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Coaching and Rewarding for Behavior Change in the Fleet

August 21, 2018

All kinds of expectations pile up when someone mentions Fleet GPS. Gamification, Big Data, AI and other new buzzwords have entered the landscape. Without the right partner, the result can be a quite chaotic implementation in the fleet.

Engaging fleet drivers and improving behavior

Employees can perceive the implementation as a sign of distrust, so it’s really up to managers to explain and establish cooperation. By tracking driving behavior, the Company will be able to back up the driver in case of an accident. It is important to engage drivers early, publicize the safety program across the Company, and to incentivize the drivers. It’s useful to tell them that data is available first-hand for their own viewing, and that the whole thing is transparent. The facts of lowered maintenance and fuel cost can be shared with them, so they know they are contributing positively.

Reach and teach—in real time

A state-of-the-art telematics solution also includes the latest technology in driver coaching. Coaching is particularly effective when it is offered as real-time correction—this could be an in-cabin buzzer that sounds when there is a violation. Research on driver coaching shows that an instruction is best retained when served early. There is a decrease in its effectiveness over subsequent days and weeks. In view of this, in-cab buzzers and over the phone coaching are proving effective.

The smartphone is an opportunity for a friendly, behavior-based and responsive coaching agent, which puts more autonomy and initiative into the driver’s learning. The driver can take an industry standard professional test from the same phone on which he or she has been reading tailored tips and short lessons.

While such measures do emphasize self-initiative on the part of various participants, a result-oriented fleet implementation will need some enthusiasts within the Company who promote it among teams and evaluate it to derive greater ROI.

Fleet Safety Programs are multi-pronged efforts—improvements in driver performance achieved through coaching, counseling and reward programs translate into other cost savings and improved efficiency and thus impact ROI.