Driver incentives – the key to good fleet management
Driver incentives is often overlooked by fleet managers but it is a vital component in the process of creating a safe, efficient fleet.
Your drivers have untapped potential. Their willing cooperation in your fleet management strategy can improve both the safety and efficiency of your fleet while also creating happy employees.
All too often drivers are simply expected to follow the rules and are then reprimanded or penalized for breaking them - without further intervention. There are several problems with this approach, one of them being that when poorly performing drivers don’t receive appropriate feedback or coaching that tells them why they are underperforming, their chances at long-term success are reduced.
One way to counteract this is having a fleet management system in place to monitor driver behavior but this should be seen as only one piece of the puzzle. Achieving tangible, long-term results requires more. It requires buy-in from drivers and, for them to understand and support your goals as part of their own future success.
Luckily, the majority of drivers want to do well and therefore respond favorably to engagement. This approach can be strengthened by adding a reward component. Be it monetary, physical or public recognition, incentivizing drivers has been proven to build morale and motivate drivers to keep on improving.
There are currently many fleet operators that use MiX Telematics’s In-Vehicle Monitoring Systems (IVMS) to improve overall performance. Some pair their IVMS with our driver engagement app, MyMiX, which allows drivers to track their progress and to add in some healthy competition by comparing stats with other drivers.
However, despite it making sense to fleet operators to use solutions like these, the whole idea is often met with some resistance from drivers thinking that they are under the watchful eye of a “Big Brother” system.
Leading by example
One of MiX Telematics’s customers, a leading tour and bus charter company, decided to challenge their drivers’s perceptions by introducing a driver engagement and incentive program. Part of the program involved placing TV screens in the drivers’s lounge, which showed everything from the location of each motor coach to occurrences of harsh braking or excessive idling.
Soon drivers started to understand how the data collected through monitoring their behavior can help the company improve performance and profitability. They also saw how managing those aspects could keep them safe on the road.
From there, the company set up an incentive program that would reward drivers based on fuel savings. Monthly driver reports were used to determine the top performers. These top performers were subsequently paid out cash bonuses on quarterly basis - a win-win situation that saw a massive improvement in driver behavior as well as lessened fuel consumption.
The bottom line
The moral of the story is that when you provide your drivers with the right tools and incentives to improve their behavior on and off the road, it can strengthen fleet performance and your company’s bottom line by reducing fuel consumption, collisions with associated costs, insurance premiums and more.