Introducing telematics to your fleet
It is undeniable that the use of telematics and GPS technology has helped fleet managers to control cost and monitor divers’ behaviour. However, drivers may perceive the implementation of telematics systems and GPS tracking devices as invasion of their privacy may be against the idea of being monitored. Therefore, during the implementation phase, due consideration should be taken into account of the drivers’ sentiment and how they would respond.
To minimize resistance, the system can be implemented in a respectful way by having drivers attend orientation sessions where the policies and benefits of the system, such as increased efficiency in dispatching and scheduling, are clearly explained to them. In order not to overwhelm the drivers, the training should be carried out at a pace that they are comfortable with. The companies should also maintain an open communication channel to allow feedbacks from the drivers.
When the system is in place, it is important to have a balance of counselling for negative behaviours and rewarding for positive behaviours.
Counselling for negative driving behaviours
With telematics, undesirable and risky behaviours such as frequent accelerating and breaking hard, wasting fuel by leaving engine idling for long period of time and driving over the posted speed limit, can be detected and alerts can be captured and be sent real-time to the fleet managers. Negative driving behaviours can be costly to the company and a danger on the road. Drivers with consistent risky driving behaviours should be sent for individual coaching and counselling on safety management to improve their safety awareness. Drivers with habits of leaving engine idling should be coached to limit this behaviour.
Rewards for positive driving behaviours
Mere coaching and counselling for bad driving behaviours alone would not be sufficient to encourage good driving behaviours. Without positive reinforcement and incentives to boost moral for good driving behaviour, drivers may be skeptical of the benefits and may even resent being monitored by the telematics and tracking system. Once the system is in place, fleet managers should help drivers adjust through the use of positive reinforcement as well.
Here are some methods to motivate drivers and to accept the use of telematics:
- Telematics and tracking system helps driver to take the most efficient route for each job and also may enable the drivers to accept more jobs per day as compared to previously. This increase in efficiency and productivity translates to increase in profitability for the company, which also means job security for the drivers.
- Drivers, who consistently display good driving behaviour, could be rewarded monetarily in the form of monthly bonus or recognition. Further recognition could be done by given awards during annual dinner to drivers who score highly on the safety marks.
- Drivers could also be motivated by paying them based on the number of deliveries or pickups they achieve in a day and without any traffic violations.
- Regular dialogue sessions could be held between management and drivers to hear and to learn from them. Such sessions could have a positive impact on the drivers as they would perceive that the management cares about them
- Benefits and rewards could be varied so as not to become monotonous. To make it even more enjoyable and encouraging teamwork, rewards could be designed for individuals or for teams. Teams could compete against one another for the best safe driving team award.