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The Driving At Work Policy And Accountability For Fleet Safety Managers

I recently met a fleet operator with an increasing collision frequency and increasing vehicle repair costs. The conversation turned to employee accountability and the need for a Driving At Work Policy.

Employees who drive as part of their job role need to be looking after themselves, other road users, their company vehicle and the reputation of their employer. An employee needs to be accountable for all these aspects.

A foundation for holding employees accountable is to make the driving standards of the business clear and apply those standards through the management hierarchy. The standards can be communicated to employees using a Driving At Work Policy.

I took some inspiration from Patrick Lencioni and his well-known book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and developed a driver accountability pyramid.

The Pyramid Base

This process starts with the senior management team recognising that fleet safety standards need to improve. Consult staff on the expected driving standards and targets for improvement. This builds trust between managers and employees and sets the scene for the fleet safety programme

Building a team of employees who are stakeholders in the safe operation of the fleet of vehicles can work well.

Ensure that there is a channel for employees from around the organisation to comment on the development of the fleet safety programme. Employees will feel more connected to the programme if they feel they have been part of the development process.

Work with your employees to set attainable goals for collision prevention. Set a small number of memorable goals to drive for work. 

Develop a timeline for developing and implementing the programme and communicate the timeline to the rest of the organisation.

Step Two – Clear Management Responsibilities

I meet with many fleet operators and rarely see managers given clear responsibilities for managing fleet safety. Agreeing clear responsibilities for managing driver performance gives clarity and removes role conflict. The Driving At Work Policy can clearly define management responsibilities.

Step Three – Key Metrics

Based on those responsibilities, managers should be provided with key metrics.  These metrics need to be both positive and negative indicators linked to the management of driver performance. These arrangements will gain their commitment to fleet safety management.

Driver Accountability

Employees who drive for the business should now have a simple management system to follow in relation to fleet safety. This could include collision reporting procedures, vehicle inspection procedures, damage reporting requirements, vehicle reversing procedures etc. Their responsibilities and metrics should link with the responsibilities of their line managers. Measuring the actions taken will encourage the development of accountability.

By setting visible, clear and attainable goals, the all important performance review process can be transparent and fair.

Your employees should find solutions to fleet safety problems so ownership is developed. This will complete the loop and link to the first stage of the pyramid.

The Pinnacle Of Collision Prevention

The top of the pyramid is a reduction in vehicle collisions. Driver accountability and a management system that gives clear responsibilities and actively monitored outcomes provide the required result.

The Fleet Safety Academy Accountabiity Pyramid

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