Managing the Financial Side of Commercial Fleets

How to Develop a Corporate Culture of Fleet Policy Compliance

November 2008, by Mike Antich - Also by this author


Fleet managers have countless stories of drivers blatantly violating fleet policy with the refrain, "I didn’t know we weren’t supposed to do that." Whether it is using a cell phone while driving, or buying premium fuel instead of regular unleaded, fleet managers refer to this phenomenon as "driver amnesia." In my discussions with fleet management companies over the years, they tell me the best managed fleets tend to be those whose drivers adhere to a written fleet policy. Does your corporate culture encourage compliance with fleet policy?

Adherence to fleet policy is crucial and should be part of each company’s overall business strategy. Once a policy is established, it is the fleet manager’s responsibility to communicate it to drivers. Each of your drivers should know the rules governing the use of a company vehicle and what actions will be taken for noncompliance. An all too common problem is that the fleet manager communicates policy to the drivers’ managers, but the policy doesn’t get communicated to individual drivers. To avoid this problem, many companies teach policies and procedures regarding company vehicles as part of new-employee orientations and provide printed fleet policy manuals with each vehicle.


A Culture that Encourages Compliance

The fleet manager must have the authority and backing of senior management to address a driver’s inability to operate and maintain an assigned vehicle in conformance with fleet policy. This authority allows the fleet manager to address violations of fleet policy without approval or direction from upper management. With this in mind, it is critical a fleet manager makes sure all drivers uniformly adhere to company fleet policy. There should be no exceptions to your company vehicle policies.

To ensure drivers observe fleet policy, it needs senior management backing. It is only when senior management communicates this message to the rank-and-file and begins to hold drivers accountable can you expect to see the emergence of a corporate culture conducive to policy compliance.

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