“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” Helmut Schmidt
No one has ever succeeded by refusing to improve. The same can be said of a company, and it’s employees and it’s management.
In today’s logistics industry, everything is constantly getting better. The trucks are getting more powerful, efficient, and durable. The tracking software is getting faster, more accurate, and easy to use. Safety regulations are creating safer work environments which benefit both the managers and the employees, whether they’re on the warehouse floor, in the office, or on the road.
Despite all of these advancements, and the growth in the industry, there is one area that continues to stagnate. Drivers and managers still can’t see eye to eye.
Driving is a complicated, diverse profession. The driving industry has relied heavily on the drivers to find their own ways to improve. The onus has been on the ones behind the wheel to get there faster, find better routes, and make the company look good on the front end.
Management and dispatch have their own battles, too. With heavy pressure from customers and upper management to increase productivity, lower costs, and provide more bang for the company buck, the managers are expected to get their drivers to perform better in every aspect.
This means that drivers get the pressure from the customer, the managers/dispatchers, and upper management all at once.
The result has been to create an atmosphere of animosity between drivers and their dispatchers and managers. This discontent means serious problems for fleet performance, and the possibility for improvement and growth. Management claims the drivers don’t listen to instructions, and the drivers claim that management doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
It all comes down to “them vs us”.
And it needs to stop.
If the industry is going to improve, and entice drivers to get behind the wheel to resolve the driver shortages, this mentality needs to change.
It needs to evolve, and the industry already has the tools required to do so.
With the development of to-the-minute GPS Fleet Tracking software like ours, the visibility on driving patterns is revealed. This includes routes, speeds, stop duration’s, and driving behaviours.
It’s important to stress that these metrics are not tools which management should utilize to attack their drivers. They should be used to determine habits, statistics, and to open a dialogue between drivers and management to develop systems and programs to better educate and train their teams.
By bringing drivers in to discuss these metrics, listen to their insights and explanations, and explain management expectations, a progressive team dynamic can be established.
Above all, the thing that must be remembered is that you are a team, and you must work together to improve, and grow into the future.
Use the metrics developed in the software to improve fleet performance and as a company. Educate your drivers, and be willing to learn from them, as well. They are your eyes on the road, and your direct connection to your end user. If you don’t understand what they are seeing, be willing to get on their level and do ride alongs to better understand the circumstances.
Coach them to see the back end of how things are decided, and prioritized. When everyone is on the same page, everything moves forward together.
We want to help you and your drivers move forward, too.
Our metrics can help you coach, train, educate, and retain drivers. Talk to us now to find out more about how we can help.