3 Ways to Manage Drivers Well
Originally published on September 25, 2020
Understanding how to manage drivers well is one of the most important skills for a fleet manager; you'll forge a better working relationship with your drivers while improving productivity. However, effective fleet and facility management aren't always straightforward.
When it comes to corporate fleet management, your drivers will make up one of the largest sectors of your workforce. For the most part, your drivers will be out on the road and therefore away from the office, so feeling confused about your fleet service management strategy is understandable. You may struggle to feel confident about the effectiveness of your managerial approach and find it difficult to monitor your fleet goals.
In this article, we're going to share three key ways to manage drivers well so you can maintain a happy and productive workforce.
1. Publicly acknowledge & reward drivers
Maintaining a positive approach to fleet and facility management when you can will make a world of difference. A great way to keep up the enthusiasm is to publicly acknowledge and reward your drivers when they're performing at their best, or when they achieve a goal. For example, you could reward the safest driver of the month.
When you manage drivers, you need to show you're invested in their work and that you value their accomplishments. This will foster a positive working environment, motivate your drivers and encourage more of that behaviour.
Not only will this praise help your drivers feel proud of their work, but it will also encourage other drivers to work harder to achieve the same recognition.
You could also go one step further and offer rewards for drivers who achieve certain fleet goals. One idea is to implement a tally system, where points lead to benefits like an extra day of paid holiday. Or, you could hand out gifts, such as restaurant vouchers. If these rewards can be factored into your budget, it's an excellent method to lift spirits and encourage ambitious behaviour.
2. Keep open channels of communication
Open communication is crucial for effective corporate fleet management. Without proper communication channels, how are your drivers supposed to share their concerns, ideas or feedback comfortably? Likewise, how are you as a fleet manager supposed to support your drivers, communicate your fleet goals and address issues?
When your drivers feel comfortable talking to you, you're in a better position to get the most out of them. You can gain a comprehensive understanding of their character, ambitions, strengths and weaknesses and, with that knowledge, manage them more effectively.
You're also in a better position to understand your drivers' experiences on the job. They can offer valuable feedback on vehicles, routes, drive times and overall efficiency, which can help you improve your fleet service management.
Drivers who feel heard and valued by their manager are more likely to feel motivated and happy at work. This is obviously fantastic for productivity, morale and drivers' wellbeing, but it will also help with driver retention. Reducing driver turnover is a priority when it comes to corporate fleet management, and it's often one of the key fleet goals. So, don't underestimate the power of being active and invested in your drivers' opinions and experiences
3. Use data to measure performance
The last of our corporate fleet management tips is to use data to measure driver performance. Of course, this isn't the only way to measure performance, but it's an effective tool when used correctly.
Data is a tool you should harness when you manage drivers because facts and figures don't lie. They provide an accurate image of driver performance. You can then share this information with your team and use it to praise drivers or highlight areas of improvement.
Fuel cards, fuel management systems and telematics are all excellent tools that offer insightful data into driver performance. Many fuel cards offer management features such as online reports and dashboards, which provide data about fleet efficiency. You can use this information to gain an understanding of driver and vehicle performance. Advanced telematics also provides accurate data about vehicle location, providing further insight into driver productivity.
These three tips share how to manage drivers effectively and can be utilised and adapted to fit your managerial style. Effective fleet service management is all about creating an environment where your drivers can thrive so you can get the best out of them. This will have a positive knock-on effect for your fleet efficiency and productivity, so be sure to keep these tips in mind.
For more fleet manager tips, please explore the rest of our blog.