Overcoming Resistance to New Policies and Technology.
Anytime managers or owners implement new policies there is bound to be resistance from some employees. This is no more evident when a company implements GPS tracking and telematics to their fleet. Learning how to implement vehicle monitoring systems in a positive way can help managers avoid pushback from drivers.
Known Benefits of Telematics Push Fleet Managers to Implement Systems
It’s the benefits of telematics and GPS technology that often pushes fleet managers to add systems in spite of resistance. Outside of the obvious benefit of GPS technology, one of the most important benefits is monitoring driver behavior. Not only does this improve fuel efficiency, but it also provides proof against false claims made against drivers involved in crashes.
Strategies to Reduce Resistance
Fleet managers are quick to see the benefits of telematics, but drivers don’t always respond positively to these systems. In one study published , nearly 43 percent of fleet managers surveyed stated they had a “significant amount” of resistance when implementing telematics systems into their fleets, with another 35.7 percent reporting at least a “little” resistance. In other words, the majority of fleets surveyed had resistance of some sort.
So what can a fleet manager do to implement this valuable system without this resistance? While avoiding all resistance may not be possible, it can be limited with the right approach when implementing telematics, electronic tracking technology, or other vehicle monitoring systems.
Having a policy that clearly states the purpose and use of the system or technology as well as driver responsibility can help communicate the company’s expectations better. The company/agency should have each potential driver acknowledge that they have no expectation of privacy regarding the information gathered through the use of this technology. The City of Napa circulates a policy to all their potential drivers to inform them of the purpose and use of the technology. The policy also addresses tampering with the hardware.
Using the system as a positive as well as a negative can also help. Using the system to reward drivers who had the least number of offenses, and posting the weekly driver report in a common area, helps create a positive peer pressure about driver safety and fuel efficiency. This created changes without much intervention from management.
Today’s drivers have a lot to keep track of, and any tool that helps them do so more safely is welcome once it is understood. Once drivers realize that the systems are going to improve overall safety, while also potentially earning them rewards for positive behaviors, they are often more willing to embrace telematics.
In the end, the approach needs to be one of coaching, not reprimanding. While there is often some driver turnover when implementing a system, the end result, which is more efficient and attentive drivers, creates a positive environment for all members of the fleet.
Robert Drucker, Owner of Boston Global Tracking, often writes about issues facing owners and managers with fleets of vehicles. His expertise is highly regarded in the industry and provides his insight and knowledge to help business owners better manage their fleet.