Q. I’ve heard a lot of talk about having driver rewards programs, but doesn’t competition just foster reckless behavior?
A. No. The aim of a driver safety reward program is to make sure that drivers are being safe. Inherent to the safety reward program is accountability. This is why having strong driver safety policy in writing is key to setting up your expectations for your drivers.
Accountability establishes the framework of competition. Once drivers know in what ways they’re accountable, you’ll be able to set up a system of rewards to motivate drivers to embrace and adhere to the policy.
The important point for any reward system is knowing what will motivate your drivers. Cash, an extra day off, a trophy, a jacket, or other perk are just some of the tangible methods you can use to reward your drivers. But whatever way you do so, it must be meaningful and public.
Competitions should be ongoing but regularly reset so drivers can get back into the game on regular basis — nothing will stymie reward programs (and adherence to a safety policy) more than drivers not feeling they ever have a chance of receiving a prize.
In addition to having a motivating reward, you need to make sure the measurement system is objective, transparent, and fair. Fleets that have the most successful driver reward programs are those that rely on driver scorecards, which fulfill all three of these criteria.