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  • Competitions and incentives to improve driver performance and fleet safety

    Offering driver incentives as part of an overall driver safety and performance policy for fleets encourages good driver performance and reduces risk of accidents. As part of these incentives, competitions are a motivational way of driving continuous efforts to strive to improve performance, reduce accidents and minimise environmental damage whilst also having a bit of fun.

    Before implementing any kind of competitive incentives it is important to specify clear aims for the competition and the overall driver safety policy, such as increasing awareness of the company policy, improving driver performance or building team spirit, each of which will form part of the overall risk strategy. The competition should really seek to reward those who consistently perform well over a period, rather than simply rewarding short spells of irregular excellence to encourage a long term culture of safe driving.

    Drive safely fleet driver incetive

    Senior management and HR backing are of course crucial to the success of this kind of programme. Their endorsement will help to cement the company’s commitment to the continual development and safety of drivers, as well as adding gravitas to the competition to ensure it is taken seriously amongst employees and seen as something worth investing additional effort in. Competitions that reward performance in this way will help career retention and management backing will spark interest from those looking to develop their career or gain recognition.

    Incentives and competitions can sometimes be thought of as unnecessary cost to management, but it is worth quoting the fact that often the cost of running continuous competitions to aid fleet safety is far offset by the savings that you can make in turn from improved driving performance from reduced fuel costs, maintenance and fleet insurance premiums.

    It is important to determine the safety metrics that you are going to use for scoring prior to launching the competitions and to communicate details regularly to ensure full awareness and to increase motivation and a ‘buzz’ about the competition. You will need to decide if you want to place more emphasis on rewarding improvements over time or simply excellence in performance. But it is probably best to focus on just a few metrics at once such as fuel consumption, driving violations, accidents, etc. Many of the metrics used to determine success in such competitions will reply on the successful implementation of telematics for measuring performance, however you can introduce competitions without this technology.

    Within these metrics it is also important to be savvy of the information that you need to gain from the exercise, and often incentivising a reduction in accidents or collisions can result in drivers simply not reporting incidents which clearly need to be recorded. It may be better to focus on things like reduced fuel consumption, braking habits, or reduced idle time for example.

    Within the competitions is it also a good idea for larger fleets to set teams or departments to compete against each other to encourage teamwork and a shared goal. This minimises the possibility of discouragement where one individual is always outperforming the others and tackles complacency from those that do not seem to get a look in.

    Clearly some departments will utilise vehicles more than others so the metrics used can be given a ratio and implemented on a basis of ‘driving violations per x miles’ or ‘accidents per x miles’, for example. Provided the prizes are generous enough then peer pressure will get to work and encourage each member to pull their weight to bring up the average.

    Incentives could range between anything from extra holiday, cash, vouchers, eligibility for a vehicle upgrade or simple recognition. More often than not drivers will be rewarded with something other than pure financial rewards, however it is likely that the funding for any prizes will come from savings in fuel costs or lowered insurance premiums as a result of safer driving.

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