When you’re in charge of a truck fleet, driver safety should be paramount. As demands on truck drivers increase and the availability of drivers decreases, the industry is experiencing difficulties.
For trucking companies, safety incentive programs should be at the core of their loss prevention programs, not only to protect drivers, but to protect the company’s profits and bottom line. With that said, below are some benefits of implementing a driver safety incentive program as well as how to create a winning program that sticks.
While many companies have safety programs and driver training in place, a formal safety incentive program clarifies the term “safe driving.” It tells drivers exactly what they will be evaluated on, uses hard data for performance reviews and helps make sure recognition is fair.
Defining the safety incentive program goals will help build a solid foundation, allowing managers and employees to focus on what matters. Objectives should be clear, realistic, and attainable, yet challenging enough to build interest and keep truck drivers engaged.
Choosing the right rewards will be key to keeping truck drivers motivated. While cash incentives are usually the biggest motivator for employees, companies do not need to shell out large amounts of cash every quarter. Offering a combination of cash rewards and recognition awards are usually enough to be a strong motivator, leading to safer driving practices and money saved by avoiding the costs associated with a collision.
Some popular types of rewards include:
- Cash incentives and bonuses
- Gift certificates
- Public recognition by management at company events
- Personalized plaques
- Points that can be redeemed for prizes
- Number of accident-free miles on the side of the truck
Don’t expect to get your driver safety incentive program 100% perfect on the first try. Instead, be prepared to consistently evaluate success by keeping good records. When doing a cost-benefit analysis, be sure to consider the direct and indirect costs associated with the program’s objective and bear in mind that safety programs may take some time to show their true return. Is the business growing year over year? Is the company losing fewer drivers? Is it getting more recognition among peers? These are all ways to weigh the benefits of a safety program and determine its value.