When your fleet is on the road, they’re doing more than just getting your products and services from point A to point B—they’re also representing your company to the public. One way to ensure they’re doing their best is implementing a safety incentive program. Even when you keep them simple, these programs are overwhelmingly successful.
How a Safety Incentive Program Benefits Your Company
Direct supervision of your fleet is difficult, even impossible, to manage. While there are tools that allow you to track their speed, dash cams to record their view, and numbers that allow the public to report unsafe driving, these all leave plenty of gaps. This is problematic, as poor driving can lower your ISS scores, cause accidents, and sink your company’s reputation.
Of course, your goal isn’t just to weed out bad drivers and keep your commercial auto insurance premiums low; you also want to keep the quality drivers that are part of your fleet.
A safety incentive program solves two problems in one go. It fills in the gaps by encouraging drivers to make the right choices, and it also recognizes them for the great job they do.
What a Driver’s Safety Incentive Program Should Focus On
The overarching goal of your safety incentive program is to encourage drivers to consistently make the right choices while on the road. This includes obvious things like not speeding, respecting the rules of the road, and not driving while intoxicated. Other aspects that might be easier to overlook include not using company vehicles for personal errands, keeping vehicles in good shape, and not transporting unapproved items in company vehicles.
Some things you could incorporate into your metrics are:
Quick vehicle inspections on a regular basis to assess for damage
Random cargo checks to ensure only approved items are being transported
Data from telematics devices showing routes taken and speed of travel
The better a driver performs on these metrics, the greater their rewards though the incentive program, and the more secure your company reputation will be. The specifics may vary based on what your fleet does. For example, cargo drivers should be rewarded for things like ensuring all loads are properly tied down, but a backhoe operator would not have the same concern.
Work with a dedicated safety director on the matter, as they’ll best be able to determine what metrics are most important for your business.
When Safety Incentives Should Be Offered
It’s generally recommended that there be two periods for the incentives; one should be long-term and the other more immediate. For example, there could be a monthly program and a yearly program.
The monthly program is about smaller goals and smaller rewards. Because it comes up so frequently, it keeps the program on everyone’s mind. It also keeps drivers motivated. Even if a driver makes a mistake and is no longer eligible for a reward for a month, they will remain eligible in the next, giving them motivation to strive to do better. This can be combined with smaller, more frequent recognition of drivers found to be doing the right thing.
The yearly program has big goals and big rewards. The idea is to motivate drivers to perform at their best all year long in order to qualify. You’ll want to keep track of who is still in the running and make sure the drivers know. With the long-term program, one infraction means disqualification.
Balance between the two programs is critical to success. The rewards for both programs need to be good enough to be motivating. There also must be a status gap between the rewards of each program. If not, drivers may decide to slack off because getting the monthly reward on occasion is satisfactory.
How to Get the Fleet on Board With a Safety Incentive Program
Crafting an incentive program won’t do much if your fleet doesn’t get on board with it. There are three key aspects to ensuring the drivers are excited to participate:
Involve Them in the Process: Make sure the drivers are part of the dialogue, allowing you to understand their thought process about the job and what motivates them.
Create Meaningful Incentives: You must provide the drivers with incentives that mean something to them, otherwise the motivation isn’t there. Think bonuses, workplace recognition, signage on their vehicles, etc.
Keep the Program at the Top of Their Minds: Display reminders around the workplace, include it in company newsletters, and make it part of the general discourse.
The goal is to tailor the program to your fleet. Even if you find a program that worked great for another company, it doesn’t mean it’ll be the right fit for yours.
Lowering Your Premiums With an Incentive Program
It might be tempting to skip the incentive program and instead manage drivers through clear policies and one-strike rules. With that route, though, you’ll miss out on insurance discounts. Most commercial car insurance providers will lower your premiums if you take certain measures to lower risk. One of which is instituting a safety incentive program for drivers. If your company does not offer this benefit, it could be a good idea to look at one that does.
Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency Protects Your Fleet
Carmen Sanchez is a Commercial Insurance & Risk Advisor who offers her clients the highest level of service.
Need more Specific Advice?
Tell us about your exposures, and we'll write an article about how we would mitigate your risk.
Leap | Carpenter | Kemps Insurance Agency provides Commercial Business Insurance, Employee Benefits, Life and Health Insurance, and Personal Insurance to all of California, including Merced, Atwater, Los Banos, Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Modesto, Turlock, and Stockton.
CA License Number 0646081 | Licensed to do business in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.