Driver Feedback to Create Positive Change

Using Feedback to Create Positive Change is Nothing New

From our perspective, that is what fleet tracking is for. Using feedback to create positive change in fleets and drivers is what we are all about. Feedback from devices changes driving habits. It has evolved from simple beeping when exceptions are triggered, to spoken coaching prompts using hardware, artificial intelligence, and integrated apps. In the same way, using feedback from employees is a great way to create positive change in your organization.

Using Feedback to Create Positive Change

Feedback is Critical to Improving Performance

You can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s broken. Just as your GPS tracking system tells you where the fleet needs attention, constructive driver feedback points out what areas in your business need attention. In the old days, a suggestion box was enough. In today’s environment that is just not enough. With so many complex procedures and processes in place, employee feedback is critical.

Management that listens to what employees are saying continually improves how business gets done. As an example, we recently looked at our own order processing. We noticed a checklist that we created for every order duplicated information that was already in our new order notification emails. We did it just because that it how order processing had always been done. Certainly the notification email in place of the checklist to initiate order processing will streamline the process and save us all time.

Encouraging Constructive Feedback

Ultimately, drivers need to feel that their feedback is wanted and welcomed. Encouraging employee feedback based on specific goals is one way to get them to open up. Another good way to start is to ask for suggestions. Simple surveys or a form for employees to respond after a review can begin to create a culture where drivers feel their views and suggestions are valued. Similarly incentives for the best suggestions often encourage a dialogue.

Once the feedback begins, don’t take criticism personally. Without a doubt you need to know what things look like from the employee perspective to be an effective manager. For that reason you must be willing to receive criticism with an open mind. As an example, employees may say they are being faulted for speeding events they can’t avoid and feel management is too hard on them for it. They could be right. You can’t legitimately fault an employee for speeding or for not completing all of his stops on a route that cannot be reasonably completed at the posted speed limit.

It may be time for your organization to consider a routing and scheduling application to better plan and optimize your routes. With route optimization you can also save on fuel and maintenance while providing improved customer service. Ask us about our free assessment tool that can analyze your current routes and project your return on investment.

Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback

Certainly we are not the experts on this subject, but there is a lot of good information to be found on the web. We have shared a few of them below.

“Receiving Constructive Feedback From Your Employees”

Recently published on Impraise blog. It has a lot of good suggestions on how to encourage employees to open up and respond in a way that keeps the feedback coming.

“Feedback is Critical to Improving Performance”

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) serves as the chief human resources agency and personnel policy manager for the Federal Government. They have also posted on the subject.

Roadrunner Freight Featured on American Trucker

Most interesting to our readers are probably the results achieved by Roadrunner Freight. Roadrunner intentionally solicited and is making changes based on driver feedback in an effort to eliminate turnover and increase driver retention. This prompted what they call a major cultural overhaul. You can read all about it here on American Trucker.

What’s New In MyFleetistics Analytics

Have you clicked on Analytics lately?

New Safety Dashboard

Fleetistics is always working hard to improve the toolset we provide our clients in the MyFleetistics portal. Going beyond GPS tracking for fleet vehicles, MyFleetistics brings a variety of tools and views to the data our GPS tracking devices collect. One of our most recent additions is the Safety Dashboard under MyFleetistics Analytics. Driver Safety data is crucial to Fleet Managers. Accessing it quickly in an easy to use format saves you time and money. The Fleetistics Safety Dashboard provides users the most important information without the normal steps required in the GPS system.

Initially, managers can motivate drivers to improve safety by posting this information where drivers congregate in the workplace. Ultimately they can set goals and track the improvement together. We like to say, “Manage by exception and recognize by performance”.

There are several design elements used to make this dashboard pop with “at a glance” information. First, the top row displays the total number of safety exceptions in very large print. Next, there is a breakdown of the 5 performance indicators that are included in that total. Below are charts. First, we display the 5 assets with the fewest safety exceptions (5 safest drivers). Next, a chart shows the 5 assets with the most safety exceptions (5 most at-risk drivers). Finally, there is a graph of total exceptions by week. As a result, you can easily see if both positive and negative trends. One quick look at the dashboard answers three very important questions.

