Making tracks with GPS software
By Jenny Shiner04 March 2019
GPS tracking software has become much more than a tactical solution to receive updates on vehicle locations. The technology is helping companies take a strategic approach to fleet management. Many businesses are using the systems to help drive return on investment (ROI) and solve significant business challenges. To accomplish this, opening the lines of communication with drivers about GPS tracking is crucial to achieving the big picture plans of a fleet management strategy.
With that said, how do you set up a positive perception of GPS tracking with your drivers and operators? Although the technology benefits the bottom line for the business, it’s common for employees not to be on the same page from the start. GPS tracking is often thought of as “Big Brother.” Employees may not understand how and why this technology is important.
To help drive a GPS tracking program’s success, company management needs to talk with employees about the program and answer their questions head-on. To start the conversation, learn more about the top questions about how to introduce GPS tracking to employees to gain acceptance.
How should you answer employee concerns about GPS tracking?
It’s important to listen to objections employees have about GPS tracking and answer them with complete transparency. It will open the door to a conversation that can help alleviate their concerns. The most common concern employees have is that GPS tracking is overly intrusive. Drivers who have worked in the industry for a long time without the use of GPS tracking may not fully understand it or think that it’s being introduced because management doesn’t trust them.
Explaining that using GPS tracking is not about a lack of trust, but instead, it is about incorporating tools that will create better results for the business can help put their concerns to rest. When there is technology available to help solve difficult business challenges, help perform jobs more efficiently and increase revenue, it makes good business sense to use it. Sharing the benefits for the business and reassuring employees that it will not be overly intrusive will increase positive perception of the technology.
When should you tell employees the business is using GPS tracking?
Some fleet owners and managers are concerned about employees reacting negatively to their business using a GPS platform to track their vehicles, so they start using the system without introducing the technology to drivers and then surprise them with punishments. However, it is strongly advised to discuss the plans to use GPS tracking with drivers before using the data. While it’s common to conduct a pilot of the technology without telling employees to gather benchmark data, it’s recommended that you make employees aware before using the data to hold them accountable during coaching.
Using GPS tracking to monitor vehicle locations without employee knowledge usually results in backlash and creates a negative perception of the technology. Along with the backlash, the coaching is unlikely to stick. It is important to be upfront and honest about the use the technology from the beginning.
How does GPS tracking benefit employees?
One of the best ways to gain acceptance from drivers is to discuss the ways GPS tracking can benefit them directly. GPS tracking helps businesses solve many challenges like increasing safety, improving driver accountability and making operations more efficient. When the organization runs as effectively as possible, it has a direct impact on revenue.
One of the best benefits for employees is the potential to increase their salaries or hourly wages. One of the most popular uses cases for GPS tracking data for performance-based pay is gamification. Incentive programs are a great way to improve fleet metrics and motivate employees at the same time. A Driver Scorecard Report ranks drivers/vehicles based on speeding, rapid acceleration/deceleration and idle time. Using this report helps fleet management reward drivers for where they dare doing great, and clearly show what areas they need to improve to receive their incentives.
Should we share the business challenges that caused the need?
When introducing GPS tracking, organizations often ask if they should talk about the challenges that brought up the need for vehicle tracking. It is advised to share these issues because open communication is essential during change management, as well as providing specific examples of how these challenges will be solved.
If speeding citations are higher than industry standards, fuel costs are at an all-time high, or maybe an employee was using their vehicle after work hours, it is okay to share that information with employees. Presenting how a GPS tracking system can help solve these challenges is important and will help employees understand why the business needs it to achieve better results in the future.
How do we set rules around the use of GPS tracking data?
It should not be a surprise to drivers when they are held accountable for their behavior with GPS tracking data. That’s why it is a best practice to write driver policies for when and where GPS tracking will be used and share this information with employees before the procedure is put into action. When employees understand what is expected of them, there should be little to no backlash when this information is used for coaching or to hold them responsible for their performance.
When employees are on board, companies can start connecting the data to their fleet management strategy and achieve significant results in fleet safety, efficiency, productivity and cost savings. Employees will gain a positive perception of GPS tracking when managers explain how and why the technology will be used, they can participate in open conversations with company leaders and learn about the benefits obtainable.