Getting the Most from GPS Fleet Tracking without Being Big BrotherAugust 17, 2012 by: Carol Jacobson
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system…It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time…You had to live…in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” From 1984, Chapter 1, by George Orwell
You’ve thought about GPS fleet tracking for a while. It could save you money: fuel costs, overtime. It could increase productivity allowing more jobs to be completed each day. Oh, the improvements you could make within your business with those little, innocent black boxes.
But wait. You worry that your crew will fear you; fear “Big Brother.” If you deploy a tracking system, they will worry that they are “being watched at any given moment…every movement scrutinized” (1984, George Orwell). But you’re not Big Brother. You’re not interested in calling out your employees on every little detail. You want to better your business and you want your crew to feel valued and appreciated during the process.
Here are a few tips on how to make that happen.
1. Be Transparent: Let your drivers know upfront that you plan to implement a GPS tracking system. Not informing them will only lead to distrust if, or should we say when, they find out. An important aspect of being transparent is letting your drivers know why you want to use a fleet tracking system – that reason being you want to capture real data that will allow you to make improvements within the business.
2. Set Expectations: Once you’ve told your drivers about the tracking system, let them know what your expectations are. Do you want to reduce idle time? Do you want to reduce overtime? Maybe you just want to complete one extra job per driver per day. Let them know. And help them understand how you’ll accomplish this together.
3. Explain the Benefits: Yes, you know that tracking your fleet will benefit your company. But let your drivers know how they’ll benefit. Having a tracking solution allows drivers to get turn-by-turn directions and enhances emergency and safety responses. But GPS tracking can also be like the friend who’s got your back, rather than Big Brother watching behind your back. A tracking system can protect drivers from accusations of speeding, accidents, improper behavior and late job arrival.
4. Create Incentives: Set goals and provide rewards. Maybe you are trying to reduce idle time. Encourage your drivers to use the system to reach your idle-time goal and then reward those (perhaps, with a gift card or free lunch) with the lowest time. Hand out Performance Awards – publish the top 5/bottom 5 performers each week and reward those who do well, and especially those who improve. Coach your drivers and help them succeed and be at the top of their game.
For more information on GPS fleet tracking and Big Brother, download our whitepaper, “GPS Vehicle Tracking: Dispelling the ‘Big Brother’ Myth.”