  1. Who gets a pat on the back?
  2. Who needs to have that safety chat?
  3. What driving behaviors should be discussed in reviews and driver meetings?

MyFleetistics Analytics Safety Dashboard

Odometer, Exceptions, Device Status With One Click

MyFleetistics Analytics reports are designed to filter through the data and display what you need to know in a clean and simple visual format. Additionally, reports are searchable and sortable to help you easily identify the issues you need to look into. Your GPS tracking system then provides the reports and tracking details needed to support the conclusions you come to and the decisions you make.

Odometer Analytics

Simple odometer analytics help Fleet Managers to ensure vehicles are not underused or overused. Odometer readings are part of the data you will find in many fleet GPS tracking system reports, but it becomes more usable when isolated in a more meaningful format. The odometer graph makes it easy to see which vehicles are accumulating miles much faster than others. As a result, it is easy to identify where transferring the workload to other vehicles would be beneficial. Who wants to run out a new vehicle warranty faster than necessary? Likewise, it can expose vehicles that may be making unauthorized trips.

Exceptions

Above we looked at total exceptions on the safety dashboard. The exceptions dashboard drills deeper into the details that show which driver or vehicle is generating what exceptions. Managing individual driver behavior with training and incentives for improvement pays off. Even more, identifying and discussing weak areas increases safety awareness and lowers risk.

If you would like assistance accessing the many features in MyFleetistics, visit our training resources page or call us at 855.300.0527.

Motivating Drivers Across 5 Generations

Past, Present, and Future Generations

Generations past did not see huge technological advances in their lifetime. Workforce management was much simpler. Their expectation was a fair wage for a hard day’s work. For that reason a fair wage was enough to motivate most workers. As technology races forward, it impacts each successive generation in new ways. The common thread is that each generation must be more adaptable than the last to keep up with the evolution of technology in the workplace. In the chart below, data from 2 sources is combined to disply the generational makeup of the global workforce. The generational range definitions used are from Pew Research Center.

Generations of Diversity

Defining the Generations

Very few truckers who are in their 70’s are still driving for a living. They have a far different outlook on work and life than younger drivers. Likewise, they are a bit more resistant to change than younger generations. For many of them, the ELD mandate was the straw that broke the camel’s back. As more routine driver tasks move from paper to digital formats, Builders and Boomers can either go with the flow or be left behind.

The trucking industry likely has fewer Gen-Z’s than the 24% shown in the workforce breakdown because less than half of them are old enough to drive. In contrast, they will be the next defining challenge to integrate into the fleet workforce. Each group has its own priorities and values. They have been shaped by fast-developing technology, an ever changing economy, and global vs local perspectives.

Managing fleet personnel well is dependent upon understanding these generational differences. Certainly, that is the key to recruitment, training, benefit and reward strategies that will resonate across generations. Ultimately, success is tied to keeping drivers happy and retaining them long term. Phyllis Weiss Haserot, author of “You Can’t Google It!: The Compelling Case for Cross-Generational Conversation at Work” identifies the traits of each generation as well as the fears that influence them. Her findings broken down in the charts below, along with a little common sense, reveal some interesting possibilities.

 

Baby Boomers

Not surprising, Baby Boomer workplace traits and fears are tied to their physical age. They are also your most experienced drivers. Younger workers can learn a lot from them about staying safe and productive on the road from them. Boomers can also teach younger workers about person to person contact and relationship building by example. Boomers can probably learn a lot from younger workers about work/life balance. Perhaps turning over some training duties to your Boomers will benefit everyone.

Boomers are open and adaptable to new technology but may tend to be skeptical until the new tech proves its value. Including them early in the process when introducing new technology will make them feel valued. Furthermore, they will better understand the value the technology brings and become your champions for the changes proposed.

Generation X

From the traits listed, it would seem Gen-Xers feel like it’s them against the world. That can be a difficult dynamic to address for drivers who spend a good deal of their time alone in the field. Extra effort is needed to make them feel part of the team. They have an entrepreneurial spirit in the workplace tempered by a friends and family first attitude.

