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Risk Management

How to Coach Fleet Drivers Using Vehicle Technology Data

Coaching fleet drivers can provide incredible opportunities, but how do you start the discussion? Learn how telematics data can help drive the conversation to achieve long-term, consistent results.

January 14, 2022

Vehicle technology data can provide critical opportunities for training in all fleet types. Provided metrics can measure how well fleet drivers are driving, identifies behaviors that should be redirected through training opportunities and highlights good driving habits that can be reinforced through positive feedback. Recognizing great drivers that avoid accidents and improve efficiencies can reinforce positive techniques in the rest of a fleet.

“You want to provide constructive feedback and coach on observed behaviors,” said Matt McDonough, Director – Risk Services at Safety National. “Initial conversations should start by focusing strictly on what the driver is doing behind the wheel that can be improved.”

These necessary steps can assist in starting the discussion with a driver and acquiring timely results.

Provide constructive feedback.

Not only should feedback be productive, but it should be timely. Delaying the discussion can result in repetitive behaviors or a missed opportunity to recognize behaviors that should be encouraged. If data is showing that a driver is fatigued, it may be time to review their schedule and tasks and have an open discussion regarding health and wellness. This openness allows them to communicate their needs and inform their manager of anything that could be impairing their abilities behind the wheel.

Coach on observed behaviors.

Coaching should always be based on factual data, avoiding accusatory statements. For example, if provided metrics are displaying habitual behaviors like constant speeding, the feedback should be specific to the action of speeding, instead of focusing on each instance of speeding. Drivers are more receptive to change when the feedback is digestible and actionable.

Engage in training and observation for behavioral change.

Allow drivers the opportunity to adjust their behaviors, observing changes in real time and provide adequate coaching. When vehicle data is showing that a driver is repeating the same behaviors, it is necessary to consistently coach. If they are not receiving reliable coaching through their employer, a lapse in expected behaviors is inevitable. Furthermore, backing any coaching with observed behaviors can prove to be more impactful and enduring for a driver.

Ideally, all fleet managers expect consistent, positive driver behaviors, but expecting consistent results from a fleet means an organization must provide timely feedback and coaching. A driver can only be aware of needed improvements through coaching on observed behaviors. If a lack of available driver data is making it particularly difficult to coach drivers, it may be time to invest in the vehicle technology necessary to improve a fleet’s results.