Businesses can seriously undervalue their fleet drivers. These attitudes can seriously stunt a firm’s prospects.
Even the big names are guilty of mistreatment. Some of these workers are treated without a shred of dignity and respect, and it can only damage the squeaky clean image companies try to project.
Of course, more than basic manners is required to make fleet drivers happier in their roles. They need to feel supported in what they do, and their contributions must be recognised for what they are: essential for a company’s success.
Whether you’re a business of a van rental for courier or a fleet manager, here are some strategies to help you make your fleet drivers happier.
The above example of dash cam use is just one instance of capturing a rare injustice. Unfortunately, the truth is that abuse and road infringements are a lot more common than CEOs misbehaving.
Some fleet drivers see dash cams as a way to monitor their activities and ensure they aren’t doing anything that reflects poorly on the business. Of course, this is only partly true. It’s important to tell fleet drivers that the dash cam is also there so the business can have their backs if they’re the wronged party. The dash cam will prove that accidents and disputes aren’t their faults.
Most fleet drivers will be glad to know that some level of accountability is being enforced. Some areas of the UK can have a higher concentration of angry drivers and altercations, so fleet drivers may feel more comfortable knowing they have a way to pursue action if things get out of hand. After all, not even influential CEOs can wriggle out of what’s recorded.
Dash cams may also encourage your fleet drivers to navigate the roads with greater care, even if the influence is more subliminal. You could curate a reward scheme around this type of footage and perhaps offer perks to fleet drivers that are proven to be the most responsible.
Take Compliance Seriously
Workers in any role can feel more confident about their actions when they know they’re not stepping on any toes. They need a clear idea of the rules and boundaries within which they should operate.
When managing a fleet, much of this comes down to managing hours and ensuring drivers aren’t spending longer on the roads than they should. Technology can help you with this aim. For example, FleetGO’s UK software provides tachograph analysis solutions, ensuring you never miss a file or infringement. The cloud platform is easy to use with built-in checks, and you’ll soon know if your drivers are at risk or not. A fully compliant legal archive can be built. Request a free account with no obligations or risks involved.
In addition to the tachograph analysis software, FleetGO has an optional Driver Card Download Terminal. Fleet drivers can be involved and know how their speed, distance travelled, and other activities are monitored and why.
Though this is a way to ensure drivers are compliant, it ensures they do not work more hours than they should and helps to establish better working conditions for all. Drivers know their interests are cared for along with those of the business, both one and the same.
Include and Socialise Drivers
Fleet drivers aren’t submissive errand workers who should remain quiet and invisible in their roles. They are employees of your business, and even before that, human beings with thoughts and ideas of their own.
Fleet drivers should be made to feel like valued workers of your firm. Your work culture may need to be changed. Invite them to staff get-togethers, remember their names, birthdays, and personal life details, and invite their feedback on key aspects of their role. Once they feel like they’re acknowledged and wanted, rather than expendable, a brighter work atmosphere will be created.
Of course, happy workers are better workers. They may take more efficient routes to their destination, handle parcels with greater care, and have a more charming persona when engaging with customers. As cheesy as it might sound, showing kindness and compassion can trickle down through all levels of the business and set the tone for the working day.
Host regular check-in meetings with the drivers. Ensure they connect with supervisors daily before heading out. A dynamic mentoring scheme with ride-along opportunities sprinkled in could also link old drivers with the new and establish a closer working relationship. Questions can be answered, talents nurtured, and all drivers will feel engaged in what they do.
Upgrade the Fleet
Some cars are more enjoyable to drive than others. While not every fleet driver can leisurely cruise the roads in the latest supercar, that doesn’t mean quality standards should be dropped entirely from the fleet.
For example, many electric car owners are especially happy with their choice. Fleet drivers may not own their vehicles, but they may feel more content behind the wheel of something sustainable and paving the way to an eco-friendlier future. They may also feel a stronger sense of company pride, thrilled to represent and work for a firm with strong ethics, values, and forward-thinking strategies.
There are also less lauded perks to enjoy with electric vehicles too. Reduced noise and vibration during transit can be enjoyed, for instance. Concerns about range and charging can be quickly solved by utilising fleet management software to pre-plan routes to accommodate these needs.
Of course, even if you don’t go electric with your fleet just yet, upgrading the fleet to cars that are bigger and better in other ways still has its advantages. Whether they’re more fuel efficient or have more space, comfortable seats, or cup holders, changes like these let fleet drivers know that the business is going well and that all their needs are accounted for.
Offer Reliable Progression
Some fleet drivers assume that their roles are all there is. While some ascend to fleet management positions, places for these types of roles can be limited.
Still, there are other ways to progress a career beyond big promotions. For example, you could train your fleet drivers to become licensed in handling different types of vehicles. If they’re hauling larger cargo across the country in specialist lorries rather than touring humble vans in the local area, they may feel a greater sense of accomplishment in their roles. They should enjoy higher pay for this, too.
ADR training could also be undertaken for the transportation of dangerous goods. Other fleet drivers may also be interested in driving things like forklift trucks. There are non-driving-related training programs that may also be useful to them, such as those surrounding first aid. Fleet drivers will need to know this if they’re alone on the roads and suffer an accident. They can take their training in a reputable first aid training facility like First Aid Newmarket.
Fleet drivers often buy into the stereotypes that what they do is mindless and unengaging. However, there’s plenty of room for versatility in their roles and ways to take on more responsibility and look after others. Stimulate the fleet drivers’ careers at every opportunity.
Actively resist the stereotypes of fleet drivers being doomed to mindless and unengaging careers. Treat them as valuable talents and friends rather than faceless grunt workers. Protect their interests and look after their well-being. Remember, it’s the fleet drivers that establish a huge physical presence for your business out in the wider world, and they need to be happy and enthusiastic to represent you well!