Pairing them with Boomers for training may balance their fears of acceptance by Boomers, while pairing them to train and work alongside Millennials may balance their fears of losing the support of Millennials they work with. What seems most important is to foster their relationships with other generational groups as they are not likely to choose those relationships for themselves.

Perhaps a team challenge incentive with members of each generation on each team. Working together toward a shared goal will help bridge the generational gaps. Something as simple as a Boomer asking a Gen Xer for help using a new app can make them feel valued and boost their morale.

Generation Y Millennials

Gen Y word cloud

Millennials will respond best to web-based training programs. They are more comfortable with learning online than in a classroom or one on one training. They need highly focused, but brief training sessions, and lots of e-resources to get their questions answered.

Driver safety scorecard performance incentives and gamification apps will resonate with Millennials. This can open the lines of communication to bring them into the team environment. Like the Gen-Xers, making them feel they are part of the team can be challenging.

Recognition by their Gen-X and Boomer supervisors is critical to their motivation. A clearly defined career path will keep them on track. If they feel they are valued by management and co-workers, and achievement of benchmarked goals clearly offers a path for career advancement, they are more likely to stay and be successful.

Generation Z

Gen Z word cloud

More than any of the other generations, Gen-Zers are invested in and place a high priority on making the world a better and safer place. They have been exposed since birth to issues like terrorism, global warming, and changing political correctness.

Gen-Zers have the skills to be great team players. Technology like smartphones and tablets have always been part of life for them, and new technology advancements are their norm, expected as sure as daybreak. AI and robotics replacing manual labor is a very real possibility in their lifetimes.

It may be too soon to define strategies to attract and retain this up-and-coming segment of the workforce. In fact, it may be too soon to predict if driving will continue to be part of the job. For that reason, it is time to begin redefining what tasks will take the place of driving when the vehicles in our future are driverless?

In any case, one thing that will be critical to Gen-Z is who we are as employers. Our corporate attitudes regarding our local and global impact, both good and bad will be important to them. Are we as corporate citizens doing our part to keep the environment clean? Do we take a stand regarding social injustice, help the disadvantaged, and keep our data secure? If not, they will find another employer that does.

Conclusions

Retaining drivers across all the generations is dependent upon creating a company culture with a shared purpose, open communication, and respect for individualism. Understanding the traits and fears associated with each major group is the gateway to creating that culture. Using the strengths of one group to relieve the fears of another is just good business. With a little creativity and intentional focus, an inclusive culture where drivers of all ages work together productively is achievable.

Return on Investment Series: Manage Driver Behavior

Fleet Savings Summary

Driver behavior is tough to manage without the right tools. The Fleet Savings Summary Report highlights your fleets top five most valuable drivers and bottom 5 which are your top five coaching opportunities. These drivers represent the fleet’s most costly drivers, and therefore represent the best bang for your buck driver coaching opportunities. Driver behavior is critical to the safe operation of your vehicles and is a key area where risk is managable.

Proactive management is key. Aberdeen Group reports that top performing organizations are 96% more likely than their peers to utilize technology that alerts management, and the driver, of exceptions being made (i.e., speeding, harsh cornering, etc).

 

Driver Behavior & Telematics Data

Today’s fleet managers are under extreme pressure to manage their fleet costs despite deteriorating economic conditions. These costs include the procurement and disposal of the vehicles, fixed and variable operating costs, labor costs, as well as collision and insurance claims.

Using telematics data, fleet managers can discover new cost savings opportunities across their entire fleet. By pursuing these savings opportunities, a fleet manager can reduce their COI, improve their fleets operating efficiency, and grow their bottom line. Conversely, managing a fleet without a telematics platform is likely to result in higher costs and poor visibility for improvement.

Telematics and the Fleet Savings Summary are valuable tools that fleet managers should use to better understand and proactively manage their vehicles and drivers, and ultimately run a more profitable fleet.

Click here to request more information.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Most Common Unsafe Driving Violations

J.J. Keller’s List of Unsafe Driving Violations

Let’s talk about safety. J. J. Keller notes the Top 10 CSA unsafe driving violations. The FMCSA is an organization of authority in the industry. Paying attention to these scores is essential to operations.

