In a corporate office setting, gauging employee productivity and finding room for improvement is relatively easy. You can monitor the time wasters, the social butterflies, and the bathroom breakers, then respond accordingly. As a delivery fleet manager, however, increasing output and efficiency is not a simple feat when you have employees dotted around the country, completely removed from the work patterns of office life. But it’s not an impossible task.
Although it may be difficult, with modern technology and diverse strategies, there are changes you can make to increase your team’s productivity.
Commit to an Electronic Time Stamp System
In the past, the foreman of large workforces would track attendance through a manual timestamp system. You can picture the scene: a line of men and women trudging forward to an unenthused administration assistant who strikes their work tickets with a red-inked stamp as if branding their dismissal. Fortunately, this archaic method got a modern facelift.
Encourage your entire crew to download an electronic time stamp app for their phones. Before setting off in their vehicles each morning, your employees notify the app that their workday has started. The app works to compile the data and feeds it back to HQ. This data comes in the form of a coherent list of dates and hours, so you can keep an inventory of performance and timeliness.
Know Your Driver’s Limits
If you’ve ever been on a road trip, then you’ve experienced drivers’ exhaustion. It’s a specific kind of tiredness where your eyes begin to droop involuntarily, your thoughts jumble, and you reach an almost-catatonic state. For professional truckers, battling the monotony of the road can be a reality for months. Being tired throughout the journey isn’t safe, let alone practical.
While it seems like a paradox, creating a work culture that values rest is a way to maintain performance and maximize the productivity of your workforce. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration forbids consistent driving of more than 11 hours in a 14-hour workday. They also claim that professional truck drivers need to have a minimum of 10 hours of rest between shifts. Adhere to these rules and encourage your drivers to pull over if they start to feel tired. Such actions will ultimately enable them to keep working for longer while maintaining a healthy mentality.
Install a GPS Fleet Tracking System
Installing a GPS tracking system is one of the best ways you can increase your team’s productivity. Vehicle tracking solutions are a great way to take a swift inventory of all vehicles, map your routes, and generally reorganize the infrastructure of your fleet. Not only do you have real-time updates of driver location, but over time you can gather up all that data in order to optimize route structure.
Establish Communication Around Mental Health
Studies show that depression in truck drivers is an epidemic, affecting 13% of the driving community. It’s easy to see why:
- Extensive hours
- Loneliness on the road
- Lack of fresh air
- Transient quality of life
- Physical toll.
Over time, these conditions would take an emotional toll on anyone. As a manager, be aware of the impact that mental health has on the productivity of your team.
As a business owner, you might want to encourage your workforce to participate in the following as a means to battle and raise awareness for mental health.
- Access to therapy – Ensure that your company health insurance grants access to good therapists and psychologists.
- Mindfulness Apps – Encourage drivers to download an app with mindfulness or meditation solutions.
- Podcasts – Promote education and discussion on the subject. There are several incredible podcasts that delve into mental health, providing encouragement, help, and advice.
- Thoughtful time off – Honor the requests of your workers to take time off for important cultural holidays or family events.
Know the Value of Part-Time Drivers
Understand the importance of having a roster of part-time drivers on your team and utilize these contracted bodies to help share the workload whenever necessary. These drivers can cover leave, or even finish off a shift for a driver who has reached their daily 11-hour allowance on a long-distance journey.
Set The Benchmark
Productivity is the backbone of your company. As a leader, you get to set the standard for excellence and model productivity across the board. If you value productivity, your clients will reap the benefits. It breeds loyalty, client retention, and a happier workforce.