Why Vehicle and Driver Data is Good for Both Companies and Drivers
While the benefits of connected car data have been well-documented by analysts, case studies, fleet experts and others, the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) from the driver’s perspective has been missing. Or, if it has been told, it’s been through a negative lens (snooping, big-brother, penalties, etc.). As such, there is understandable resistance from drivers to fully embrace connected vehicle data.
Here are a few ways you can engage with your team to help them understand and accept — if not appreciate — your investment in connected car data.
Be transparent about what data you collect.
As you likely know, there are many rumors and misconceptions about what companies do with data. This is true for your browsing history, credit card purchases and even location data on your phone. So it’s likely your drivers have a healthy skepticism about personal or personally-identifiable data.
Your job is to help reduce their fears by telling them exactly what is tracked, and how. For most fleets that will mean: vehicle location, vehicle trips, hard braking and acceleration, idling time and speeding.
In nearly every case, the driver her or himself is capable of directly influencing those metrics and reports. Drivers who follow regulations and guidelines, who practice safe and responsible driving and who use the vehicle for its intended purpose should welcome the chance to demonstrate their value to you.
You might want to consider showing them your dashboard, so they can see how the information is shared and displayed. This will remove any misguided or unfounded fears about the data itself.
Convey the benefits to the company.
Help them understand how that data benefits the company, and indirectly their station.
Beyond showing them the data, connect the dots for them. If they understand that reducing speeding and hard braking can reduce accidents, that reduces insurance costs, they will understand. If they can see that the aggregate fuel expenses of idling are increasing overall fuel costs, and how that hurts the bottom line, they might be convinced to turn off the engine. If they can see how route tracking can lead to more efficient planning so they can get home earlier (or don’t have to rush to make their deliveries), they will appreciate it.
These are just a few examples – there’s no doubt you can internalize this for your operations. But the key here is to connect why you collect data to how it benefits the business.
Help them understand how that data benefits them personally.
That said, if you can show them how they personally benefit from the data, even better. Talk to your drivers. Ask them:
- Do you want to be able to demonstrate (and be recognized for) your safe driving?
- Do you want to be able to show you are a responsible driver that uses vehicles for their intended purposes?
- Do you want to be able to show that you make smart choices that benefit the company?
- Do you want to be able to continuously improve so you can get raises, better shifts, better routes, etc.
It’s likely that the vast majority of drivers on your team will want all of these. These are the people you want; these are the people who will ensure your success. All you are doing is giving them a platform where their good performance can be identified, recognized and rewarded. Anyone who does not want this is likely not the right fit for your team, or even worse, a liability that could end up costing you significantly.
Exactly what and how you engage with employees on these subjects is up to you. We can’t recommend strongly enough, however, that you make the effort. Your team will appreciate it and it will most likely accelerate adoption and/or reduce resistance to your new data initiatives.