Q. I see a lot of talk about driver accountability and safety — but how can I make that work for my fleet?
A. As with any safety program, you need to avoid looking for a cookie-cutter solution, but, that being said, there are some general principles you can follow when implementing driver accountability.
Accountability begins with a clearly written and fully transparent driver-centered policy document that includes a reward-penalty structure. This structure should include clear steps of escalation up to and including firing for drivers who don’t adhere to it.
Accountability shouldn’t be one-sided with the driver expected to have all the responsibilities. You have a responsibility to your drivers to communicate regular updates and changes to the policy. You also have a responsibility to inform drivers when they’ve violated policy and offer them ways to improve — if accountability is only punitive, you could adversely affect morale, productivity, and increase driver turnover rate.
Having a rewards system in place is a way to encourage good driving behavior. Using scorecards from a telematics or other fleet management system is a good method to keep the scoring objective. Rewards can range from cash bonuses, extra time off, or even a trophy — but it should be public and the competition periods regularly restarted.
However you implement a program of driver accountability, it should have at its heart keeping drivers and everyone else on the road safe.