-  Photo: Work Truck

Photo: Work Truck

No industry is immune to change. Fleet management is no exception with its constant changes. Some change is easy to manage and cope with. Other changes are far more complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating. Especially when they are connected to work.  

Change is frequently worth it. In the end, you see the fruits of your labor. Often, however, change takes quite some time to manifest the results. Sometimes, regardless of the efforts made, change doesn’t work out how you had hoped.

So, how do you work with change when you have other responsibilities? How long should you give change a chance to show results? And how do you become a champion for change?

Change Takes Time

When you have a demanding job, how do you take the time to make necessary changes for the better? Often this means learning a new process or system or completely adjusting your workflow.

Do you truly understand the value of small accomplishments?

And change requires time. Time to analyze the fact that change needs to happen. Time to discuss the issue and determine possible new ways of handling things. Time to train. Time to make the change happen. And time to analyze whether it worked.

Often, the goal and result of a change are time savings, increased efficiency, etc. When faced with change, we can’t just say, “I don’t have the time for this.” That will never allow room for growth and success.

Making Time for Change

So, where does that “time” come from? I won’t lie, sometimes, it comes from burning the midnight oil, but this should be the last resort. We do have to still be efficient and responsible.

Here are a few ways you can make time for change:

  1. Postpone non-essential responsibilities (where possible).
  2. Ask for help! Delegate time-consuming activities to staff to help you focus.
  3. Lay it out in stages. Looking at everything all at once can be overwhelming. If you set stages for your new project, you can attack things in chunks.
  4. Dedicate focus time. Take an hour or two on your calendar and book it out for you to work. If others can schedule a meeting with you, you can do it, too.

When to Wait Change Out

As noted, results from change don’t happen overnight. Often fleet changes made today can take weeks, or months, to come through. Don’t be frustrated if it takes some time.

How long should you wait for change to happen before trying a new path or reverting to past practices?

Set a goal and track any possible metrics. Make sure you arrange a solid time frame to give change a chance. Some changes may have immediate results. Others may take a quarter, or even a calendar year, to show the fruits of your labor. Set a logical time frame for your project to see if your change has worked.  

When to Say ‘Enough is Enough’

It typically comes down to time and money when determining whether the time and effort spent on change are paying off. Good data is essential when analyzing change management results. 

As noted, new systems can take quite some time and effort to set up. New programs or ways of operating take time for staff members to adjust. But when you realize you should be seeing results and time spent adapting is still more than you were spending before, it’s OK to stop to reassess.

Change needs results, and it’s no use pushing forward unnecessarily if it’s not succeeding.

Change Can Be Hard

As noted, not all change is going to work out. But you won’t reap the potential results if you don’t try.

Be a champion for change. Don’t be the one saying, “This is how it’s always been done,” as an answer anymore. Because change comes at any time, and the ones ready for change will succeed.

Stay positive and be the one who embraces new opportunities. Take the time to “upskill” yourself in new technologies, solutions, and fleet management.

Did this help you out? What efforts have you been making for change? And remember, if you are feeling stressed about change, your drivers likely are, too. Check out these 6 tips to reduce work truck driver stress to help everyone handle change and make it through to tomorrow.  

Email me, and let’s chat!

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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