Ultimate Guide to Fleet Management: How to Manage Your Drivers for Success
Originally uploaded on June 28, 2023
Managing a fleet of drivers can be a challenging task, especially with the increasing demand for efficient and reliable transportation. In this guide from the experts at Fuelmate, we'll discuss the best practices for fleet driver management, including how to effectively manage your drivers for success.
How to manage your fleet
How to manage your drivers
Builiding team rapport with drivers
How to reduce driver turnover rate
Other handy driver guides
How to Manage Your Fleet
Managing a fleet of vehicles is not an easy task. It requires proper planning and organisation, especially when it comes to managing the drivers who operate these vehicles.
As a fleet manager, you have to ensure that your drivers are safe on the roads, delivering goods and services efficiently, and following all relevant regulations. By looking at some different management methods discussed in this article, you can review how to manage your fleet more effectively.
Manage Your Drivers
Understanding how to manage drivers well is one of the most important skills for a fleet manager; you'll forge a better working relationship with your drivers while improving productivity. However, effective fleet and facility management aren't always straightforward.
When it comes to corporate fleet management, your drivers will make up one of the largest sectors of your workforce. For the most part, your drivers will be out on the road and therefore away from the office, so feeling confused about your fleet service management strategy is understandable.
You may struggle to feel confident about the effectiveness of your managerial approach and find it difficult to monitor your fleet goals.
Let’s analyse some effective methods for managing your drivers:
Publicly acknowledge & reward drivers
Maintain positivity in fleet and facility management by publicly acknowledging and rewarding drivers for their accomplishments, such as safe driving or reaching goals. This creates a positive environment, motivates drivers, and encourages good behaviour. Implementing a tally system or giving gifts like restaurant vouchers can also incentivise drivers and improve morale. These rewards can be factored into your budget for a positive impact.
Keep open channels of communication
Effective corporate fleet management requires open communication channels for drivers to comfortably share feedback, concerns, and ideas. As a manager, communication with your drivers will help you manage them better and understand their experiences on the job. When drivers feel heard and valued, they are more motivated and happy, leading to improved productivity, morale, and driver retention.
Use data to measure performance
Another corporate fleet management tip is to use data to measure driver performance. Of course, this isn't the only way to measure performance, but it's an effective tool when used correctly.
Data is a tool you should harness when you manage drivers because facts and figures don't lie. They provide an accurate image of driver performance. You can then share this information with your team and use it to praise drivers or highlight areas of improvement.
Fuel management systems and telematics offer data insights into driver performance, enabling effective fleet service management. Building team rapport is crucial to improving job satisfaction and performance. Showing empathy, honing rapport-building skills, and practising them daily can revolutionise work relationships, regardless of geography. By creating an environment where drivers can thrive, managers can get the best out of them, positively impacting fleet efficiency and productivity.
According to Forbes, 96% of employees believe showing empathy can improve staff turnover rates.
Building Team Rapport With Your Drivers
Fleet driver management is a crucial aspect of logistics operations. However, it's not enough to simply monitor drivers' performance and enforce safety regulations. Building team rapport with your drivers is equally important in ensuring the success of your fleet operations.
Here are some tried and tested methods, great for helping to build team rapport with your drivers:
Demonstrate availability and cultivate a high-trust environment to reduce driver turnover rates. Availability starts with an open-door policy and strong listening skills. Remind drivers that you're available to help and mean it. Consistent availability creates trustworthy, hard-working, and cooperative drivers, positively impacting team rapport.
Showing genuine interest in your team members goes a long way. Small talk becomes stale very quickly, and some team members may even grow to resent the insincerity of yet another meaningless conversation about the weather. Set a target to speak about non-work-related topics with each member of your team each day you speak to them. Displays of humanity and genuine interest are one of the most valuable rapport building techniques.
Invest in opportunities to get the team together
Building one-to-one rapport with each driver is the foundation to foster rapport within the team. Organising regular team social events and team building activities can bring drivers together and equip them to develop their skills at work. Conference calls and team chats can also reinforce the value of each team member. Check out our guide to fleet management for more advice and learn about your management style in our previous blog post.
Reducing Driver Turnover Rate
If you’re regularly replacing drivers, it’s time to assess your driver turnover rate. There are several ways to do this, including gathering annual turnover figures and comparing them to the industry average to get an idea of how your company is doing. Separate the data into voluntary and involuntary turnover to get a clearer picture of the extent to which the problem lies with the employee or you, as the employer.
Fleet turnover is high, especially in the haulage industry, and many factors are contributing to drivers leaving their roles so quickly. The three main causes of driver turnover are loneliness, wellbeing and a loss of morale.
Here are some handy tips to reduce your driver turnover rate:
Choose the right people
While many drivers leave their jobs because of the demands of the role, others might leave because they just aren’t a good fit for the company. If someone doesn’t share your company values or can’t be trusted, there’s not much that can be done. To avoid this, it’s important to choose drivers who gel with the company and are trustworthy. When you have clear criteria during the recruitment process, you can rest assured that the right people are on board.
Offer relevant staff benefits
Most companies have staff perks these days, but not all of them are particularly relevant or useful. Instead of having benefits for the sake of it, choose perks that will help your drivers. For example, discounted gym memberships will help your team stay active between journeys while birthdays off guarantee time spent with family rather than spending their birthday behind the wheel. Additionally, be sure to draw inspiration from these three team building activities.
Listening to your drivers is a solid place to start when you’re keen to reduce driver turnover. Employees who don’t feel their voice is valued or heard won’t stick around for long. To avoid this, try regularly asking your employees for feedback about their experiences and listening to their answers. Anonymous evaluation forms can motivate individuals to be honest without fear of being judged for their answers. But, having open one-to-one conversations can build trust and rapport. Active, judgment-free listening is a sure-fire way to learn about the things you can do to make your drivers’ jobs more satisfying.
Take staff wellbeing seriously
Caring for your staff’s wellbeing is key to keeping them engaged and motivated. Listening to their concerns and getting creative with solutions, such as providing healthy snacks or orthopaedic devices, can make a big difference. Enforcing regular breaks and varying journey lengths can help combat driver tiredness. Showing that you’re considering their safety with fleet risk mitigation measures can also boost driver morale.
All employees have personal lives, and work can be particularly demanding for fleet drivers. Flexible working is no longer a rarity. If you’re not offering flexibility in work patterns, your drivers may move to a company that does. Where possible, offer flexibility so that your drivers don’t have to compromise so much of their personal lives to get the job done.
If fleet turnover has been a concern for your company, try these above suggestions and monitor how your driver turnover rate is impacted. For more tips on managing a fleet, please read our comprehensive guide to fleet management or browse our fleet fuel card options. If you haven’t already, ascertain your management style in our recent blog post.