Generating Buy-In to Risk-Reducing Programs at Your Fleet

Est. 2 min read

Idelic’s CEO, Nick Bartel, met with Dunavant’s Director of Safety, Recruiting, and Retention and industry veteran, Chris McMahan, in a virtual event to discuss how his team is leveraging technology to build a strong safety culture and reduce risk. 

For commercial auto fleets, investing in safety and risk reduction may not seem like a direct revenue generator, but in reality, every dollar earned is at risk to litigation, claims, or damages if a fleet isn’t investing in its driver safety programs.

Change management in fleet management

Implementing new technology, safety programs, or training is never easy, with only 34% of change initiatives succeeding, but it’s necessary to effectively reduce risk. To implement these programs, having buy-in at all levels is critical from the boardroom to the drivers’ seats. Some ways to gain manager buy-in include:

  • Take your time; implement change in small steps. Dunavant saw CSA Scores improve with incremental changes over the course of a year versus all at once. 
  • Do your due diligence. When vetting technology, make sure you’re getting what’s promised and your team understands those promises ahead of time. 
  • Be patient. “People don’t care about what you know till they know you care.” Take the time to understand your managers’ reservations and accommodate their learning styles.
  • Implement cross-team training. The success of one means the success of all, so ensure managers understand each others’ roles to step in and help when necessary.

What drives your drivers?

While new technology or training can oftentimes be met with pushback from drivers, there are a few strategies to keep in mind: 

  • Help drivers feel watched after, not over. Getting to know drivers on a personal level can help them understand you’re looking out for their well-being and not “big brother” watching over their shoulder. 
  • Leverage your data. Oftentimes, presenting the footage or Watch List Scores and contributing factors will demonstrate room for improvement to a driver.
    • Besides 0-24 months, the most at-risk drivers are those with 5+ years of experience. More experienced drivers might be more challenging to give feedback, and having the data can help change their mindset. 
    • Train drivers on new technology. Whether a driver will be actively using new technology or not, offer training so they understand how and why they’re being monitored.
    • Offer continuous coaching and feedback. Communication should continue after a professional development plan is complete. By engaging with drivers regularly after coaching, you can ensure bad habits don’t resurface. 
    • Involve driver families in safety training. By inviting family members to safety meetings, core safety messages will be reinforced regularly at home. 

    Watch the full Fleet Leader Chat to hear more about how Dunavant uses data to make better decisions, build a strong safety culture, and leverage leadership techniques to guide their fleet through change management and technology adoption.

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