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Driver Retention: The Importance of Investing in Your Driver Fleet [+Strategies that work]

While this might sound like a pipe dream, it can turn into reality through implementation of driver retention strategies that can benefit the fleet company.

Logistics Industry
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10 Min read
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Last Updated on
May 13, 2021

Investing in your driver fleet is an important decision and can have a lasting impact on your business. With the help of gamification, any sized fleet business can engage and retain fleet drivers for the long-term and help improve the bottom-line.

Companies are always on the lookout for quality drivers. With the increasingly high driver turnover rates, driver retention for fleet managers has become mandatory if they want to enjoy smooth operations. There are enough drivers but retaining drivers is a tough task for fleet managers. Fleet drivers can leave a company for numerous reasons. You want to hold on to your quality drivers and ensure they perform optimally every single day at work. While this might sound like a pipe dream, it can turn into reality through implementation of proper driver retention strategies that can benefit the fleet company and also the fleet drivers. 

As a fleet manager you need to invest in your driver fleet because it can help you retain talented and top-performing drivers who get the job done efficiently while ensuring safety. Fleet driver turnover can be quite costly. Investing in your driver fleet also means better driver engagement, higher productivity, and lower costs. But why is now the perfect time to invest in the driver fleet?

Why Should You Consider Investing In Your Driver Fleet?

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s NHTSA conducted a research on 2.2 million crashes and what they found was eye-opening. Environment and vehicle-related factors were the cause of just 6% of crashes while the remaining 94% of crashes were due to drivers. Another research found that there was a 9% increase in crash fatalities between 2016 and 2017 which involved large trucks. The U.S. Department of Labor found that 40% of vehicle accidents were related to work. It is important to note that fleet drivers are more prone to accidents because they are on the road more often than the normal driver who simply wants to drop his kids at school and then go to work.

Fleet accidents are not cheap of course. A study found that any fleet vehicle accident costs twice as much as a workplace injury. This is because it affects revenue, loss in employee productivity, and if the driver is at fault then there are numerous implications which mean the company must bear more costs. As mentioned earlier, most accidents occur because of drivers. Either drivers are distracted or they make poor judgments which leads to crashes. Whichever the case, there is scope to reduce accidents, reduce turnover, and increase driver willingness to drive safely by investing in your driver fleet. When you do so, you can expect higher returns and happier drivers.

How can that be achieved? Well, Gamification is the answer.

How Businesses Can Improve Driver Retention Through Gamification?

Driving isn’t for everyone and fleet driving for sure isn’t every driver’s cup of tea. While the driving itself is often considered boring and mundane, gamification has the ability to make it more fun by adding gaming elements to it. Gamification can be used in any industry and the best part about it is that it can be applied to improve internal and external processes. That is, end-users can benefit from it and so can employees. Yu-Kai Chou, founder of Octalysis Prime and author of Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards, has tons of resources that show the use of gamification in numerous industries and its wide array of benefits.

But what about the fleet industry? Does gamification have a place in the fleet industry and can it prove to be successful in retaining fleet drivers? Absolutely. Gamification is one of the best ways to boost fleet driver performance and retain quality fleet drivers. It can bring in some long-term benefits for fleet companies and fleet drivers. The following are some major benefits of gamification and how they apply to the fleet industry. Gamification can help improve driver retention and performance.

Gamification: The Ultimate Driver Retention Strategy

1. Gamification improves engagement

One of the problems that fleet drivers face is the lack of challenges and the feeling that they are on their own. Gamification can improve engagement in the fleet industry which in turn can boost productivity. Gamification involves several goals and tasks that fleet drivers must complete. Just like in a game, if fleet drivers want to go to a higher level in the ‘game’, they need to complete the first task and then only can they unlock the higher level goals. This type of engagement drives fleet drivers to get better at their jobs and it enables them to unlock their own potential as they know their achievements can help them get rewards.

