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Winning The Fleet Tracking Debate

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Companies across the UK are reaping the rewards of GPS fleet tracking with major improvements in efficiency and customer service standards. It's worth remembering, however, that there's still some scepticism among employees about fleet tracking, and although drivers don't formally need to give their consent, keeping them on side is paramount in order to implement successfully.

If you're introducing this technology for the first time, we suggest that you bear the following things in mind... 

Inform drivers early on

First of all, you need to keep drivers fully informed about your plans to introduce fleet tracking. Trust is, after all, essential to good workplace relations. If you keep your plans to introduce GPS fleet tracking technology under wraps until the last minute, this will only make drivers suspicious. By contrast, discussing the matter openly with them is the most effective way of keeping drivers on board. Drivers are generally becoming less sceptical of telematics, but it is nevertheless still important to keep them in the loop to avoid any misunderstandings.

Give employees the opportunity to ask any questions they might have - this is a good way of dispelling any lingering concerns.

Explain clearly how you intend to use fleet tracking

You should take the time to explain where and how you intend to use GPS fleet tracking. It may be that you intend to use it in vehicles which employees use outside of working hours. This isn't necessarily unreasonable, but it is best to be honest and upfront about it if this is what you plan to do. A straightforward explanation of your fleet tracking policy should encompass which data will be stored, whether and how it will be used in employee evaluations, and when data will be gathered.

It's also worth pointing out that new EU regulations are set to strengthen data protection rules relating to how data is stored and used. These regulations will affect all firms trading in the EU, so will apply to UK companies doing business in the single market post-Brexit.

Explain the benefits - to employer and employee

Introducing fleet tracking benefits both employer and employee, in different ways. You should take the time to explain that the technology is to the mutual advantage of both sides. For example, fleet tracking helps to enhance driver safety by alerting fleet managers when an individual vehicle has been stationary for an extended period. This could be an indication of an accident or mechanical issue, and fleet tracking allows for a quicker response.

No doubt a lot of employees will start by thinking that GPS fleet tracking is a kind of Big Brother watching them wherever they go. In reality, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, fleet tracking enhances communication, efficiency, safety and routing - making the drivers' jobs easier - as well as reliability for the customer. But you should take the time to clear up any misconceptions. This will help the technology gain acceptance among the workforce.

Get employees used to fleet tracking through training

Training is also crucial when introducing fleet tracking. Both drivers and fleet managers alike need to be given a comprehensive overview of how to use fleet tracking technology and how they'll have to deal with it in their everyday work. Even though fleet tracking systems are increasingly user-friendly, not everyone takes to new technology like a duck to water, so you have to remember this. Also, fleet tracking technology continues to evolve, so you'll need to continually provide training and support as new methods are introduced in future. Teletrac Navman offers comprehensive and ongoing support for customers implementing telematics software.

Don't let employees think you don't trust them

One thing you need to emphasise is that you're not introducing fleet tracking because you don't have faith in your workforce. This is one of the first concerns they'll have - that you're introducing fleet tracking purely as a disciplinary measure. Instead, you should point out that the gains of fleet tracking are so substantial that the technology has long since become an industry standard, and fleet operators that don't adopt it risk falling way behind their competitors.

With a bit of tact, you should find that your workforce can be won round pretty easily to welcome the introduction of fleet tracking. Transparency and a willingness both to explain and to listen to the opinions of the affected drivers themselves will help to simplify that process considerably.

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