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Effective Ways to Appreciate Fleet Driver Performance

May 9, 2019

What can be done to make your drivers more motivated and more satisfied? As you ask yourself the question, know that over 80% of American employees say that they feel under-recognized or under-rewarded. It's all about the reward system – its frequency, the right timing, and how soon a reward is presented after an accomplishment.

New research at the Harvard Business School confirms that cash is not the only answer or even the best one. Their publication on modern motivational methods under Compensation & Benefits Review says “rewards must be imbued with meaning, purpose, appreciation, and intention in order to avoid feeling like empty gestures or mere transactions”. (Greene, 2014; Moller & Deci, 2014; Thibault Landry, Forest, Zirgami, Houson, & Boucher, 2018, and others).

A recent report from the Incentive Research Foundation (which studies workplace motivation and rewards) shows that between 80-90% of top US firms give out non-cash rewards (e.g., gift cards, travel, or merchandise) as compared with only 60-75% among average-performing companies (IRF study, 2017). The IRF Industry Outlook Study 2019 reported that the average value of the merchandise reward is $160, with almost 25% of respondents saying their average merchandise reward is around $100.

It's How You Feel Behind the Wheel – Fleet Driver Motivation

New studies indicate a significant increase in non-cash reward programs that offer tangible rewards (e.g., experiential rewards, time off, travel rewards, merchandise) as well as intangible rewards (e.g., flexible work options, participation in decisions, less supervision, skills training, and career advancement).

When using an external motivation such as cash rewards, it becomes important to offer it in a meaningful way so that it is not seen as controlling and purely transactional. A cash reward has to be seen as a supplement to the principal objective of furthering an employee's sense of belonging, and identification with the work and its purpose.

Gamification for Improving Fleet Safety

How do we keep driving engagement in commercial fleets? Azuga has answered by building a driver rewards platform that HR or a Fleet Manager can use to dish out bite-sized rewards for a job well done.

It’s not just about bi-monthly or quarterly rewards. Studies show that praise and acknowledgement every week for good performance has a similar impact as material rewards. The immediacy of the feedback also proves useful. Industry experts believe that gamification makes its best contribution to learning and coaching.

“We like the rewards aspect of Azuga Fleet. It’s a positive program we can rally behind and get everyone engaged.”
Brian Fickel, VP of Support Services, Galaxy 1 Marketing Inc., Bettendorf, Iowa
GalaxyOne is an authorized Satellite television retailer and subcontractor specializing in Satellite television and Internet service. GalaxyOne has been serving the Midwest for over 23 years.

Results for GalaxyOne have been stellar. Let’s look at three very telling parameters that bear upon safety, vehicle maintenance, and fuel consumption.

●    Harsh or sudden braking events reduced by 38%.    

●    Speeding,from the baseline month of Aug 2016, dropped sharply by 93% over the next 6 months to 0.005 events per 100 miles.

●    Percentage idling time reduced by 20%.

When it comes to gamification and deciding winners, accurate and reliable telematics data provides the basis for the fairness of evaluation, and those scores reflect actual driver performance.

Driver Leaderboard Respected Across the Fleet's Organization

In something like driving on the road, the conditions vary vastly – the traffic, the terrain, the weather, the load, the distance and so on. It’s not easy to compare performance. Sometimes it seems like apples and oranges. However, while we try to account for the differences, we have to strike a balance. The scoreboard should attempt to be fair, give everyone a chance, and not get bogged down in complex math. It’s useful to have ample visibility for the leaderboard in your workplace because it adds status to leading drivers and motivates the others to improve their score.

Behavior modification is not only about incentives, but also deterrents. The latter proves effective when administered with speed. Some of Azuga’s clients have opted for in-cab feedback buzzers to warn the driver of aggressive driving.

Game design should address the specific issues the commercial fleet wants to address – be it excess hard braking (the single biggest factor in predicting a future crash) or speeding. Those would be the parameters to compete on, and drivers would score points with a prize for reaching a target figure the fastest.

Based on the driver's error pattern, the game design selects which tutorial video and test questions should be shown to a particular driver. Over a period of time, your HR analysts can determine which kinds of tutorials are making the most difference in improving fleet safety and productivity.

Azuga dashboards, alerts, and reports have been helping to significantly improve coordination between the dispatcher, fleet manager, and driver. Azuga works closely with senior fleet personnel and HR managers to devise an effective assessment and reward delivery system for fleet drivers and fleet managers.