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Motivation: the key to making and keeping great drivers

Money isn’t the only motivation when it comes to keeping good drivers on the road for you.

It’s not hard to pick any number of studies that will tell you money isn’t the only reason people come to work. Stick a pin in the internet and you’ll come up with some facts and figures: 61% would be happier with more holiday, 52% wanted access to different career opportunities [1].

Motivating employees isn’t just about being nice; well-motivated employees also create material improvements for their employers.

Motivate employees to drive well

In fleet, the costs of poor driving are clear. Insurance premiums rise, vehicles require more maintenance, components wear out faster, driver and vehicle down time are increased and customer service drops as a result. Poor driving is estimated to cost the average fleet £560 extra a year per driver in fuel alone [2].

It can sometimes be hard to repackage driver monitoring systems such as telematics as a motivator. Equally, monitoring drivers at any point, raises data privacy issues which fleet managers always have to be on top of. But, by using the right tactics drivers can begin to see monitored and therefore improved driving as a good move on their part.

Companies who communicate from the beginning that driver behaviour forms part of the review process and is perhaps a major factor in promotion opportunities will see their staff strive to match expectations.

Gamification is also a way of stepping driver behaviour back from the contentious issue of ‘big brother’ monitoring. League tables of who can use the least fuel, whose vehicle has the fewest repairs or who has the best driving score can all been successful. Without access to expensive technology, even the smallest fleets can do this using free apps on drivers’ own smartphones to keep track.

Motivate employees to be well

Most drivers don’t want to be unwell but the fact is that 67% smoke and 73% are overweight [3]. At its worst, obesity and poor health are at the root of sleeping problems that cause around 20% of accidents every year [4].

Fleet drivers in particular will no doubt highlight that long hours at the wheel, road stresses and poor access to healthy, nutritious food on the go are all going to contribute to their current state.

Employers can help improve their drivers’ lot greatly by including opportunities for exercise, supportive health programmes as well as equipment such as fitness trackers or smartphone apps. Even gearing the driver canteen towards healthy food both at base as well as for take away is going to be a big help.

Motivate employees to do well

One of the hardest motivations for employers to grasp has been the importance their employees attach to training.

It’s not difficult to understand that employees want to do their job well – someone who is fully competent is under a lot less stress than someone who feels overwhelmed. But employers recognise there is a chance that another company could benefit from their training investment.

It’s certainly true that you could train an employee only to find they leave for another company but this isn’t as common as managers believe and is also short-sighted. Research suggests that driver training saves a fleet as much as 20% in the first year alone [5].

Employees cite career opportunity as a big motivating factor and if you can’t offer career progression then it makes sense that they will leave. If you are able to offer training as part of a clear career path then employees won’t see it as a tool to help them jump ship but instead as a step on their continued journey to success within your company.

By promoting a positive atmosphere and encouraging self-management and improvement you can keep your team motivated – and a motivated workforce is a productive workforce.

[1] Is A Pay Increase The Only Way To Motivate Employees?
[2] Bad drivers cost fleets an extra £560 a year
[3] Tips For Getting – And Keeping – Your Truck Drivers Healthy On The Road
[4] How health issues can affect drivers’ accident rates
[5] Occupational road risk – why act?

Test your drivers – why employee health checks add up



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