Here we summarise the ten vital elements for creating and maintaining a successful driver safety programme. Having these key components front of mind and in place will significantly increase the likelihood of a programme making the biggest positive impact on your company and drivers.
1. Top-down commitment and manager involvement
Leadership support of the programme is critical to ensure the programme is fully adopted and respected. A top-down mandate from the controlling mind will ensure the key sponsor is in place, and everyone in the organisation understands the significance of the programme.
Secondly, managers who actively communicate with and ‘manage’ the driver population must act as the ongoing champions for the programme.
2. Make driver safety programmes mandatory
This goes hand in hand with the above point. Making a programme optional for your employees will significantly reduce the chances of success and the number of people who take up the programme. For a programme to make the biggest impact, everyone who drives must be mandated to take part in it.
3. Involve all of those who drive for work
Getting everyone involved also means going beyond just your owned and leased vehicles here. Businesses should identify all employees who drive on behalf of the company and should even include those who use their own personal and/or rented vehicles.
4. Define what success looks like
How do you know if your driver safety programme is working? Measuring success can be daunting, especially in a way that feels scalable across an entire organisation. Identifying the goals for a driver safety programme and monitoring progress against these will be crucial to understanding performance.
5. Offer first-class on-boarding and driver familiarisation
The success of a driver programme greatly depends on how you onboard, educate and introduce it to your employees. Use all the tools at your organisation’s disposal to communicate the programme, why your organisation is doing it and how it will benefit your employees. This could be in the form of town hall meetings, webinars, recording and sessions where employees can also ask questions.
6. Establish accessible, clear policies and procedures
As a part of the above, ensure any new programme is integrated into your existing policies. Ensure these policies are easy to access for all employees and written in plain English. Less is more when it comes to making these documents your colleagues will use on an ongoing basis.
7. Engage drivers
Avoid programmes that only look to punish/penalise your worst drivers. Aim to do more of the opposite: Reward and incentive programs typically involve recognition, monetary rewards, special privileges or the use of other incentives. Use tools like rewards, gamification, and positive reinforcement to engage your drivers and celebrate their achievements.
Look to also encourage friendly competition. Friendly competition can go a long way in keeping safety top-of-mind for your drivers. Plus, it’s a great way to show that your whole company values their well-being. Consider incorporating driver gamification into your training approach.
8. Have tools to evaluate safe driving and identify risk
It’s great to have your goals in place. However, you also need the tools with which to measure and evaluate performance. Ensure you have all the reports and data at your fingertips to assess the performance of your drivers and your overall programme. Ideally opt for a tool that will do most of the heavy lifting for you and identify all the critical actionable insights for moving the needle.
9. Offer ongoing and personalised driver training/coaching
Look beyond the one size fits all driver training courses for new starters. Regular refresher/requalification should be an integral part of any programme. Plus look to coach your drivers when—and where—they need it most based on crucial programme insights. If you don’t have full visibility into driver behaviour on the road, it will be challenging to address safety concerns proactively.
10. Clear incident reporting processes in place
Unfortunately, even with the best driver safety programme, incidents and collisions will happen. These must be reported immediately with a very clear process in place. This information will be crucial for learning from each one of these and continuously improving the driver safety programme.
With these critical components in place, you stand the biggest chance of making the most significant positive impact with your driver safety programme. This list is born out of the hundreds of driver safety programmes we run with companies across the globe. So, do drop us a note if you’d like to discuss any of these elements in more detail.