2. Gamification promotes healthy competition

It is human instinct to be competitive and gamification taps into that. In the fleet industry, you can use gamification to promote healthy competition among fleet drivers. For instance, using leaderboards, you can enable your fleet drivers to check who is performing the best at any given moment. As drivers view where they are ranked, they will be prone to make changes so they can achieve the goal and rank higher in the leaderboard. This type of healthy competition, gets the ball rolling as all fleet drivers are looking to earn the top spot. This mechanism of motivation works using positive reinforcement which has been shown to be more effective than negative reinforcement.

3. Gamification encourages collaboration

You can have weekly or monthly competition between teams. Rather than make fleet drivers feel like they are on their own, gamification can make them feel they are a part of a community and team. For example, fleet drivers in one region can compete with fleet drivers in another region. This can enable people in the same team to work together to attain goals and reap rewards together. This can give rise to collaboration and teamwork. It is particularly helpful for those fleet drivers who have minimal contact with others in your fleet company and enables people to work as a team. This makes for a great work culture where your fleet drivers can excel without any toxicity.

4. Gamification encourages behavior change

Research shows that gamification training sticks to the mind long after the training is over and so what people learn in a gamified experience will stay with them for a long time. For fleet drivers, gamification can help encourage good behavior such as taking safety precautions like staying within speed limits and avoiding distractions while driving. This can help your business reduce costs as vehicle collision rates will decrease and you will save on numerous costs associated with it. The rewards associated with gamification enable fleet drivers to feel recognized and valued. This can go a long way in terms of loyalty as fleet drivers feel appreciated.

5. Gamification provides instant feedback

Instant feedback is important and gamification enables fleet drivers to know when they are going off-track.  Gamification involves showing progress which can enable fleet drivers to know how many tasks need to be completed and how many goals they need to achieve. With the help of real-time data, fleet drivers know what needs to be done instantly and can make changes quickly. This can help them feel empowered and more confident. A feeling of overall well-being can help fleet drivers feel good about their jobs and feel satisfied. This can increase productivity significantly and enable your drivers to drive to the best of their ability. 

6. Gamification allows timely interventions

Fleet managers are able to get insights into how their fleet drivers are performing at every point. You don’t need to wait until something big, such as a crash, occurs to find out about what has been going wrong. Through gamification you can know in real time what is happening and can do something about it instantly. You have various means of measuring how your fleet drivers are doing. This can help create open communication between you and your fleet drivers thereby eliminating hostility. This way fleet drivers feel inspired to improve and are less likely to make the same mistakes again.

7. Gamification ensures compliance

Gamification can be used to comply with company policies, rules, and general safety instructions. As it engages its users, in your case your fleet drivers, more of your employees will follow the rules and comply because they want to ‘win’. As gamification can get addictive, because of the rush that users feel when they keep achieving rewards after reaching a goal, they are more likely to keep behaving in compliant ways every day without even consciously knowing it. This type of good addictive compliant behavior can help you reap short-term and long-term benefits in your fleet. Gamification allows for better compliance.

8. Gamification can make learning fun

For new fleet drivers, gamification can help create intrigue and help them become better learners. Training using gamification can make it more enjoyable and fleet drivers will be more likely to complete the training. Take the example of Walmart that was able to use gamification for safety training. Within two years, it was able to successfully increase safety in all its distribution centers. There was a reported 54% decrease in incidents. Another example is Deloitte which was able to use the principles of gamification in its Deloitte Leadership Academy training.

Conclusion

Gamification by itself has the potential to transform your fleet driver performance. When it is set up right with tools such as Xoxoday’s Compass, you can retain the best fleet drivers who will be more willing to stay and work for you. Using gamification elements in the fleet, drivers will be motivated to work hard and pay attention to their work so they follow safety measures and comply with company rules. Gamification can help fleet managers get the best out of their fleet drivers while cutting costs and having a productive driver workforce.

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