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communication performance

Great Communication Leads to Better Fleet Driver Performance

November 1, 2015

Fleet managers are always searching for new ways to make the most of their resources. Drivers are often overlooked in this process, but investing extra time toward driver care and communication can actually help a company get the most from their personnel. Establishing an open line of communication with drivers can be difficult, but the right technology and a solid plan will greatly simplify the task. Key to this effort is the smart application of telematics technology, which provides fleet managers with extensive data on driver behaviors. By using this technology to their advantage, fleet managers can improve communication with employees in no time flat.

Communication inspires loyalty
HDT Trucking Info noted that fleet managers who communicate openly with their employees create a work environment that endears commitment and professional pride. Satisfied drivers are more likely to go the extra mile and follow the rules to the letter, and much of this satisfaction comes from employees feeling valued and respected. Regular communication with employees ensures that they feel part of the team, helping drivers to build connections between their personal goals and the success of the company. A back-and-forth between fleet managers and drivers also fosters trust, which encourages drivers to come forward with problems or valid complaints. Drivers also feel more at ease when asking for help from the company if they feel that their concerns and questions are valuable.

Collaboration breeds efficiency
Telematics offer a wide range of tools to fleet managers, including more resources to work collaboratively with drivers. Discussing telematics results with drivers provides a no-pressure, objective platform for fleet managers and employees to discuss ways to improve performance and efficiency. Fleet News pointed out that competition is often a very effective motivational tool for fleet managers. Efficiency data collected by a telematics device can be used to set company benchmarks, allowing drivers to compete against themselves or each other for efficiency bragging rights. Regular communication between fleet managers and drivers makes it easier to determine how employees respond to different types of motivation. Separating drivers into teams by their routes, for example, uses the the same competitive model as a camaraderie building exercise, which may have wider appeal in certain workplaces.

Accountability stems downtime
One aspect of building better communication with drivers that falls squarely on the shoulders of fleet managers is transparency. Being open with employees about new company policies or the full capabilities of the fleet’s telematics systems guarantees that drivers never feel blindsided or misled. Communicating expectations and how telematics are used to track driver position also encourages drivers to perform their duties as responsibly as possible. In this way, a greater sense of accountability reduces downtime, and subsequently improves the efficiency of the fleet. In scenarios where an employee is expected of wrongdoing, telematics data provides a neutral talking point that fleet managers can use to establish an employee’s culpability. Data reports also serve as an accountability tool by establishing how an employee’s performance will be evaluated.

Open dialogue resolves problems
All types of issues, from squabbles between personnel to potential threats to the company, require communication to solve. Festering feelings and passive aggression only contribute to the difficulty of solving the personnel problems that can impact a professional fleet. A communicative work environment is key to resolving issues early on, but fleet managers must facilitate this environment by engaging in dialogue with drivers on a regular basis. Telematics and dash cams have greatly simplified this process, allowing fleet managers to easily check in on drivers inside the cabin during travel.

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