“If you’re miserable at work, what does that do to your family? As leaders, we have a stewardship and responsibility to our people to create an amazing environment so they can go home and have energy for the people who matter most.”
Josh Turley, the CEO of RTA, reiterated that point as he talked about the importance of establishing an Intentional Culture during the closing of the second Fleet Success Summit.
The event, held in Las Vegas from March 21-22, brought together fleet professionals from various industries to spend two days focusing on skills fleet leaders don’t always get at other conferences – leadership, business, and technology.
These skills are often overlooked to focus on the day-to-day trials of incorporating electric vehicles into your fleet, hiring more drivers, creating a succession plan for retiring technicians, trying to find parts for your vehicles and more. Yet these are necessary to help you – and your operation – succeed.
The Fleet Success Summit focused on the Four Pillars of Fleet Success: Stakeholder Satisfaction, Intentional Culture, Resource Efficiency, and Risk Management. Over two days, 12 speakers spoke on topics related to these pillars to provide fleet leaders with tips they could bring back to their operations.
Living up to the expectations of those who depend on the job you do.
When talking about Stakeholder Satisfaction, the speakers at the Fleet Success Summit focused on the importance of knowing who your stakeholders are, why the work you do matters to them, and why it’s so important to establish a plan for how to achieve Stakeholder Satisfaction.
Christine Rogers, the President and COO of Aspireship, posed this question to attendees:
“How do we focus on stakeholder satisfaction when it feels like we’re forced to make impossible business decisions that will likely upset at least one of the key stakeholders we serve?”
This is something fleet leaders must deal with ALL the time.
And Craig Grabow, the Fleet Manager of Southwest Region Fleet Transportation in the U.S. Marine Corps, gave attendees tactical tips on how to satisfy their stakeholders, including making a plan to set clear expectations.
Purposely deciding the type of environment you want in your fleet and taking ownership to shape that identity.
The heart of the Fleet Success Summit is Intentional Culture. This topic gets a lot of attention at the event because it’s probably the least talked about pillar at other fleet conferences.
When you are focused on keeping vehicles on the roads, completing maintenance, and keeping your shop staffed, you’re likely not taking the time to think about the culture at your operation.
But it matters.
Your culture can impact how likely you are to retain employees and recruit new ones.
Turley, Sam Bradford of Dutch Bros., Anita Grantham of BambooHR, and Mike Pitcher, the former CEO of LeasePlan USA, spoke to attendees on this topic.
“Culture is happening whether you want it to or not,” Pitcher said.
The speakers gave attendees tips on how to achieve Intentional Culture – including just taking the time to focus on your people and make them feel appreciated.
Making the best use of your two most finite resources – time and money.
Maria Neve, the VP of Electrification and Sustainability at Wheels, Inc., made it clear why Resource Efficiency is so important to all fleet leaders.
“We’re all being asked to do more with less these days,” Neve said.
And the amazing part, as she added, is that fleet leaders are getting it done.
Neve, Al Curtis of Cobb County, and Marc Canton of RTA focused not only on how to get the job done with limited resources, but also touched on trendy topics including electric vehicles and sustainability, and how to use data to efficiently run your operation.
The proactive process of identifying, assessing, and controlling the threats to your organization and stakeholders.
Speakers Tony Yankovich of RTA, Tim Ammon of CESO, and Don Osterberg, formerly of Schneider National, talked to attendees about the importance of not only establishing a Risk Management program at their fleet operation but really explaining what that means.
How to get buy-in from upper management to carry out safety policies.
How to be proactive to prevent accidents.
How to understand safety regulations.
How to try to always be one step ahead.
As Osterberg said, safety isn’t even just about being compliant. It’s not only about following the FMCSA rules and regulations and then thinking you’re OK from a liability standpoint. You need to make sure you understand all of your responsibilities.
After two full days of amazing speakers and fruitful information on how to improve as leaders and how to make your fleet operations more successful, the hard part set in for attendees.
What do I do with the information?
During the final session, some attendees said they planned to work on culture when they got back to the office by making more of an effort to show appreciation for employees and stakeholders. Others said they would focus on setting a work-life cycle.
With so many great tips, it can be difficult to know where to start – and to make sure you don’t get back to the day-to-day and let it all go.
Turley recommended that attendees write down takeaways throughout the event to make sure they didn’t forget the most important tips.
Jeff Jenkins, the VP of Sales at RTA, suggested that attendees start small, pick one item to start with, finish that, and then focus on the next. He also suggested on the podcast, “The Fleet Success Show,” to make a tactical list to take to upper management to get their buy-in for your initiatives.
With so many great ideas from a dozen extraordinary leaders, attendees are sure to improve themselves and their operations by utilizing some of the tips.
To learn more about Fleet Success and get details on future Fleet Success Summit events, listen to the podcast!