$550 billion each year in lost productivity.
If you look closely at the Gallup data, it infers that employee engagement boils down to answering three key questions for workers:
- What is my job? (Having clarity around one’s role in the company)
- How am I doing? (Receiving regular feedback on job performance)
- How can I help? (What specific things can I do to help the company succeed?)
Driver scorecards can help answer two of those questions: “How am I doing?” and “How can I help?” Therefore, for fleet managers, communicating scorecard results to drivers and monitoring policies can be benefit both employee and employer.
See Also: Read Part I in this series, Do Driver Scorecards Work
Supporting Employee Engagement with Driver Scorecards
Everyone enjoys hearing that they are doing a good job and receiving regular feedback. If there’s improvement to be made, isn’t it better to get feedback early on so the right steps can be taken to turn things around? Driver scorecards fulfill this requirement.
By helping vehicle operators understand how they are measuring up to company goals, you are taking driver monitoring from a perceived intrusion to valuable feedback. You are answering the question: “How can I help my company succeed?”
The aim is to boost engagement. After all, highly-engaged employees want to do the things that will help their company be successful. Gallup finds that business units with an above-average number of highly-engaged employees see 21% higher profitability than business units with few engaged employees.
The key is connecting the dots between driving behaviors and the bottom line. When you do this, you are recruiting the drivers to help meet your larger company goals for fleet safety, compliance, or efficiency.
How to Get Started
When setting up a scorecard program, fleet managers have several decisions to make.
- Identify Your Scorecard Goals — Today’s telematics provides volumes of data, but a great place to start is by looking at basic safety protocols such as excessive speeding and seat belt usage. Staying within the posted speed limit and using a seat belt is the law, and it is pretty hard for anyone to argue against being measured on obeying the law. Over time, the scorecard can be expanded to include other risky driving behaviours such as harsh acceleration or braking. You can even create custom scorecards for productivity, compliance, engine health, and other fleet goals.
- Score Drivers Individually or as a Group? — Depending on the type of workforce, management can decide if they want to post individual driver scores, or measure individuals against the average of their peers. A fleet made up of salespeople, who are used to being measured against each other for monthly or quarterly sales targets might like the “friendly competitiveness” of individual scorecards.
- Gamification — Gamification of the driver scorecard is another way some organizations are using to improve employee engagement. Recent software advances have produced products that can score driver behavior and gamify it, by taking data from performance and converting it to a score that lets drivers see how they rank against their peers. The founder of Bunchball, Rajat Paharia, writes that gamification engages employees and promotes innovation and performance, which can be turned into a competitive advantage.
Tips for Getting Drivers On-Board with Scorecards
1. Driver Consultation Is Essential
If no proper consultation or communication takes place before a new telematics program is rolled out, drivers may feel alienated. Fleet drivers may object to being tracked or reluctant to learn a new technology.
In some fleets, drivers are at the forefront of customer relationships, so the risk that policies enacted to improve driver behavior can backfire and negatively impact customer service and reputation, is even greater. Looking for more strategies on retaining drivers? Read this article: Creating a positive culture for fleets with telematics.
2. Highlight the Bottom Line
Let’s take a look at some numbers related to on-the-job vehicle crashes from a report by NETS, NHTSA, OSHA, Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes.
Crashes Are Costly for Employers:
- $16,500 — Average cost of a crash to an employer.
- $74,000 — Cost of crash resulting in an injury.
- $165,000 — The amount of revenue that a company has to generate to make up for the cost of an accident (if a company operates at a 10% margin).
- $500,000 or greater — Cost for a crash involving a fatality.
You can plug in your own operating margin for a very company specific and compelling business case.
An often overlooked messaging opportunity is the benefit to the employee’s personal bottom line. Aside from being a more aware driver at work, there is a transfer of good driving habits from business to how one drives on their own time. Employees will realize fuel savings in their personal vehicle as well because aggressive driving such as: harsh braking, rapid acceleration and sharp cornering habits burn excess fuel.
3. Make it Easy to Understand and Include Visuals
Your scorecard must be formatted in a way that people can understand, or it will not be effective. If a driver can’t take one look at the scorecard and quickly get answers to the question of “How am I doing?” then its impact is significantly diminished. By the same token, information, or visuals addressing “how can I help” should be shown in a way that people can figure out what they can and need to do to contribute to the success of the business.
Fleets don’t need to be afraid of implementing a driver scorecard as long as they are transparent in their process, communicate clearly, and answer the three key questions all workers want to know: What’s my job? How am I doing? How can I help?
In doing so, the fleet department adds value to an organization by increasing employee engagement to improve performance and drive a winning culture.
If you are interested in Geotab’s driver scorecard solution, please visit the Geotab Marketplace.
Author: Rob Minton, Associate Vice President – Fleet Management Partnerships
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