Drivers are the backbone of a fleet management business. You need to keep them happy so that they fulfill their duties in an efficient manner. Disgruntled and unhappy drivers will try to cut corners that could be harmful for the company.

So, how you can keep your drivers happy so that they meet and exceed the expectations? Here are some tips to boost fleet driver satisfaction.

1. Efficient Route Planning

Drivers may become dissatisfied if they are required to be on the road for long hours with little breaks. This will also affect their driving efficiency increasing the risks of accidents. They may even leave the organization if they are required to spend most of the time on the road.

Use route optimization software such as Circuit and Road Warrior that allows you control over the delivery route. You can use the software to plan, update, and communicate the best routes to drivers. Optimizing the route to reduce time on the road can have a positive impact on driver satisfaction.

You should select a route planning software with a geocoding feature that can precise map the coordinates. Moreover, the software should be capable of recording driver history, preferred time slots, prevailing traffic condition, and delivery request options. Real-time data mapping and update is also an important feature of a data visualization tool.

2. Reward Drivers for Safe Driving

Safe driving is of paramount importance for your business. Your business could suffer losses if your drivers drive in a rash manner. It increases the chances of an accident that will have multiple grave consequences for your business.

Accidents due to unsafe driving can injure or worse kill pedestrians or other drivers. It also puts the live of your driver as well. Your company can incur huge costs due in the form of compensation paid to the victims. Vehicle repair costs will also add to the losses.

To avoid the losses, you should encourage safe driving. Acknowledge and reward drivers when they drivers with safe driving record every six months. You should also reward drivers who follow best practices when driving that result in fuel savings.

3. Get Feedback from Drivers

Driver participation can help improve their morale. Usually, drivers have a lot of information that can be help the managers in improving operational efficiencies.

You should get feedback from the drivers regarding route planning. It is also important to get their input for improving the workflow. Moreover, you should also ask them about things that could result in a pleasant driving experience such as short breaks when on a long route, Bluetooth connectivity or satellite radio.

Acting on the feedback is important to improve driver satisfaction. You should not just get their input but also make decisions based on the feedback.

4. Set Realistic Performance Expectations

One of the most common reasons for driver dissatisfaction is unrealistic expectations. A lot of managers set targets that are not possible in real life situations. This inevitably results in high turnover rates due to which the company loses experienced drivers.

Consider involving the drivers in setting targets. Also, make sure the performance targets are clearly communicated to the drivers.

5. Access to Facilities

Drivers spend most time of the day outdoors driving. But this does not mean that they should not be offered any facilities. Consider giving them free gym membership that they can avail when they are not driving.

You can also offer them on-site lunch and beverages. Some fleet companies are offering healthy snack at the office so that the drivers remain fit and healthy.

6. Treat with Respect

Many studies have shown that pay is not the only incentive at work. Drivers also want appreciation and respect at work. Treating them with respect and rewarding their contributions can go a long way in creating loyal and dedicated drivers.

UPS rewards drivers who show exceptional performance. The company organizes events where drivers are honored for maintaining a safe record. It has created a Circle of Honor program in which drivers with a safe driving record for more than five years. The company also organizes a special event where it honors drivers who have displayed exceptional driving performance for 25 or more years.

7. Proper Onboarding Process

Many new drivers face difficulty in understanding the work requirements. The confusion is caused due to a lack of proper onboarding process. It is essential that the new drivers are provided the training and resources so that they are able to perform the job as expected.

Regular communication is important for new employees. Tell them about the work process and how drivers contribute to the process. Proper training and communication is vital to improve satisfaction of new drivers.

8. Focus on Drivers’ Work-Life Balance

One of the main reasons for high turnover rates of drivers is long hours away from home. You should allow drivers to spend time with their families during the weekends. Consider giving them two days off for every 50 hours of driving or 5,000 miles.

The human resource department should create a job rotation arrangement that allows drivers some rest after a long drive. Allowing drivers to take some rest will greatly improve job satisfaction. A work-life balance will result in a more committed and productive drivers.

9. Regular Fleet Maintenance and Cleaning

Clean and well maintained vehicles will greatly enhance the driver satisfaction. Make sure that the vehicles are regularly maintained to ensure driver safety. Not maintaining the vehicles at regular intervals puts the lives of the drivers at risk.

Moreover, keeping the vehicles clean and shiny will also boost driver’s morale. The fuel efficiency of vehicles will also improve after cleaning since dirt and dust create a drag. In addition, it will project a positive image on your customers.

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