Of the many things to be thankful for this holiday season, truck drivers should be on your list.
After all, truckers are the true “Secret Santa” of the supply chain, with each load ensuring store shelves remain stocked and packages delivered.
Kristin Tedesco, senior manager at Netradyne, joined FreightWaves’ WHAT THE TRUCK?!? to encourage fleets to show greater appreciation for their drivers. While it’s not always easy to show praise throughout the year, Tedesco said even the smallest gifts are appreciated.
“Drivers appreciate all sorts of gifts, and it doesn't have to be anything major,” Tedesco said. “[It could be] branded swag, hats, flashlights, tools, folding chairs — anything to make their job easier.”
But even simple gestures like starting meetings with shoutouts or even sending TGIF messages in fleet group chats can boost engagement. Anything to get your drivers more involved is key, as Tedesco explained that engagement goes hand in hand with increased motivation, productivity, and, ultimately, an improved bottom line.
Tedesco outlined the unfortunate reality that studies show that only around 30% of employees are actively engaged at work. Moreover, around 50% are unengaged and just going through the motions, while just under 20% are just unhappy to be there, which may negatively influence others on the fleet.
She also notes that highly engaged organizations report 48% fewer safety incidents than companies with lower engagement.
“Studies show that employee engagement needs are really basic and logical, and it mostly comes down to regular and clear communication,” she said. “This includes setting expectations, having whatever materials and equipment are needed to do their job, receiving periodic recognition and praise, and just feeling that the supervisor cares about them.”
That being said, many fleets are going the extra mile to boost engagement — and they’re turning to dashcams. Fleets are now incorporating “highlight reels” into meetings and group pages to convey additional praise.
But others are taking things even further. Driver scores are becoming increasingly popular among fleets looking to track driver performance in real-time.
“It's providing a really fast, easy and a fair way to assess people,” Tedesco said.
Netradyne’s Driver•i is the industry’s only dashcam that both monitors performance and provides real-time feedback through audible in-cab alerts.
As each driver receives a safety score, fleets find themselves actively participating in contests to see who’s the safest. Fleets have found such competitions to be a fun way to boost engagement and improve overall safety.
“A lot of fleets that we work with now will use a driver score throughout the year, and then they’ll give a large prize or bonus to the driver with the highest average score,” said Tedesco, adding that she has heard of some fleets awarding big ticket prizes such as a flat-screen TV and even $25,000 in cash.
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