16 January 2020, 09:04
Driver turnover has been above 90 percent for more than nine consecutive quarters and shows little sign of slowing down. What’s more is that issues related to management and workplace policies and communication have caused 30 percent of drivers to leave their job.
Keeping your drivers safe, recognizing them for doing the right thing, and offering a solid feedback loop are key to increasing driver engagement — and retention. If the people who drive your products from one place to another do not feel like you have taken extra measures to keep them safe, then they will leave for jobs that do. Where does this leave you?
The more drivers you lose, the more difficult it will become to transport your products. This slows your operations, leading to monetary loss. Even worse, your organization will have a reputation for its low driver retention rate.
Losing drivers also creates a need for new recruits. Unfortunately, the recruitment process is time-consuming and expensive. The cost of onboarding new drivers and getting them up to speed on the company culture and policies may not seem like a lot when it’s just one driver, but as you hire more drivers over time, these costs pile up.
Poor driver safety affects the overall company culture, leading to a decrease in productivity, employee happiness, and the feel of the company. Poor employee morale is a leading cause of high turnover rates in any industry, so incorporating good safety practices into the foundation of your company is important.
Incorporating Driver Safety
Although the current turnover rate is far from positive in most transportation segments, you can break the cycle by incorporating some simple features to make your drivers feel safe, secure and valued.
If you don’t have a safety program in place, you may be thinking that starting one involves constantly monitoring your drivers. You may also be thinking about the time and money involved in monitoring the many drivers in your organization.
For a minute, let’s imagine what that would be like. You would probably have to use a manual video device to record your drivers’ every move, and then have people check hundreds of paid hours of recordings to look for common patterns.
This is expensive, inefficient, and does not make your drivers feel safe; if anything, it accomplishes the opposite. Having someone breathing down their necks to monitor their driving habits takes away a driver’s autonomy and contributes to a feeling of insecurity. Constant monitoring would also cost any company a lot of money, and do nothing to stop turnover. A better way to ensure driver safety is to find a solution that focuses on keeping your drivers motivated, focused and recognized — while using technology to keep them safe.
Motivation can be accomplished through rewards and other incentives, especially to those with an outstanding driving record after successful completion of numerous routes. Rating systems can be put in place to reward high-performing drivers and find out about the difficulties that lower-performing drivers face. This creates a focal point in any communication between drivers and management.
Continuous communication is necessary for any organization to thrive, and it is no different when it comes to drivers. Ask yourself the following questions
How easily can your drivers voice complaints relating to their performance and safety?
Is it normal at your company to subconsciously shut drivers down when they voice these complaints?
Are there systems in place to swiftly address these complaints, or do drivers have to follow up several times before anything is done?
These are important factors when creating a working environment in which drivers can safely carry out their jobs. Your company should make it an official policy to provide a direct channel of communication — this will encourage open dialogue and driver improvement.
On the technological side of things, one way to boost driver safety is to have a solid performance analytics system in place. Such a system would collect traffic and driving data during each driver’s typical workday.
This can help companies to get a better view of how their drivers operate, what risks they may face, and how the changing road conditions affect their work. Based on this data, you can make informed decisions on how to improve the safety of your drivers.
Drivers also need the right technological tools to perform their jobs. Such tools protect them from “grey area” situations in which other vision-based tools don’t accurately assess or capture the context of things. As far as safety goes, legacy systems have done the best they can; however, we believe that it is time to set them aside and implement better systems.
The need for driver safety transcends the usual risk mitigation measures that have been employed in the past. Modern challenges call for smart systems that record and process data in real-time. These issues also call for a system that allows you to tackle both the human and technological aspects of driver safety on the same platform.
This offers the chance to save millions of dollars in overhead costs while ensuring that drivers stay safe enough to do their jobs. Driveri, our standout product, offers these benefits and more.
Technology to Keep Drivers Safe
Our goal is simple: “Make bad drivers good, and good drivers outstanding in a supportive, collaborative environment that leads to improved yield in driver recruitment and retention.” More importantly, our goal is to keep drivers and by extension, other road users, safe.
When choosing technology for your fleet, you’ll want to find a platform that combines the potential of artificial intelligence with advanced video technology to collect and analyze critical data points.
The importance of data collection in any transport cycle cannot be overstated. It is essential for the following reasons:
There are many blind spots that drivers may miss on a daily basis. These could be anything from a misunderstood situation to minor performance issues that they only catch subconsciously. The right vision-based safety solution will pick up minute details that may escape the drivers in their work environment.
Relating issues to managers can be difficult for drivers due to different things. Issues can be taken out of context, exaggerated or understated since there is no specific data to work with. When you’re able to see the entire picture, you can form an objective opinion.
Transparent data cancels out any type of bias that may surface. For example, a driver who has made several mistakes in the past may be shut down due to biases even when pointing out a valid issue. The right technology ensures that the data speaks for itself no matter what a driver’s previous record is like.
Data collection also leads to better risk management by helping you pinpoint the issues your fleet is facing. Here at Netradyne, we want technology to empower drivers to take more control of their safety.
Your drivers must feel protected and valued as an employee. By providing a platform for voicing concerns, and showing that you care about how your drivers fare on the job, you are showing them that the work they do is important. You are also showing how important their safety is to you. This motivates them to keep working for your organization.
When technology shows the full picture of each driver from start to finish, it can serve as a mediator during a conflict. Accusing a driver of being at fault, especially when they can’t prove their innocence, is a huge morale killer. You can avoid this by checking your safety system’s artificial intelligence-backed database to see where errors occurred. This way, allegations can be substantiated with proof and drivers will not feel like they have not been given the benefit of the doubt.
A system like Driveri uses GreenZone — a score that highlights each person’s driving capabilities, allowing you to reward those who perform well and find out where others are lacking. It also sets the foundation for peer mentorship programs in which drivers can be paired with peers to learn new skills. It can also form the basis for rewards systems that make drivers feel more appreciated.
Most importantly, you need technology that keeps drivers safe and protected against any issues, other drivers or accidents that may occur on the road. Letting them know that they have an extra layer of protection is a great way to keep drivers motivated and boost driver retention.
The US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a set of guidelines to keep employees safe on the road. Among these guidelines is the need to put a good driver safety system in place.
Not only does this keep drivers safe and motivated enough to do their jobs, but it also saves companies millions in damages, training costs, and any other costs incurred. It also has the potential to improve driver retention.
Driveri was created by Netradyne to serve as the type of safety system recommended by the government. Using HD video, artificial intelligence, a solid communication system, and WiFi, it works as an excellent safety companion for any fleet. Want to see what Driveri can do for your fleet?
This article originally appeared on netradyne.com.