This Valentine’s Day, when you take time to recognize the people who matter to you and show them you care, consider adding your fleet drivers to that list of special someone’s.

Studies show that employee recognition has a positive effect on organizational culture.  By incorporating recognition into your fleet safety program, it can help build your organizational safety culture.  Today we’re taking a quick look at the key steps that outline a fleet driver safety recognition program to help reduce the habits that cause accidents and help drivers get home safe.


Understand What Motivates Your Drivers

There are many different forms of recognition, and various types of motivation work for different people. The first step should be to understand the types of recognition your drivers respond to best. Some drivers are motivated more by attaining a personal goal or award, some appreciate public recognition, while others respond to competition among their peers. By understanding your drivers better, you can fine-tune a driver recognition program that motivates and encourages improvement.

No matter how your fleet drivers prefer to be recognized, one thing is certain – recognition has to be a genuine part of your company culture. Fleets implementing driver recognition programs as a one-time solution or band-aid for driver performance issues will never maximize their potential.


Determine the Parameters of Your Program

An effective fleet driver safety program should reflect elements of your company culture, the individual fleet drivers, the types of vehicles that comprise your fleet, and your budget. Initial parameters to consider include:

  • What are the criteria for awards?
  • How will the program be coordinated with driving records and tracking data?
  • How are minor violations handled?
  • How do drivers qualify for recognition awards?
  • Are all drivers eligible to participate?
  • Are awards given at specific milestones or on a set schedule?

By carefully planning out the whos, whys, and hows of your recognition program, drivers will have a much easier time engaging with the program and finding success.


Choose A Platform That Helps You Succeed

There is no doubt that positive engagement with drivers can improve your fleet safety.  But you may not have the resources to add more administration to your workload.  The key is to find a platform that is customizable enough to perform most of the administration for you.

The good news is that there are tools available like CEI’s DriverCare CoPilot® and integrated DriverCare Risk Manager platform, that provide all the needed components to support a driver recognition program, with minimal administrative effort.


Choose Awards and Incentives

The key to developing a fleet driver safety program that works is to ensure that drivers who follow the rules and actively participate in a culture of safety get rewarded for their outstanding work. Those awards will vary widely between organizations depending on company policies, driver feedback, overall culture, and budget. Awards can range from monetary prizes and gift cards to plaques and company announcements to swag like shirts, jackets, mugs, camping chairs, and blankets. Informal surveys with your drivers can help develop a general list of the most appreciated and sought-after products within your budget. Some fleets work with vendors to provide a whole catalog of gifts with a wide range of redemption costs, while others choose more company-focused awards, like the choice to drive a preferred fleet vehicle or access to a reserved parking space.


Don’t Forget Recognition

As stated, people are motivated in different ways.  Some need the prize, and some just want a thank you and recognition for a job well done.  This can be especially important for drivers who needed improvement and  have made noticable changes for the better, but haven’t yet reached the level of safe driving to receive an award.  Be sure to include those “thank yous” in your recognition plan.  They don’t cost you a penny to give, and they can go a long way in building your safety culture.  For recognitions to be impactful they should:

  • Be timely.  Make sure to thank your drivers as soon as you are aware  of their positive performance.
  • Be specific.  Saying, “Thanks for your safe driving this week,” may not be as impactful as, “Thanks for watching your speed this week.  I see you made a real effort to be a safer driver, and I want you to know it didn’t go unnoticed.  Thank you.”
  • Share the good news.  If you copy management up the chain on your recongitions, drivers know their efforts are receiving wider attention, and this can increase the impact of your “thank you.”


Leadership Involvement

Any cultural change must involve the commitment and involvement of your senior leadership.  Not only from a budget support perspective, but also from a messaging perspective.  Again, this would not be a once-and-done thing; it needs their ongoing involvement.

A video message to employees from top leadership about the program and its importance to your organization is a great way to kick things off.  But to maintain momentum, their recognition of top safe drivers at employee events or in organizational communications will be extremely motivational to those drivers who feel rewarded by public recognition.

For the greatest impact, mid-level and direct manager involvement is key.  When drivers see that all levels of management throughout the organization notice their safe driving achievements, it elevates the importance of safe driving.

Having a risk management system, like CEI’s DriverCare Risk Manager, that provides a customized notification structure that match your organizational hierarchy enables you to involve all levels of management easily.


Implement Your Program

Once you fully develop your fleet driver safety recognition program, it’s time to present and implement it for your team. Clear marketing and communication are essential to motivating participation among current drivers and building a culture of driver safety positivity that attracts new talent. There are many communication channels to consider including:

  • Internal newsletters
  • Flyers & posters
  • Meetings
  • Emails
  • Company intranet notices
  • Building monitors
  • Virtual meeting backgrounds

Your communications should highlight the benefits of safe driving to the driver personally and the company overall. Consider what kinds of communication were effective historically in your organization and borrow strategies that work from those campaigns.


Let’s Get Started

Want help figuring out the right way to show your drivers you care?  Contact CEI today and talk with a dedicated fleet professional.

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