by: Karen Bradley
Fleet managers have a challenge when it comes to fleet tracking and telematics. Drivers often feel as if they are being watched, and that the system is designed simply to coach or correct them when they do something wrong. This can cause them to feel like part of a “problem” rather than a positive solution.
But fleet tracking and specifically dashcams have been proven to help fleets operate more safely overall. True, things like driver scorecards can be used to coach drivers and correct behaviors before they become a real problem. However, drivers, and employees of all types, tend to work more efficiently and with a better attitude if they are rewarded for good behavior regularly. This is the reason you should develop a rewards program for your drivers.
How do you do it? What rewards do you offer? Here are some answers for you.
First, let’s look at the role and the importance of driver scorecards. Driver scorecards typically monitor harsh braking, fast accelerations, cornering, speeding, and even seat belt use. These metrics are combined into a driver scorecard which can then be used to reward good drivers and coach those with a low score.
With the addition of forward and rear-facing AI cameras, you can also get video evidence of poor driving. On the flip side of things, you can also “see” those who consistently have high, or good scores and you can actively monitor the things they are doing right.
Nearly every company understands the value of a rewards system based on exceptional performance and the harm that a negative, “punishment-based” culture can have on employee morale, turnover, and more.
So instead of just using driver scorecards as a tool for coaching, it’s time to turn the scores into a game.
To be clear, we aren’t talking about turning things into a driving game, one where speed wins the race. Instead, we’re talking about the opposite: a game that rewards safety, efficiency, conscientious use of fuel and resources, and simple driver courtesy.
GPS Fleet tracking also reveals things like idle time, tracks maintenance intervals, and monitors other activities that impact fuel mileage, vehicle wear and tear from aggressive behaviors, and more. Dashcams can spot distracted driving, cell phone use, and even detect seat belt use.
Those drivers with a low score must be coached on improving, and their peers who are doing well can serve as examples. But often a simple “leaderboard” with driving scores can incentivize drivers to be number one, and the top dog at your company.
Add actual monetary rewards and other recognition to that, and you have a winning system.
What do those rewards look like? From gift cards to an extra day off with pay to an actual cash bonus, the rewards can be nearly anything your drivers find valuable. The key is to have measurable “levels” that are the same for everyone, shared transparently, and structured so drivers can “see” their progress.
For example, you can offer rewards for drivers with the most consistent scores above a certain level for 30, 60, and 90 days straight, each level with its own reward. We’ll say that for level one, you get a $25 gift card, level two $50, and level three $75. If a driver has an “off-day” they restart at day one.
Also, a leaderboard could offer monthly prizes for the “driver of the month” with something as simple as a traveling trophy, one the driver can display in their truck, their locker, or wherever they wish.
The impact typically becomes obvious. Drivers trying for incentives and who want to win the “game” will work more efficiently than if they are simply concerned they might be written up or “coached” if they perform badly.
What do fleet managers win? Well, not only do you get to reward your drivers, but you get a safer, more efficient fleet. Vehicle tracking lets you virtually ride along with your employees, ensuring they are following procedures and working to keep their routes tight and their vehicles operating efficiently.
Perhaps most importantly, you win a happier workforce. They are more engaged in the same outcomes you desire without feeling like you are holding their driver scorecard over their heads or that you perceive them to be a problem you need to “solve.” Happier employees mean less turnover and that you can spend less time coaching and retraining and more time managing your fleet effectively.
Vehicle tracking also protects—well, your vehicles. Everyone wins when vehicles need less maintenance, fewer repairs, and get better fuel mileage. Drivers like to drive well-maintained vehicles they can depend on, and most understand that aggressive driving can compromise everything from efficiency to even roadworthiness and comfort.
When employees “win” at your driver scorecard game, your vehicles win, too. As a fleet manager, your job gets even easier. Gamification rewards everyone, not just the driver.
A positive culture produces happy employees who thrive. The overall data from fleet tracking can shape organization policies, procedures, and practices. Clear guidelines help both new and veteran employees understand expectations, feel valued and appreciated, and they pass along that positive attitude to your customers.
Developing a rewards program for your drivers is a critical step in effective fleet tracking and the implementation of both forward and driver facing dashcams. When you’re ready to get started, let us know here at EcoTrack. We’d love to talk to you about making your fleet the safest and most efficient it can be by using vehicle tracking and dashcams. Contact us today!