Andrew Pass, director of marketing at Michelin fleet management and VP marketing, product and strategy at Masternaut
While appropriate fleet management can improve safety, efficiency and environmental performance, introducing monitoring to individual vehicles can cause concern and suspicion amongst drivers.
With successful programmes relying on the trust and goodwill of the drivers themselves, making the introduction of programmes a positive experience for all is key.
Driver incentive schemes provide an opportunity to approach fleet management in a reciprocal and rewarding way.
Setting the right goals
When reviewing driver performance, it is important to decide which metrics are most reflective of the goals of the programme.
A good combination of goals will ultimately improve drivers’ safety and the safety of other road users.
Companies often try to address issues like harsh driving behaviour, speed and idling. The goals could also aim to reduce costs associated with vehicle downtime and reduce an organisation's environmental impact.
The incentive programme must be evaluated regularly to ensure that it continues to accomplish these goals. Any incentives chosen should motivate and encourage the right behaviours.
An incentive programme that rewards the wrong actions can have a negative impact. For example, rewarding drivers for completing the most deliveries might result in drivers speeding to accomplish that goal.
Focusing on the impact of negative behaviours such as speeding, rather than driver performance as a whole and presenting drivers with data on how speeding impacts the fleet, helps them to better understand the objectives of the programme and encourages the right behaviours.
Reviewing and analysing the data
It is important to review the data on a regular basis to keep the levels of engagement high. Analysing the data received also allows you to identify the best performing drivers and low scoring drivers who may require extra training.
Drivers need to be aware of their standing and the progress they’re making over the course of the scheme, to keep them engaged and motivated and help them understand why they are important to the success of the programme.
Communicating this data to the drivers regularly creates an environment of self-improvement and even friendly competition. Incentive schemes work best when they are transparent and objective.
A well designed and implemented incentive programme is one method that can generate positive performance from the drivers.
Rewarding and incentivising drivers helps encourage engagement with the programme and reduce pushback from drivers.
The reward itself isn’t directly important to the success of the scheme but these rewards provide recognition of the service the driver is providing to the organisation.
Setting up a bit of friendly rivalry through league tables and public recognition can also make meeting objectives that bit more attractive, as well as bolster engagement.
Last but not least, communication is a key part of implementing a successful driver incentive scheme. It is important to make it clear up front the aims of the scheme, what the driver can expect to receive in return and how they get there.
With this understanding in place, in most cases drivers will automatically begin to pay more attention to the role they play in meeting objectives. A win-win for companies and employees.