As a fleet manager, it is essential that you know how to get the most out of your drivers. You could have a smooth and efficient logistics system in place, but ultimately this means very little if your drivers are not performing to a high standard and consistently delivering late.
So, how can you get the most out of your fleet drivers? There are a few techniques that you can use which can make a big difference to the performance of your entire team of drivers, which, in turn, can help the business to succeed in a number of different ways.
Obviously, one of the best ways to improve the performance of your drivers is through training. In this profession, they will already be a skilled driver, but you can train them to your required standards and educate them on what your expectations are along with common mistakes and consequences of unsafe driving.
Telematics can provide important data on each driver and journey which can help you to track progress and identify the strengths and weaknesses of each driver. You can then create tailored plans on how they can improve their performance as well as match tasks to different skillsets. Additionally, many telematics systems often have alerts which can make drivers aware when a safety rule is broken so that they can make positive changes during a journey and not just afterwards.
Make Communication Easy
Like many areas in business, communication is key to success. There shouldn’t be a feeling of division between drivers and fleet managers, so it is important that communication goes both ways and that there is a strong professional relationship in place. You should encourage your drivers to come forward with any concerns, issues or ideas that they have, in addition to helping you identify ways that improvements can be made. This is also useful for developing a strong connection.
Use Goals & Incentives
Another effective management technique that is used in many different industries is using goals and incentives to improve performance. This can work well when it comes to drivers as you can reward good driving behavior with time off, bonuses and extra holidays.
Give Positive Feedback in Public
Positive feedback is also a useful motivational tool. When you give positive feedback in public it should inspire the entire team to up their game. This will create a positive atmosphere which everyone can benefit from and encourage people to perform to the best of their abilities every day.
Use Dash Cams
Dash cams are a smart tool to use in today’s day and age and can bring a range of benefits. The best dash cams can be used in many different ways, including real-time visibility, capturing video, distracted driver detection, improving safety, real-time driver coaching, compliance tracking and many other purposes. They are a great way to improve performance because drivers know that they are constantly being recorded; plus, you can use the footage to identify ways the driver can make improvements to their performance.
When you are using data and dash cams to monitor driver performance, it also allows you to track their progress. This is helpful not only for managing their performance, but also for motivating them because they will see that they are improving. Also, when you use incentives this will keep them going and make them more determined to improve.
Create Friendly Competition
The ability to track progress also enables you to share results and this can be used to drum up some friendly competition. You must be careful with this strategy, though, as you do not want people to worry if they are near the bottom. Instead it should be seen as lighthearted competition where the focus is on rewarding good performance and not punishing those that are at the bottom.
While you certainly need to focus on the drivers themselves, you must not overlook the importance of proper vehicle maintenance. Much like you need to provide a comfortable desk space for office-based staff, a driver needs a vehicle which is comfortable, spacious, and well-maintained. In addition to making driving easier for them, it will also keep the vehicle in tip-top condition.
These are all highly effective and proven ways that you can improve the performance of your drivers. Driver performance has a huge impact on the overall success of the company, so it should be a key area of focus, particularly if you feel that some drivers could be performing to a higher standard.