How to retain driver engagement beyond the ‘honeymoon period’

The introduction of a new tool or initiative in a workplace is typically accompanied by a ‘honeymoon period’ when it enjoys extra engagement, focus and curiosity from those who are taking part or using it. 

At Brightmile, we find that people check the app on their smartphone multiple times in the early days and are quick to explore its many features. They will also engage with how it’s rating and rewarding their driving. It can be a real eye-opener for people to see how often they drive over the legal speed limit near junctions, traffic lights or school zones, for example. 

Brightmile’s initial impact is often dramatic as drivers are excited to see how they rate against their peers and accumulate points and prizes for good performance.

Ongoing engagement

Of course, it’s only natural that over a period of time this initial burst of enthusiasm subsides and whether it’s the Brightmile app, or another new tool or initiative, the novelty can start to wear off.  It’s why our number-one goal after signing up and onboarding a new user is to retain their ongoing engagement and sustainably improve their driving behaviour to ensure the long-term impact of our programme.

Multi-faceted approach

At Brightmile, we take a six-prong approach to the retention of drivers’ long-term engagement:

1. Rewards

A major reason that new initiatives fail is that companies will focus on why it’s good for the company but miss out the vitally important ‘what’s in it for me?’ factor. Initiatives need to be a win for the company, but also a win for employees. That’s why we offer ongoing rewards for safe driving with prizes awarded to drivers every month and the winners announced to the wider team.

What’s more, we operate a raffle system to prevent the same drivers winning each month – and the remainder losing interest. We also give drivers the option to donate their ‘brightmiles’ to charity as, for some people, altruism can be a powerful motivator.

2. Bespoke competitions

On top of the regular rewards programme, the Brightmile programme team will help to identify bespoke competitions to keep things fresh and support specific business goals. This might be a summer challenge to crown the ‘least distracted driver’, for example, as part of a focus on maintaining or further reducing distraction levels.

3. Target setting

There is an explicit long-term focus in the Brightmile app on individual drivers continually improving their driving and not letting standards slip. As team behaviour improves, drivers are challenged to meet new goals, which creates a continually refreshing target and a virtuous cycle of improvement. Team goals are based around Brightmile’s ‘Five Pillars’ of driving behaviour (risk, speed, distraction, fatigue and ‘eco’) with targets refreshed every six months.

4. Weekly email digest

The majority of Brightmile’s driver engagement occurs ‘in-app’ and we are happy to see the majority of our drivers getting into the habit of using the app regularly. Others may need a reminder via a different channel, and that’s why we deliver a weekly email digest to drivers with a summary of their past week’s performance. We keep a positive tone with these messages to encourage drivers to re-engage with the app.

5. Programme management

As well as direct engagement of drivers via the app, Brightmile’s Manager Portal and programme management service ensures that safe driving becomes integrated into the culture and operating processes of our customers. For the entire multi-year life of the programme (not just the early weeks and months), the Brightmile team will conduct regular check-ins with key stakeholders, identify areas for focused improvement (at an organisation, team or individual level) and help with initiatives to ensure that Brightmile always remains fresh. We also recommend breaking down the driver group into small chunks and involving line managers to ensure that safe driving becomes a part of ‘business as usual’.

6. Targeted interventions

As you will have read, at Brightmile we strive to be driver-friendly and prioritise the ‘carrot’ over the ‘stick’. However active interventions may sometimes be required for persistent bad performers. Appropriate interventions will vary by country and company, but the Brightmile team will always be on hand to lend advice based on our years of experience in the space. Brightmile can also deliver automated e-learning to outlier drivers – meaning that our customers can outsource the intervention and not worry about potentially failing to act on data.

Proven long-term impact

In summary, Brightmile will always go the extra mile to ensure long-term success. It’s why we can boast of 95% app adoption and high driver engagement. It’s why we know that by engaging drivers and empowering managers we reduce collisions by 25-35% and deliver a long-term return on investment of 10x or more.

To find out more, read about our mission.

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"The Brightmile app is the perfect mix of Safety, Fleet, Sustainability and HR tools to manage the fleet and engage drivers"

Global HSE Manager, SGS

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