 

No. 1: Speeding

Speeding violations range in severity from 1-10 dependent on speed and location. Speeding 1 encompasses speeding 1-5 mph above posted speed limit. Levels 2 and 3 are reserved for speeds 6-10 mph and 11-14 mph, respectively. Level 10 severity speeding violations include speeds 15 mph in excess of posted speed limit, and any speeding in construction zones. All of these speeding violations will affect your driver’s CSA score. Keep an eye out for excessive speed behaviors to protect your business!

 

No. 2: Failing to use a seat belt

This violation is an automatic level 7 for severity. Such a simple, life saving device, yet 2009 racked up over 70,000 of these violations. Failure to wear a seat belt not only affects your driver CSA score, but risks lives in the process.

 

No. 3: Failing to obey a traffic control device

We’re looking at a level 5 offense here. Failure to obey a traffic control device is a general category encompassing running stop signs, red lights, passing in a no-passing zone, and all other ignorance to road signage.

How can you avoid these violations? Simple. Make sure your drivers know the rules of the road and maintain awareness. This means limiting fatigued drivers, in addition to continuing education courses.

 

No. 4: Following too close

Categorized within “dangerous driving” this level 5 offense can be a deadly offense, and the CSA looks at it that way too. According to the FMCSA, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length… For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second”.

Watch: Dangers of Following too Closely

 

No. 5: Improper lane change

This is an automatic level 5 offense. An improper lane change is when a person changes or attempts to change lanes without an open and clear path. Essentially, it’s cutting someone off.

It’s very difficult to receive a citation for this because it requires one of two things. Either an officer has to witness to the improper lane change, or an accident resulting from the lane change with witnesses. Even with this being the case, there were still over 11,000 citations in 2009.

 

No. 6: Using/equipping a CMV with a radar detector

This level 5 offense is considered highly illegal. This is primarily because it endangers other drivers on the road. Not only is speeding dangerous overall, but speeding in a CMV can be especially dangerous because of the size of the vehicle, or the cargo. In particular, semi-truck tires are not rated for speeds above 75 mph, which means speed can lead to a dangerous blowout.

Using radar detectors is a practice that enables speeding in locations not currently under monitor.

 

No. 7: Failure to yield right of way

Failure to yield the right of way is a level 5 offense. It is considering a dangerous driving offense, and also negatively affects your driver’s CSA score. This includes intersections, multi-way stops, pedestrians, and other traffic signage. Violations can be a result of ignorance or confusion, but either way you can control violations to the law through driver education and coaching.

Unnecessarily yielding right of way can be just as dangerous, because it is often the cause of confusion.

 

No. 8: Improper turns

Improper turns are categorized under level 5 severity. This violation includes failing to make a complete stop before a right on red, improper distance from roadside when performing a turn, not utilizing turn signals, and improperly executed u-turns. Behaviors resulting in an improper turn violation also result in an impact on driver CSA score.

 

No. 9: Improper passing

Improper passing can be very unsafe. It includes endangering other vehicles while passing, blind passing at the tops of hills or around curves, and passing on the right. These behaviors result in high-speed, deadly accidents. As such, the severity level is 5, and it will absolutely impact driver CSA score.

This violation can also be issued when passing in a passing lane, or illegally crossing designated lane boundaries to pass another vehicle. In the case of most CMVs, size generally prohibits these behaviors.

 

No. 10: Reckless driving

Reckless driving is a major moving traffic violation. It ranks a level 10 on the severity index, and can result in the revocation of a license or jail time. It includes driving 25 mph over the speed limit, street racing, eluding a police officer, and even passing when visibility is limited.

Clearly, this would impact CSA score, but beyond that, it can severely damage your company’s reputation. When a potential customer sees your company vehicle weaving between lanes of traffic, they lose trust in your professional image.

 

Avoiding unsafe driving violations

The easiest way to avoid unsafe driving violations is to educate your drivers. Knowing the rules of the road can really make an impact on your driver CSA score. Abiding by the rules will eliminate the likelihood of receiving any violations at all.

Other ways to avoid violations:

  1. Stay alert
  2. Wear your seat belt
  3. Drive defensively
  4. Participate in NSC training
  5. Utilize driver coaching plug-ins

Read more about plug-ins and driver coaching here.