By Ed Dubens, CEO & Founder, eDriving
What would you do if a customer phoned you from their cell phone when driving?
One of my clients shared a story recently about a customer calling their “Customer Success Team” while driving. The representative taking the call politely said, “I’m sorry, it is against our company policy to talk to callers who are driving. Please call back when you’re not driving.” What made this story especially interesting for me was that this Customer Success representative was in a non-driving role and not specifically part of the client’s road safety program or subject to their cell phone risk management policies.
As a benchmark on my client’s progress towards creating a “crash-free” culture, this is a great real-world example of a safety culture that is becoming part of the organizational DNA. Following the customer’s complaint, the representative received full backing from their leadership and was recognized in internal communications solidifying the response as company policy going forward!
While driver safety and risk management might officially be the responsibility of your company’s EHS&S, Risk and/or Fleet Management, it needs to be everyone’s responsibility, especially operational and commercial leadership. Whatever job title a person has within your organization, they have a shared responsibility for the safety mission. Making driver safety and risk management part of everyday discussions, activities, meetings, performance reviews, annual conferences, etc., is where every organization can really make a difference to the performance and sustainability of its objectives. Driver safety isn’t a “campaign”, periodic training course, or “tick-box” exercise. As the saying goes, “it needs to become a way of life.”
When employing a new driver or a person whose job role involves driving as a major element, such as an Account/Sales Executive, introducing that driver to your company’s safe driving policies is a positive step, but it won’t make a lasting difference to their safety on the road. Nor will annual refresher in-car training in isolation. What will make a difference is ongoing safety messaging to maintain or guide safer driving behaviors, manage expectations and change “at-risk” habits! The absolute game changer is when the new recruit hears regularly, formally and informally, from his/her new manager that their safety (new recruit’s) is something they take very seriously and getting them home to their loved ones at the end of each day is a strategic imperative – what interests the boss fascinates the worker!
Now, if this was easy, we would all be doing it. This approach is going to take some effort up and down the organizational hierarchy as well as from side to side. The concept is simple – creating a “crash-free” culture is everyone’s responsibility and, as we all know, it starts and is sustained by the “C-Suite”. Making sure everyone is aware of your safety goals, mission and objectives is easy in the digital age. Annual refresher testing on key policies and expectations is also relatively straight-forward to organize – it’s the living it and breathing it that’s the challenge – “if you’re going to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk!”
Email signatures can communicate many things and who does not like the occasional competition or participation in a discussion forum! Remember your 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Development (Morgan McCall, Michael M. Lombardo & Robert A. Eichinger Copyright © 2016 Training Industry, Inc.) – 10% of your ROI comes from Formal Education/Learning, 20% from Exposure/Social Learning and 70% from Experience/Experiential Learning.
Plan it like a marketing campaign, involving your customers and employees’ families wherever possible, who might include authorized drivers of company assets, etc. Set goals, targets and produce analytics to measure progress. In-house attitude surveys will keep you on track, as well as informal discussions wherever possible. It goes without saying that dialing into conference calls, sales or product development meetings while driving needs to become a thing of the past – take a deep breath; many clients have reported an increase in productivity, wellbeing, creativity and profitability.
Safety management systems will take care of the Manager-Driver OneToOnes®, something we’re particularly passionate about at eDriving. And it would be remiss of me not to mention the critical importance of how you leverage your behavioral telematics data: acceleration, braking, cornering, speed vs. speed limit of the road, and distraction events data, combined with your drivers’ crash and MVR violation history to identify your most “at-risk” drivers for further support and coaching. As I said in my last article, telematics data alone cannot change driver behavior.
Policy reinforcement training, behind-the-wheel training for new hires, smartphone telematics systems, license checking, eLearning, post-collision coaching, and performance reviews are all important parts of your risk management strategy. But, if your goals are bigger and you are interested in creating a “crash-free” culture that reduces your fleet’s total cost of ownership, reduces your overall liability exposure and, above all else, lets your employees and your customers know their safety is important to you and your organization, take a moment to think about how safety becomes a part of everything you do.
About Ed Dubens
As CEO & Founder of eDriving and a veteran of the fleet risk management industry for over 20 years, Ed has helped transform the way companies proactively manage risk and prioritize the safety of their employees on a daily basis.
eDriving helps organizations to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations and total cost of ownership through a patented “closed-loop” driver behavior-based safety program.
Mentor by eDriving’s comprehensive system provides behavioral insights and actionable intelligence to help organizations build a total view of driver risk within a company-wide “crash-free” culture to ensure that all drivers return home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day.