In an earlier blog, we talked about how to put truck drivers in a position to succeed: You need to be able to trust them and they need to be able to trust you. Trust and transparency go hand in hand, and transparency has consistently proven to be a great way to build relationships, engagement, and ultimately retention within any business. It doesn’t even take much to build. All you need to do is let each driver in the fleet know where they stand.
There is nothing worse than walking in the dark and not knowing where you are or where you’re going. As an employee, it can easily start to feel that way when you don’t have a good sense of how your fleet manager views your performance. Instead of knowing exactly where you stand, you start to make assumptions about what your manager thinks of you and what you think of yourself.
A driver may develop an overly negative opinion of their fuel efficiency performance; when they don’t know how they are being measured or what their manager thinks of them, the automatic assumption might be that they are underperforming. We are really good at assuming the worst of ourselves. That kind of attitude can spiral out of control quickly. A driver who doesn’t think much of themselves probably isn’t very engaged and may not feel much reason to put any more effort into their performance. In the worst case, they may decide there’s nothing to be done, and leave the fleet behind.
On the opposite side, a driver may develop an overly positive opinion of their fuel efficiency performance that doesn’t match up with reality. They may assume they are performing at a high level, when in reality, they are costing the fleet big on fuel with bad idling and braking practices. Without having an objective measure to clear things up, they may think that they know better about their performance than the manager— which can only be destructive for relationships within the fleet.
It’s hard to dispel those assumptions and build the kind of trust and transparency needed to defeat them. Fleet managers have an incredibly difficult job, and this kind of trust-building in particular can feel impossible when you don’t have a system in place to make those kinds of measurements objectively in a way that the driver acknowledges as fair and respectful.
As troublesome as it can be for the fleet manager to measure their driver’s fuel usage, if you’re the driver, it’s just as frustrating to not be able to gauge yourself and improve. Most of us have a natural desire to get better, we just often lack the tools or capacity to measure ourselves and chart a clear path for what progress looks like. It’s something we want, but it’s not something that we can comfortably achieve.
This is exactly the problem that True FuelTM is built to solve. It’s the missing piece that makes the whole equation work — a tool that measures fuel performance objectively and fairly, helps drivers chart that path for improvement, and ultimately lets them know where they stand with the fleet. They know exactly what their fuel performance looks like across a whole array of fair metrics, and they know what they can do to get it up to the highest level.
There is no limit to the possibilities when you have a rock solid foundation of trust and transparency like that to work from. Drivers who consistently perform at the highest level can be fairly gauged and rewarded for their effort without putting any extra hassle on the manager to assess that on their own. On the driver’s side, they have the opportunity to be partners in their own performance with a clear purpose and benchmarks to strive toward. Nothing benefits retention and engagement quite like a clear goal and a reward for achieving it.
The best part is that it’s an easy and clear reference for everyone in the fleet. Drivers know what they are being measured on, they recognize that those metrics are fair and reasonable, and they see clearly what they need to do to get better. The assumptions and the confusion is gone. Drivers know where they stand, they’re engaged in their own improvement, and they’ll stay committed to a fleet that they can see is committed to them.