Using your Geotab Telematics Data to Improve Driver Safety while Building Driver Morale and Engagement

That’s quite a mouthful, right?  But wait a minute…  aren’t trying to improve driver safety and build engagement mutually exclusive?  Some Fleet Managers we spoke to said things like: “My Drivers are tired of hearing how we want them to drive”,  “Every time I call a Safety Meeting and start to talk about our data with my drivers, they start to get a glazed look on their faces”, and “Why can’t I get our safety numbers to change, my drivers keep doing the same things!”

In this article, we will share some tips from successful fleet managers who have “Moved the Safety Needle” in their fleets by using their Geotab Telematics data to engage their drivers, while improving fleet safety!

Let’s Be Positive

A Focused, Alert, Responsible & Engaged Driver – This is always the goal, right?  This kind of driver will almost always be the safest driver in your fleet.  But how can you get them personally excited about your fleet data?  In fleet safety meetings, it is easy for managers to focus on the areas that need improvement, but often the attention ends up focused on the drivers who need improvement, which can hurt morale and engagement.  So, the trick is how to use the data!

Using the Data in your Safety Meeting:  Study your Geotab safety data in advance and plan your meeting: (Focusing on the positives)

  • Start the meeting by praising your drivers for an accomplishment from the last month or quarter such as: “Way to go team, we have wanted to focus on keeping our speeding under 10 miles over any speed limit last month, and WOW, you guys knocked it out of the park! In May we had 400 incidents in the fleet, and because of your dedication to a safe fleet and working on speeding, we cut that number in half!
  • Find data that shows which areas your drivers are doing a great job in and start your meeting with a positive talk (showing the data), highlighting how your fleet has improved/or showing a positive trend in that area (2 or 3 positive points if possible!)
  • Show the numbers visually to show the improving trend. (Most of your Geotab Dashboard Safety reports come with visual graphs that you can use for this purpose).
  • Next, show a challenge area: “We really want to focus on (THIS AREA) in July. Let’s see if we can improve our…” (safety scorecard or speeding, harsh braking or seat belt usage, wherever the improvement is needed.)
  • You can also gamify the results by making it fun: “OK Team, if we can accomplish this (Insert data-driven safety goal), we will throw a family BBQ at the end of August to celebrate!”

“I don’t want to beat up my drivers who are messing up… Driver retention is hard enough!  How can I get them to focus on and improve in the areas of Fleet Safety?”  Upon hearing this question, we asked the VP of Safety for the GTI Group of Companies, Jeff McKinney to share his thoughts on the topic:

“To me Data, Safety and Driver Engagement work hand-in-hand.  We use the data to praise our drivers, to show where we are, how we are improving and how we have reduced the number of accidents and improved our overall safety scores.  We start out talking about all the successes, and we do that in a group setting.  It is important that we talk TO & WITH our drivers, not “AT” them.  We respect and appreciate our drivers, (and they know it), and that really helps when it comes to getting their attention when we need to focus on improving in an area…  We have been successful because the drivers are engaged in the process, and the data, (and more importantly), the outcome.  They want to see the numbers get better too.  When we added cameras, some drivers were very receptive, while others were very resistant, but we used the data from the cameras to support and acknowledge the drivers in our group meetings.  “Now, I can see that the car pulled out in front of you…  You did a great job!”  But we also use the data to help drivers improve, and any driver that needs coaching gets it, but coaching is always done one-on-one.  We don’t criticize; we coach.  We praise our drivers for a good job, but we cannot be satisfied with that.  We have to push for perfection!”

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