Improve Driver Behavior with a Driver Incentive Program

driver incentive program

“What’s in it for me?” Most people are far more likely to do something difficult when they know they’re going to get something in return.

The drivers in your fleet are no exception. You can tell them endlessly to follow their routes, obey speed limits, avoid hard braking, and drive safely for road conditions. But offering them incentives for elevating their driving performance, will further motivate your drivers to strive to reach their full potential.

Why, then, don’t more fleets have a driver incentive program? We think it’s a combination of factors. Some firms probably don’t believe it’s worth the investment. Others may see the value but aren’t sure how to set up a program that’s run fairly and easy to manage.

Let’s start with the first objection. We at Gridline are convinced you’ll get a much greater payback on your driver behavior program when you turn it into a driver incentive program.

As for how you should implement such a program, focus on gamification.

How to Gamify Your Driver Incentive Program

Gamification is a way of turning job duties into a fun contest or friendly competition. According to a Research and Markets report, the global gamification market will nearly quadruple between 2020 and 2026. Gamification works because it taps into two common human traits: competitiveness, and the desire to be rewarded. Many of your drivers likely enjoy showing off their skills and proving that they’re better than their peers. And everyone loves rewards that go beyond salary and benefits.

Geotab offers five best practices for fleet gamification:

  • Choose your key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Review results regularly.
  • Coach your drivers to support behavior change.
  • Provide immediate, continuous feedback to drivers.
  • Ask your employees which rewards they prefer.

Implementing Your Driver Incentive Program

Gamification will be an essential element of your driver incentive program. What else should you keep in mind? Here are five essential steps for launching your program:

  • Monitor driver behavior. Put driver-facing and road-facing dash cams in place to gather video on what your drivers are doing out on the road.
  • Send drivers notifications. Use a system that can notify your drivers about their best performances as well as their riskiest incidents.
  • Score your drivers. Tally up each driver’s metrics to get a clear picture of how they’re doing overall. This way, you’ll avoid making judgments based on a few outlier incidents.
  • Compare each driver’s current performance to their past performance and that of other drivers. Identify the drivers who are steadily improving—and those who are getting sloppy. And get full context for performance by comparing each driver to their peers.
  • Award incentives. Give prizes to your top performers, and broadcast these awards to your entire fleet to inspire healthy competition that leads to better performance from everyone.

How do you choose prizes that will motivate everyone equally? One option is to provide prizes that everyone could use such as grocery gift cards. Another option is to implement a scoring system and award points for outstanding performance. Your drivers can then save up points to purchase prizes from a catalog or list. As Geotab noted in its best practices for gamification, it’s a good idea to ask your drivers what kinds of awards they would like to receive and add them to your prize list. The grocery gift card or the list of options to choose from don’t need to be expensive (think $25 or less), and this small investment will see large returns in your driver behavior and overall business profitability.

There’s one more thing to keep in mind for your driver incentive program: don’t forget to accentuate the positive. It’s tempting to focus on flagging unsafe driving behaviors and rewarding drivers for avoiding them. But you should also offer incentives for good behaviors such as hitting delivery windows, staying within speed limits, and maintaining proper following distance. One program that can help is Netradyne’s Driver Stars program, which serves up videos to drivers to show them their best and worst performances from the past week.

When it comes to implementing a new driver incentive program, we understand it can feel like another item to add to your growing list of things to do. However, there are ways to reap the benefits of rewarding your drivers without adding more to your plate. To start, you can automate the process with AI dash cams to capture data on driver behavior and report their actions. There are also third parties that will administer the entire rewards program for you.

See It All in Action

There are three key parts to any successful driver incentive program. The first is telematics, which provides information on driver behavior. The second is dual-facing dash cams which enhance the rewards program by allowing you to manage more robust KPIs. And then there’s Gridline Analytics – the solution to pull all driver performance metrics together. Gridline Analytics supports an incentive program by making sure managers, supervisors, and drivers can all trust that the data informing the program is accurate and telling a clear story about driver performance.

Would you like to see how this all works? Contact Gridline today for a free demo.