Articles

Is Your Driver Safety Program Too Formal?

Originally published in Fleet Management Weekly 10/10/2019

By Ed Dubens, CEO / Founder of eDriving

Of course, the effective management of driver risk requires a “formal” structured approach, but there is also plenty of room for informality! It is the “informal” elements that can make the difference between creating a sustainable crash-free culture® or something than fizzles very quickly!

Policies, standards, management systems, best practice guides, training, eLearning, license checking, telematics, benchmarking and analytics are all critical components to any successful driver risk management strategy, but how much more effective can you be if your plan is supported by regular, informal messaging to your drivers from across the organization?

At eDriving we talk frequently about the development of a successful crash-free culture®, which requires a combination of implementing practices, changing attitudes and improving behavior behind the wheel; not just that of drivers but also of managers and leaders as well as the organization as a whole. Only this three-pronged approach delivers the sustainable solution most of us seek.

Training is a small part of your overall toolbox, contributing around 10-15 percent of your program’s “power rating” and/or return on investment. Significant change requires a multi-dimensional approach that encourages communication up, down and across the organization.

Employees learn through a variety of activities that include social learning, coaching, mentoring, collaborative learning and other methods of interaction with colleagues and peers. Encouragement and regular feedback from their direct report managers is a critical success factor, as is hearing from the organization’s leadership that their safety and wellbeing is important.

How do you create a successful crash-free culture? It takes time and effort but here are my ten top tips:

  1. Issue regular communications to address specific risk issues and provide road safety guidance for different driving seasons/ major holidays
  2. Raise driver awareness of international/ national/ local road safety campaigns
  3. Extend your safe driving program to include family members of employees
  4. Set up an “Ambassador” program (target – approximately five percent of your workforce) to help spread your safety messages at the team level and encourage discussion between drivers
  5. Regularly review the progress of your road safety program, compare trends and share with employees
  6. Introduce a coaching program that encourages conversations between managers and drivers
  7. Add relevant road safety messaging to leadership emails/ meetings/ presentations
  8. Recognize crash-free/ low risk drivers
  9. Engage drivers and families by issuing branded items that reinforce your messaging
  10. Encourage drivers to draw attention to local campaigns/ projects of interest to them – such as at schools/ local charities

These tips should help you foster and spread your new safety “virus” across your organization. Not only will this help develop a shared perception that protecting colleague safety and the environment is important, but it will also give you confidence that your formal safety policies, standards, systems and processes are effective.

About eDriving
eDriving helps organizations to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations and Total Cost of Ownership through a patented driver risk management program. Mentor by eDriving’s comprehensive solution provides actionable behavioral insights to help organizations build a total view of driver risk within a company-wide crash-free culture to ensure all drivers return home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day.

eDriving is the global risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest organizations, supporting over 1,000,000 drivers in 96 countries. Over its 23-year history, eDriving’s programs have been recognized with 70+ awards around the world. For more information visit www.edriving.com.