You have been managing your team the say way for years, now you have just installed a GPS fleet management solution in all of your trucks. How are you going to explain this to your drivers? Will they feel like they are being spied on? How do other companies handle it?
You aren't alone, these are common concerns we hear from most companies who are using GPS tracking for the first time. Even if you have been using GPS tracking for a while, it doesn't hurt to have a plan to educate new employees about the system, how it works, why you have it and what you use it for.
How do I tell my drivers about GPS tracking?
We recommend that leadership at your company create a simple outline following a problem/solution/result format. This will help you tell a story while you walk your team through your thought process when you made this decision.
Write down the problems you are facing today, reasons you wanted to get the system, for example:
- Our clients expect accurate delivery updates and instant information that we can't provide without multiple phone calls to the driver and customer
- Management staff is wasting too much time on paperwork for payroll, delivery slips, route lists and vehicle inspection reports.
- Trucks are unexpectedly down for maintenance which means we have to rent replacement trucks which wastes time and money
Next, review what the solution you are using does and how it works
- We chose to use technology to keep our promise of excellent customer service to our clients who drive our business
- The system collects data such as location and speed every few seconds and sends it using the cellular network to our office
- It's kind of like air traffic control, where we can see all of our trucks at once and know where they are heading
- We expect to improve customer service responsiveness with our clients with up to the second information
- We expect to have our drivers generate less paperwork and free up our back office to spend more time on important tasks
- We expect to reduce vehicle downtime and improve accountability of vehicle maintenance
Prepare for Objections
Think of the common objections drivers will bring up and write down your responses and share those responses with other managers. The most common objection we hear brought up by management is that they are concerned that driver's will feel that management doesn't trust them.
We recommend that instead of waiting for people to bring up objections, it is good to lead the conversation.
Management to Drivers
I understand how some of you may feel that using GPS to monitor our vehicles, I know I might feel that way if I were in your position. However, I want to clear up the reasons we chose to implement this system and some of the problems we are expecting it to help us address.
Now that you have a system with the ability to monitor in detail the performance of your fleet, you will have to set and communicate your expectations to everyone in order to get the best results.
Setting up a simple safety and vehicle use policy can help set some basic ground rules for everyone to follow. The data available on your fleet management solution will help to spot issues that arise and take quick action.
We recommend holding a brief monthly meeting with all of your drivers to uncover any issues from their side and to review the monthly report for the drivers. Unsurprisingly, no driver wants to be consistently at the bottom of the scoreboard and these meetings don't need a complicated agenda:
- Review the goals set for the month (no speeding, no idling, etc.)
- Review driver performance, compare to goals
- Ask for input on issues or concerns from drivers
- Set goals for the next month
We recommend you assign one member of your leadership team to be responsible for the GPS system and become your company expert on the subject. This person will be the go-to resource for the rest of your staff and make it clear who is responsible for the operation of the system.
For more information, check out Walden Engineering's blog about choosing a fleet management solutions.