In the past decade, telematics devices have become common place in company vehicles and fleets. Less common however is employee understanding on why their driving is being monitored. Often, employees are under the assumption that someone is constantly looking over their shoulder, just waiting for them to make a mistake.
What these employees don’t understand is that telematics devices have a much larger purpose than playing spy. By providing employees with some training on the purpose and importance of this technology, you can help ease their tensions and help to prevent the tampering with or disabling of the devices.
The What & The Why
A question that is at the forefront of anyone’s mind when getting introduced to telematics is, “What is it?”
Simply put, telematics is technology that sends, receives, and stores data related to vehicle use. Specifically, the devices measure severe braking, harsh cornering, rate of acceleration, and speed. There a more savvy devices available that are capable of monitoring and collecting more information, but for the most part just basic information is compiled. Companies are able to use this information to protect themselves and their employees in the event of an accident or situations that might arise when operating company-owned vehicles.
One of the main reasons that companies employ telematics is to help improve road safety. Generally, when a vehicle is transmitting data about a driver’s performance, the driver tends to be a better and safer driver. And for those that aren’t driving safely, telematics opens the door for great training opportunities.
Before an employee even begins to drive, they should have a clear understanding about company driving practices and standards, and that their driving will be monitored. They should know they aren’t being monitored because the company doesn’t trust them—rather they are being monitored so that the company can help provide adequate training opportunities for them.
Employees should know that their good driving behavior will also be captured in the reporting. Incentive based programs for good driving can help reinforce behaviors. By celebrating employee successes and training employees in their areas of opportunities, it will become clear to employees that telematics are a tool for safety, training, and recognition.
The Bottom Line
A huge benefit of telematics is the cost savings it provides companies. This information isn’t always shared with employees, but it’s an important detail that will help them garner understanding around the greater purpose of the technology.
Company drivers should understand that insurance companies will often provide discounts for the installation of the devices. Because telematics technology has the ability to produce immediate analysis reports, insurers are able to expedite paperwork, process claims, and payments much faster, saving time and money in otherwise consuming and costly processes.
Telematics also assists companies with creating routes that take advantage of peak fuel efficiency, monitors emissions, and provides alerts when problems with vehicles are detected. Not only are these money saving advantages, but the employee benefits from being relieved of the pressure of worrying about maintenance issues and having to plan out their own routes.
The best way to ease employee fears and anxiety around telematics devices is to clearly communicate the reasons why they’re being used. A simple explanation letting them know that the technology is used to bolster road and driver safety, improve training initiatives, and increases cost savings will go a long way in creating a rapport of trust. Great communication coupled with training and recognition will help drivers feel empowered—not imprisoned—behind the wheel.