Like any matter of the mind, motivation and its causes is a highly debated and at times confusing subject matter. As a fleet manager motivating drivers and other stakeholders to do the right thing, or avoid the wrong thing can be a real challenge. Providing the carrot can be difficult now that costs are tight and constantly using the stick becomes meaningless once it’s overused. So what are fleet managers to do?
Here fleet mangers need to first look for some budget for both rewards and time to asses who exactly is entitled to them. Drivers who keep a clean record, use fuel effectively and use company vehicles for legitimate reasons can be rewarded, even in a small way for their contribution. Rewards can be something small and an element of competition can also be used to incentivise staff to engage in sensible and useful practices. A good example of a competition which could be run would be driver average kilometres per litre. This can be applied across all drivers and can help you, as the fleet manager cut costs. Some other areas where incentives and games can be played are below;
1. Accident/Traffic infringement record
2. Time keeping - in this case you must be sure that this does not encourage speeding
3. Vehicle appearance or vehicle damage record
Motivating drivers not to speed or get involved in reckless behaviour is more difficult and can be politically dangerous. What happens if senior management ignores the rules or doesn’t buy into a system which attempts to cut down on poor driving behaviour? With this in mind it may be advisable to only focus on clear cases of misuse. It would also be important to only set out on a disciplinary system once you have the support of the top level of corporate management.
Motivation is a long term process and keeping the communication open and frequent is critical. With incentives it is hugely important that all communication and goals point towards the business targets and what you, as the fleet manager want to achieve. Remembering to discuss and consult consistently with everyone involved can help isolate incentives which are bringing hidden negative consequences. Talking to drivers can also help everyone involved in the process understand their role, additionally the dialog itself can spread ownership of the responsibility.
As we all know, recklessness and poor driver behaviour can cause major emotional, financial and business related problems which, if left unchecked could cripple any business. As we also know addressing these potential hazards with simple words may not achieve the desired result. Taking this into account businesses should consider investing time, thought and money on at least some form of motivational systems and schemes. In the end it’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure that silly needless mistakes are kept to a minimum in every section of the business. The drivers on the road are no exception to this rule.