Fleet News

Put driver health and wellbeing high up fleet agenda

Andy Neale of Red Training

Training programmes can make company drivers feel valued and improve their mental wellbeing, delegates were told at this at this year’s Fleet & Mobility Live.

Red Training consultant Andy Neale’s presentation highlighted how training should form an integral part of a company’s driver policy to help tackle areas such as fatigue and stress, ultimately creating better drivers.

Staff wellbeing is particularly pertinent as the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health problems.

Neale asked delegates: “Do you have a culture of listening? Do your staff feel comfortable bringing their problems to you? There are so many more pressures on life these days.

“Does your company have a culture of training? Do you only do it because you have to do it?”

Neale said lorry drivers and to a certain extent van drivers often get high levels of training based on legislation this is not the case for company car drivers.

“You don’t actually employ them to drive, you employ them to sell or manage or do something else.”

But he said putting proper training measures can make staff feel more valued, so they are less likely to look for employment elsewhere.

“There’s an adage in sales that says ‘look after your customer before someone else does’. Well, look after your staff before someone else does,” he said.

Asked whether vehicle automation and driver assistance programmes have an impact on driver behaviour, Neale said: “They’ve got to because we don’t need to concentrate as much as we used to.”

However, Neale also pointed out that in the late 1980s when he first started presenting many more people were killed on UK roads than they are now.

“But that’s because manufacturers have made vehicles safer, it’s nothing to do with the quality of driving, which we can do something about with training,” he added.

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