Almost every conversation that includes the word ‘tracking’ comes with some level of distrust and defiance from the group that is on the receiving end. Frankly, who wants a manager looking over their shoulder all day every day waiting for you to make a mistake? When we talk about the use of AVL technology the most prominent purpose of implementing it is the need to change employee behaviors and habits. Yes, it has great value in optimizing routes, dispatching the appropriate and closest resources, and providing management a real-time view of their field assets, but the number one concern in most cases is not knowing how their employees behave once they leave the office. When a company implements an AVL solution they now have a highly granular view of their employees’ driving and work habits and it can be tempting to quickly look for the bad apples and behaviors. For sure, there is almost always one in the group that is taking advantage of the company, but the real opportunity is to drive better behavior by identifying and rewarding the high performers.
Have you ever been to a kid’s soccer, baseball, basketball or football game where the score isn’t being kept? It’s not displayed or tracked, but everyone (kids and parents) knows what it is. Generally speaking, people are competitive and when they know a score is being kept and there is a prize or recognition they perform better. Using the information gathered in an AVL solution can be a great way to show drivers how they are performing relative to their peers as well as how they have done relative to their best day/week/month. Care has to be taken when making the measures so that everyone feels they have an opportunity to ‘win’, but once you have established a system that quickly and easily identifies and rewards the highest performers, behaviors will change. Start with simple measurements and work the data to find areas or groups that perform similar roles where the results can be clearly summarized so everyone knows how they can improve (average MPG, idle time, etc). The prize should be appropriate for the gain to the company and public praise goes a long way.
“Tracking” doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
– By Greg MacMillan (VP of Sales)