For every organization, fleet management is a very important department. This mainly because it is responsible for optimizing efficiency to increase productivity and ensure the safety of the organization’s drivers and vehicles. To ensure smooth operation, fleet managers have to keep tabs on vehicle fuel consumption, track vehicles and closely monitor drivers’ behavior and how they manage vehicle maintenance. However, one thing still stands out when it comes to effective fleet management; creating a driver-friendly work environment. Every organization needs to create a safe space to establish trust, provide drivers with comfort, and ultimately cultivate loyalty among its drivers.
This article is focused on some of the tips fleet managers and organizations can consider creating a suitable working environment for their drivers.
Provide a lucrative payment package
This may not be the flashiest, but most definitely one of the most effective when it comes to ideas. If you are looking to bring out a sense of belonging and loyalty among your drivers, then a good salary coupled with benefits is a good way to start. Giving your drivers a good package can help to set the difference between a job and a career. This move has been proven to work effectively when it comes to employee retention throughout various industries. To make your drivers happy and loyal, you need to give them something another company may not be offering.
Offering new recruits more than the average pay in the industry can go a long way in bringing out feelings of loyalty and gratitude among your fleet drivers. Most fleet managers are generally skeptical about providing drivers with extra benefits or even a bonus on their salaries. However, sparing a few extra dollars can turn out to be a worthy investment for the company as they will reduce expenses incurred when hiring. The drivers may also develop a positive attitude towards their job.
Set realistic expectations
During recruitment, most fleet managers tend to tell their potential hires what they expect to hear. Some of which may not be true. Giving the driver false expectations on the job is a bad way to kick off your working relationship. It is best to come clean with the driver from the start. Make sure the driver is aware of all aspects relating to the job without raising or lowering their expectations. Keep in mind that the hiring and onboarding process is both time-consuming and costly. You can’t afford to recruit an employee and false pretenses and have them leave after a short period of time.
Take time to explain the position to the driver. During induction, make sure they are given access to all the information pertaining to the nature of their job. This way, you can be able to build trust between yourself and the drivers from the start.
Consider the driver’s health and personal life
One of the major causes of job dissatisfaction and attrition in drivers is the inability to practice a balanced life. Most drivers spend long hours away from their family and friends, with some drivers having to for weeks or even months at a time. Sitting for hours in their driver’s seat can also cause health complications due to limited exercise. To create a friendly environment for your drivers, take time to learn about the personal lives of your drivers. You can even discuss with them how long they can be on the road without negatively impacting their home and personal lives.
To show concern for their health and wellness, you can extend gym membership to the drivers. You can even organize regular physical activities such as marathons and ball games. Participating in physical activities and exercising has been proven to boost happiness in employees, especially those with sedentary careers. You need your drivers to be happy and comfortable with their jobs for them to remain loyal.
Define a career path
Being a driver may seem like the end of the road for some individuals when pursuing a career in industry. However, your management should make sure the new hires feel like there is room for them to grow a career. You should make them aware of the various opportunities they can explore to advance in their professional and personal lives. Like any other employee, drivers are likely to move to a different company if they don’t see a future in their current employment. Conduct interviews and surveys among your drivers to get a grip on where your drivers want to be in the next few years.
With this information, you can develop strategies to ensure drivers feel comfortable and satisfied with their career path. This information can also help you determine if the driver is happy with their current position or is looking to pursue other avenues. This way, you can clearly anticipate any staffing issues and make necessary adjustments.
Publicly recognize and award effort
Positive reinforcement has been known to go a long way in boosting job satisfaction and increasing employee engagement. You need to recognize and encourage drivers who go the extra mile in their duty. An example is awarding a driver who has received excellent compliments from various clients or recognizing the efforts of a driver who went out of their way to help out someone else.
Regularly doing this will show the other drivers how much the organization values its drivers and other employees. You can even recognize the efforts of drivers who consistently make long trips to serve clients and perform other duties. Some of these drivers may be going the extra mile at the expense of their families and personal life. By recognizing their efforts, you will be creating a work-friendly environment where people’s efforts don’t go unnoticed.
Make the working conditions driver-friendly
Having well-managed and stable fleet management can help in creating a good working environment for drivers. Your fleet manager needs to review and implement the laws regulating how long the drivers can spend on the road. You can as well leverage technology to optimize route planning. This way, you can maximize the driver’s time on the road. Focus your attention on smoothening communication to boost your operations and avoid unnecessary hold-ups. Empower your customers with last mile carrier tracking so that they can be aware of a driver’s approach, which can lower in-person contact problems and the instances of lost packages that will get customers cranky and calling in complaints.
Creating a driver-friendly work environment ranges from both physical to system changes within the organization. You need to conduct diligent research to ensure your drivers get nothing short of the best. That way, you can boost driver retention and build trust and loyalty among your fleet drivers.