Do you update your fleet management policy every year? Does the review include specific steps that will deliver positive results? A culture of safety isn’t just a buzzword, its foundation is built on the underlying policy that helps shape driver behaviors.
Questions To Ask During Fleet Policy Review
- When was the last policy update? Schedule a regular time each year to update the policy but be prepared to make changes any time if circumstances warrant. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many fleet policy and procedures to change, for example.
- What has changed in fleet since last review? Consider what has changed for drivers, the vehicles in the selector, and the services and programs you’re utilizing, etc.
- Are the right people participating in the review? Changing up some of the participants in policy review gives the chance for different perspectives.
- How does your policy reflect your company’s culture? What topics are of value to your organization, and how is that reflected in your fleet policy?
Better Fleet Policy Positively Affects Fleet Driver Performance
Start from a place of truly wanting to help each driver become better. If you think carrot instead of stick, you can build a policy that’s designed to make drivers feel encouraged, educated, trained and supported rather than paranoid or pushed.
It’s simple—when considering what to include or change in your policy each year, think about what your drivers need in the current environment that will help them become better and succeed at their job. Improved performance helps each driver become better while benefiting the company’s compliance statistics.
Driver-Related Considerations For Fleet Policy:
- New drivers: What does the training look like for new drivers? When was the last time it was refreshed?
- Risk: What risk category is each individual driver?
- Are shifts from one category to another—whether increased or reduced risk—being recognized and discussed?
- What driver risk assessment tools are available?
- Positive reinforcement: Making drivers feel valued can improve driver retention and behavior.
- What helpful, positive communications do drivers receive throughout the year?
- Do you reward drivers with good records?
- How are lapses addressed and problems corrected?
- If discipline is part of your policy, how is that presented and by whom? Is the plan for improvement presented with a team feeling so the driver doesn’t feel hopeless and quit?
- Training: Besides watching videos and fleet policy acknowledgement checkboxes, what coaching or training is available to drivers? For example:
- Training after a preventable fleet accident
- Safe behavior during COVID-19
- EV operation
- Encountering crowds or protests
- Winter driving lessons
- Customized Help: How does this policy help drivers?
- Besides “compliance,” what else is affecting their ability to perform at 100%?
- Have you asked the drivers about their latest needs and/or concerns?
Fleet Policy Modernization
Wheels has created a helpful guide on modernizing your fleet policy. Your policy should align with your overall company culture, so structure your guidelines accordingly. Here are some elements to consider when editing your fleet policy to build a comprehensive safety culture:
- Driver Responsibilities while using a company-provided vehicle
- Personal Use Policy
- Partner/spouse use and related requirements
- Drug and Alcohol Usage
- Legal drugs, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs
EVs are the future, and the future is now. EVs will be coming to your fleet if they aren’t a large part of it already. Planning for driver training and incorporating EVs into your policy requires thinking differently.
Is there language about vehicle eligibility and reassignment, home charging, how electricity reimbursement will be handled? What does your policy say about operator behavior with EVs, such as charging best practices, or not relying solely on gas with a hybrid?
Fleet Policy Success
While 100% driver compliance is always the goal, tracking the data behind those numbers is important if you want to get there. What reminders are in place? Is it clear to drivers what is expected and required of them? Are managers aware of the numbers of non-compliant drivers that report to them? Do those who supervise the managers know what is being done to address and fix that with those behaviors?
Your fleet policy is the bedrock for building a safety culture in your organization. Recognizing that drivers are human and nobody is perfect, you can still set reasonable goals and guidelines that can drive both better performance and driver retention. Creating and reviewing your policy regularly to make sure you are serving the needs of the drivers as well as the needs of the company creates a path forward for success. If you have questions about how to update your fleet policy, contact a member of your Wheels account team or email me (Andy Van Beck) directly at AVanBeck@Wheels.com.