May 15, 2018
It’s amazing what driving a little better can do: fuel costs down, vehicle wear and tear reduced, fewer crashes and claims. As a fleet manager, you have your hands full already. Staring at reports, calling drivers and urging them to do better can be exhausting. Let’s look at the ways in which driver score gamification can help.
To put gamification into practice, you need to ensure a few things. First, there has to be a gaming mindset, and a storyline, and similar game characteristics. We are then going to bring these elements into a severe environment—a vehicle being driven on the road in our case. Then, it’s important to get in the feelings associated with playing a game—partnering, competitiveness, discovery, learning, interaction—these are important to feel like a player.
Consider game design in this kind of context. You identify the specific issues you want to address—be it excess hard braking (the single biggest factor in predicting a future crash) or speeding. So those would be the parameters to compete on, and for which drivers would score points with a prize for reaching a targeted figure the fastest.
It’s not just about bi-monthly or quarterly rewards, studies show that praise and acknowledgment every week for good performance has a similar impact as material rewards. The immediacy of the feedback also proves useful.
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 so that the scoreboard attempts to be fair, gives everyone a chance, and doesn’t get bogged down in nerd math. It’s useful to have good visibility for the scoreboard in your work areas because it adds to the status of the leading drivers and motivates the others to move up their score.
Accurate and reliable telematics data provides the basis and evidence for the fairness of evaluation, and those scores reflect actual driver performance. Industry experts believe that gamifying improves driver safety and also contributes to learning and coaching. When coaching is offered as a means of surpassing a high score or current record, it is availed with earnestness because the learner is motivated to win. Gamification also enables ongoing discovery and it’s been seen that participants acquire new information in the process.
If you’ve watched the classic film, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” you see how the HAL 9000 computer knows everything about steering the spaceship on its mission and advises the astronauts on their actions. Pretty much the same thing is in the offing in the fleet industry as automation in the cab gets to a new level. The interaction between the driver and the vehicle is going to change, and fleets and their drivers have to get ready towards it.
Rewarding best practices by drivers and operators and publicizing their performance across the organization is a strategy that yields improvements across the team. When employees in the field compare their scores with those of their colleagues, they are motivated to improve due to their competitive instinct. This in turn not only improves their individual ranking, it improves fleet safety and reduces damage to vehicles.
Azuga launched a rewards platform to enable its clients to give small, frequent incentives as an effective means of driver engagement. One of the questions we asked ourselves was ‘How do we make gamification last more than 4 hours’. We know this novelty is going to wear off. How do we keep driving engagement? The answer was in building a driver rewards platform that HR or a fleet manager can use to dish out bite-sized rewards for a job well done.
Not only incentives, but deterrents also are effective when administered with speed. Some of Azuga’s clients have opted for in-cab feedback buzzers to warn the driver for aggressive driving.
Gamification can also have built-in features wherein a driver who makes the same kind of error several times is shown a specific tutorial video and answers a questionnaire. Over a period of time, your HR analysts can determine which kinds of tutorials have made the most difference to improving fleet safety and productivity.
The biggest benefit, apart from operational gains, is the higher level of employee engagement and driver retention that is enabled by gamification. As we at Azuga like to say, “When drivers compete for a safer fleet, everyone wins!”.