Having to continuously oversee downhearted, defeated or disgruntled staff creates frustration for management. It also holds the potential to snowball into an uncontrollable, yet avoidable expense.

Although no official figures are available for Africa, In the United States it is estimated that there are about 22 million workers who are categorised as having low morale in the workplace. The repercussions include approximately 350 billion dollars in additional costs to American businesses each year. Decreased employee productivity, worker absenteeism, and increased staff turnover all contribute to the costs these businesses burden.

Long distance professional drivers often cite that time away from home, the difficulty of making a living, and the lack of recognition for their hard work as reasons for not recommending the occupation to others.

What can fleet managers do to ensure these costs are minimised, and how can telematics contribute?

Telematics Systems provide infinite data to analyse, learn from, and be utilised to cut down on costs. Often, savings from altered driving habits can be passed on to the drivers themselves if they are exposed to the knowledge base the analysis can provide. If savings can be realised by the drivers themselves, as well as the organisation, a reason for work dissatisfaction is minimised. Further to this, transparency with data by an organisation is both welcomed and appreciated by workers. Telematics provides an avenue for organisational higher-ups to recognise the importance and value of their fleet drivers.

With such isolated and independent work, it can be challenging to recognise and reward stellar and loyal employees to provide motivation and pride. Telematics provides strong metrics as well as the flexibility to single out and track what behaviour to reward, while providing clear goals for drivers to find motivation and a challenge in.

For example, recognising and even rewarding drivers with the least number of a specific exception violations will provide the management awareness they are seeking. As an added bonus, the fleet assets as well as employees will be safer overall.

Additionally, knowing clear organisational expectations will reduce stress workers endure. Using Telematics to translate “safe’, “efficient” or “compliant” driving expectations into measurable actions eliminates any confusion in the management-employee relationship. This will, in turn, uplift the quality of drivers’ work, therefore reducing stress, and increase satisfaction with the occupation.

Telematics is a tool that can be used by organisations to realise both financial gains as well as increased productivity, compliance, optimisation, and safety. There is, however, also the opportunity for fleet managers to dive deeper and use telematics as a tool to curtail downhearted, defeated, or disgruntled staff. Use the substantial capabilities of Geotab’s telematics to boost the employee-employer relationship, increase employee morale, and eliminate the manifestations of staff dissatisfaction that can be detrimental to any organisation.

GEOTAB Africa suggestion is that companies introduce “Driver of the month, quarter and year” programs internally in their companies as well as with its contractors, based on tangible “green band” driving parameters, that can be effectively measured with high quality data from the GEOTAB systems.

Credit:  Caitlin Johnson, GEOTAB INC Human Resources Assistant

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