Communicating and caring for your drivers is the first step to helping build a highly competitive fleet operation.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that companies who take an active interest in their employees’ wellbeing perform better than competitors. Research from London Business School showed that the best workplaces tended to outperform the stock market by 2%-3% year-on-year.
Companies with high wellbeing scores are better at keeping staff, something that is a real challenge for the fleet industry which is suffering from a shortfall of qualified drivers.
What do we mean by employee wellbeing? Quite simply, it’s identifying the factors that keep fleet drivers safe, happy and engaged with the job they do. Shell’s own research among truck drivers found that the top three very important wellbeing factors are:
- Quality sleep/rest and privacy
- A safe, healthy environment
- Keeping in touch with friends and family
There were two further factors that were almost equally as important:
- Access to healthy food and convenient services on the road
- Proactive and supportive management
Fleet managers are advised to put policies in place that make explicit provision for the five criteria above.
Quality rest and privacy – Fatigue risk management system; quiet resting facilities; stop work policy.
A safe environment – Defensive driving course; shift work acclimatisation programme, incident reporting.
Keeping in touch – Work/life balance schedules; free WiFi spots; SOS emergency service/road assistance.
Access to healthy food – Food storage facility; affordable healthy food and awareness of healthy living
Supportive management – Driver development; counselling; health facilities ie gym.
While some of the above suggestions may require time, planning and investment to get off the ground, the process of improving driver wellbeing can begin today with some easy initial steps:
- Put the topic of health on the agenda of every meeting
- Create fitness challenges in aid of charity to encourage participation
- Share success stories to motivate and inspire
Employee wellbeing isn’t just about putting in some gym equipment or providing fresh fruit. It has to be an holistic approach that is evident across the whole business.
Research by Great Place to Work[1b] found a difference of between 33 and 61 percentage points between the top 10 ranked best Workplaces and the bottom 10 unranked organisations. There can be no doubt that companies with employee wellbeing at their heart, thrive.