Preparing for successful implementation of your fleet safety programme in 3 steps
The safety of your employees while on the road is top of mind if you have responsibility over your companies fleet. But, you know that simply asking people to pay attention and drive carefully isn’t enough. Lasting change – and safety – calls for a safety programme that is supported by your Fleet Manager, your HR Manager as well as your Corporate Responsibility Department. If you’re struggling getting everybody on board, you might want to take a look at these 3 proven steps for successful implementation of a fleet safety programme.
1 – Know your facts
A compelling story is essential to convincing your stakeholders of the value of a safety programme. So, to start off with, give them an insight into the as-is situation (and what it’s costing!). Include facts and figures covering essentials, such as:
• The total number of accidents over previous years
• Number of lawsuits
• Most common type of accident
• Were there any bodily injuries or even fatalities?
• How often was the driver at fault?
• The loss ratio and insurance premium development over time
Based on these facts, it’s easy to make a projection of potential savings. For instance, what are the effects of a 30% reduction in the number of accidents resulting from a successful safety programme? But, also think of the positive effects on, for instance:
• Driver down-time
• Insurance deductibles
• Rental car costs
• Knock-on effect on insurance premium
• Knock-on effect on fuel costs and CO2 emission (defensive driving can save 5% on fuel)
2 – Create buy-in
Once you’ve calculated the costs and benefits of a safety programme, it’s time to create buy-in. A programme that is supported by all levels of your organisation is a powerful programme. It means that you – and your company – are serious about safety. Our experience is that, employees will be more likely to participate if senior management supports the programme. In addition, explain the need for monitoring and measuring to your drivers: data collection can infringe on privacy issues. Therefore, check that you get driver consent where needed.
3 – Know what you are offering to whom
Do you want all drivers to participate in the programme or only those drivers who have a high business mileage? Or those with a poor track record? What will the actual programme consist of and will it be the same for everybody? Or are you going to tailor the programme to individual driver needs? Obviously, the larger your scope, the higher the programme costs. An effective way of determining your scope is to draw up a risk profile for each individual driver. This will help you focus your efforts (and spend) where they’re likely to be most effective.
Once you have a baseline assessment, the buy-in and a clear scope, you’re ready to launch the programme. But, before doing so, be sure you clearly communicate the reason and the objectives of the programme to all stakeholders. Getting people on board is one thing, keeping them there will be your next challenge. So be clear on what you expect them to do and within what timeframe. Sending out a regular newsletter, in which you focus on the progress and results of the programme, can be a good way to enthuse people and keep them involved.
Key success factors:
Buy-in – A programme that is not supported by senior management will be taken less seriously and will be difficult to implement.
Scope – It should be clear upfront what will be offered to whom. Without a clear project scope, the programme will be unmanageable.
Message – Send out a positive message to ensure maximum enthusiasm: ‘We care about your safety’ sounds much more inviting than ‘You’re being sent on a training course because of your poor track record’.
Timing – Launch the programme at an appropriate time. For instance, avoid summer holidays. Also, allow participants sufficient time to plan in their safety assignments or do their training.
Monitor and measure – Stakeholders will want to know if the programme is effective. Measure and monitor key performance indicators before and during implementation (e.g. number and type of accidents, loss ratio, fuel consumption and fines) and keep an eye on completion rates and results.