Why are drivers expected to read chapter & verse?
Over the years I've spoken to many professional drivers about the way they get their information & what they do with it.
Be it weather updates or traffic news, legislation or industry changes their response (more often than not) always comes back to the same thing; they want quick, clear messages understood & absorbed. Then on with the job of driving.
So why then, do so many companies routinely issue their drivers with page after page of data, stats, rules & changes? I've seen countless policies, procedures, safe systems of working etc. that are 8 or 9 pages long, written in Arial 10 with no images, context or a break in play. Does the person writing these things actually think about the driver, or is it just a case of ticking a box?
The fact is that after the third page many of us would have trouble remembering all the to-dos, & it's not like reading a book; drivers are expected to adjust their behaviour, attitude & / or technique which requires additional thought & planning. Have you ever tried to change the way you do something, only to slip back into old habits? I know I have.
It's also difficult to measure the effectiveness of these word-bombs. How can you be sure a driver's read & understood something & not simply scanned through it? Yes, there's a signature & date at the bottom but does that really mean anything? Or is it back to the dreaded box ticking process?!
Companies should start to think carefully about the way they convey messages to their drivers. Can these policies etc. be condensed? I think, in most cases, they can.
As a basic rule of thumb, a driver needs to know 4 things. What's the issue? How do we deal with it? Who's involved? What's the desired outcome?
There's an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment from the company in these policies too. After all, most transport firms aren't run by a Dictator... :) By explaining what the company commits to do, the drivers will buy into the messaging more effectively. It becomes less us & them, more us & us.
These principles are what I use when developing products for Easyfleetr customers. Using the brief I can normally create, for example, a policy that's no more than 2 or 3 pages long. I break up the text, throw in an independent fact or two, use images, define confusing terms or abbreviations, provide useful tips where relevant & explain what the company will also do.
I believe this approach can help to change the way drivers respond & react to company requirements. By stripping away words, drivers take more in. By showing it's about collaboration, drivers feel less isolated. By using independent facts, drivers can understand the bigger picture.
Some customers have been initially confused about how Easyfleetr works; do they just buy items from the selection on offer? How is it relevant for each customer? The simple fact is that I develop products based on what's been asked for through the website & during the follow up correspondence. If there's nothing that already fits the bill then I develop each bespoke product, which can take some time to prepare!
How can I offer products so cheaply? Because although it might take a couple of days to write something, I'm able to offer a general, anonymised version after the customer's received it. This means I have a better chance at recovering my time & investment!
If you'd like to use an Easyfleetr product with your drivers, or you know someone who might be interested, then I can provide an example; simply contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, if you find something that fits the bill, simply enter 'WINTER10' at checkout to get 10% off.
Ultimately I want to help customers communicate more effectively with their drivers, & for drivers to feel more able to take in the information they need.