There is a right way and a wrong way to introduce GPS tracking to your employees. Owners and managers of small business fleets worry about their drivers’ safety and conduct when they’re out in the field. Implementing a GPS tracking system can go a long way toward putting these worries to rest. But only when it’s done right.
First, let’s take a look at 5 of the most significant benefits of implementing GPS tracking:
- Helps prevent unauthorized trips
- Keeps your fleet running smoothly and on time
- Improves customer service
- Can increase profits
- Improves the safety and reliability of fleet vehicles
GPS Tracking is the New Normal
As more fleets embrace GPS tracking, the “Big Brother” stigma isn’t as strong as it used to be. If you operate a service or delivery fleet, there’s a chance that some of your drivers know that a coworker takes unauthorized trips. As a recent article by Verizon Connect points out, knowledge of misconduct probably bothers your employees as much as it bothers you.
Introducing GPS tracking can help cut down on misconduct and allow honest employees to feel like they’re operating within a level playing field. There’s an important caveat, however, when introducing GPS tracking: you must be honest and transparent about how you will be using your employees’ data.
The Wrong Way to Introduce GPS Tracking
Nobody likes finding out that their data is being used without their knowledge or consent. This includes your employees. A recent article in Fleet Owner Magazine describes what not do when introducing GPS tracking:
“Some fleet owners and managers are concerned about employees reacting negatively to tracking their vehicles, so they start using the system without introducing the technology to drivers and then surprise them by using the data during coaching . . . . it is strongly advised to discuss plans to use GPS tracking with drivers before using the data.”
The Right Way to Introduce GPS Tracking
To reiterate: using GPS tracking data without your employees’ knowledge will erode trust and lead to negative perceptions of this useful technology. Both Verizon Connect and Fleet Owner inform the following tips on the right way to introduce GPS tracking:
1. Be honest and completely transparent about how GPS tracking works and how you will be using your drivers’ data.
2. Let your employees know what they—as well as your business—stand to gain by implementing tracking.
- What the business will gain: “When there is a technology available to help solve difficult business challenges, help perform jobs more efficiently, and increase revenue, why would it not be used?” – Fleet Owner
- What’s in it for them: “Let your drivers know how GPS tracking can help make their jobs easier, safer and could even keep them out of trouble. Some paperwork requirements, like manually tracking mileage, could no longer be their responsibility. You’ll also be able to send help to their GPS location in an emergency. Plus, if they’re falsely accused of being late or driving recklessly, you’ll be able to stick up for them.” –Verizon Connect
3. Create clear driver policies for when and where GPS tracking will be used. Share your policy with your employees before you start using their data
4. Consider an incentives program. Tracking drives profits and these profits can be shared with employees. Consider increasing salaries and/or awarding bonuses tied to safer driving practices and good conduct.