When it comes to training your tuck drivers to operate safer out on the nation’s roads, why not add an element of competition to incentivize behavioral change on a macro scale. We’re here to tell you exactly how to do that.
Take a peer group and set up a competition system, whether your truck drivers are working individually or within a team. Turn safe driving into a competition and offer prizes to truck drivers who play “the game” the best.
First you want to set up the goals for your safety competition.
Using SMART Goals
One of the most effective goal-setting techniques in the modern corporate world is that of SMART goals. SMART stands for:
As one example of how you can use SMART goals to create a better safety paradigm within your fleet is if you want to decrease overall idle time to less than 15 minutes per day. Pick a specific time period and choose your factors. You may want to focus on several goals at a time, and that is fine, but make sure your goals do not overlap or cause confusion. You want your truck drivers to understand and buy-in to the program. It should be more than simple safety window dressing.
Once you have selected your measurable factors and chosen your timeline, you want to establish behavioral patterns you wish to see changed. You can measure behavioral changes through hard baseline data.
Using Data to Reach your Goals
In order to figure out how well your fleet is doing at meeting the goals, it will be important to collect the data and determine a method for analyzing it. You want at least 30 days of control data, regardless of the time frame parameters of your competition. Make sure you do not notify those in the competition pool of the pre-defined parameters so that you don’t tempt them to try and game the system.
Once you have the data collected, use it to determine whether you have set a realistic timeline for the program. Also make sure you are taking outside factors into consideration. If you are trying to set up a competition surrounding idle time, you don’t want to hold bad weather or construction against them within the game.
What Are Your Incentives?
Of course, the only way you will see real results from the program is if there is a winner or group of winners. You could also create specific categories of winners, whether it be “Least Idle Time” or “Most On-Time Deliveries.” With larger groups you may want to have more winners.
Remember, the best way to inventivize real change is to create a realistic program. You could use cash prizes, gift cards, company schwag, more off-hours, or other things you think your truck drivers or employees may find particularly meaningful. Above all, make sure there is a reasonable chance to have a winner every time.
Transparency is extremely important to ensure you have buy-in for your program. You could place stats or standings in the break room or provide an online portal your truckers can log into to see where they rank. This helps motivate participants to do better by creating a little open friendly competition among them.
Finally, use the data to provide actionable tips and tricks to your truck drivers. Use the information you find to enhance your overall training endeavors. Whether you use a classroom-type setting, online video, or in-cab prompts, there are many ways you can use the data to increase safety measures.
Of course, in the end, the most important thing is making sure your truck drivers are both safe and happy. Utilizing friendly competition to accomplish these goals is a healthy way to do it.