Employers are being urged by Red Driver Risk Management to consider six key questions before asking employees to resume driving for work.
It wants fleet decision-makers to make sure employees feel comfortable getting behind the wheel again as the country reopens after the coronavirus pandemic.
Ian McIntosh, CEO of Red Driver Risk Management, said: “Duty of care has always been the foundation of good fleet risk management. But never has it been more important than now, and businesses need to be aware that the parameters of what they previously considered duty of care may have shifted considerably in the past year.”
Analysis from the risk management provider has shown that many employees feel anxious about driving again and going out on business.
“After a year of lockdown, many employees have been working from home and driving a lot less than usual,” continued McIntosh.
“But as there is a resumption of more typical working practices, mileages will start to rise again and this brings risk with it, not only for drivers whose skills are rusty, but for those who are naturally more nervous anyway.”
To help, Red Driver Risk Management has compiled a six-question survey to enable fleet decision-makers to identify staff who may feel nervous about driving for business again.
Fleets should ask their drivers:
- Are you expecting your staff to resume driving for business?
- Are you asking staff that have not previously driven for business to drive – possibly even in their own vehicle?
- Have you directly asked your staff whether they feel comfortable returning to normal?
- Have you directly asked staff about the effect that Covid-19 has had on their mental well-being?
- Do you have in place a resiliency/wellbeing programme that all staff can access?
- Do you have in place any training courses available to staff who are not comfortable in any of the above areas?
McIntosh says that asking the six questions will help a business to not only identify any drivers it considers to be at risk, but they could also help begin the process of adopting a wider ‘wellbeing’ approach to managing employees.
Red Driver Risk Management operates a Wellbeing Profiler which allows businesses to monitor their employees and rank their wellbeing monthly, giving early warning signs of behaviours or attitudes which may put them at more risk on the road.
Additionally, it provides monthly reports featuring a resilience score to all users based on their answers with specific training advice about improving in the most needed areas.
For example, analysis of its data for one client running a fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles highlighted issues such as anxiety and personal management, and in particular during the first quarter of 2021 (when lockdown three began).
Scores across the board fell, with employees feeling more anxious, more tired, angrier, less relaxed and with a less positive attitude.
Two of the main areas of concern were a lack of self management and control, and the company was then able to put in proactive assistance to improve mental health and well-being.
Employees subsequently felt they had more support and the ability to take more control of how they were working, and Red was able to track this improvement.
McIntosh said: “We know the pandemic has affected people in different ways – there are some who will be incredibly nervous about not only driving again, but meeting clients face to face.
“It is essential that as a responsible employer you can identify these employees and offer them help to adapt back to the old normal.”