Telematics – A tool for reducing stress for transport professionals
In observance of Stress Awareness Month, Teletrac Navman’s Product Manager Oswaldo Flores discusses how those in the transport sector can use telematics to empower drivers to reduce stress and prioritise wellbeing.
In 2020, the world was a more stressful place than it had been in the past 15 years, with 40% of adults worldwide saying they experienced high levels of stress when surveyed. Two years on and with ongoing COVID- related pressures, emotional wellbeing continues to be a demanding issue. And the transport sector is no exception to that.
So, what are the key stressors for those in the transport sector?
1. Customer satisfaction
The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably changed customers’ expectations. With the instantaneous nature of delivery services such as Amazon changing the game, customer satisfaction is a big challenge for fleets.
The pressures on efficiency and delivering products in a timely and safe fashion – especially considering ambitious KPIs set by companies seeking to spearhead growth – is a key stressor for those in the industry.
2. Road safety
For drivers, the pressures around road safety to keep themselves, their vehicles, and other road users safe should not be dismissed. Professional drivers put themselves at risk every day on the road – a reality that can take its toll on stress levels.
What’s more, as drivers are often the public face of a company, they face added pressure knowing the perception of their company is influenced by their work on the roads. Maintaining the image of a company behind the wheel is no mean feat.
3. Real-time challenges
And then, there are the real-time challenges that drivers continually face. Out on the roads, drivers can sometimes face unexpected route changes, high levels of traffic, and poor road infrastructure, all whilst being judged on KPIs that don’t offer much flexibility.
Getting from A to B is not so simple when unforeseen challenges occur, and finding solutions to those quickly and safely increases pressure and stress.
How can transport managers support their drivers with these stressors?
Harnessing telematics and data is key to helping drivers and transport managers manage stress. Teletrac Navman’s software tools help mitigate stress-related challenges by providing more opportunities to use data to safeguard driver wellbeing. Offerings such as route planning services and active navigation tools allow transports managers to relieve stress from the entire transport ecosystem – from administration staff planning routes to drivers on the roads dealing with adverse weather conditions.
Additionally, telematics helps transport managers manage fatigue and wellbeing related issues, as data can provide a cohesive view on what a driver’s day looks like, including how much time they’ve spent behind the wheel in relation to the legal limit, where they are and what time they clocked off. All that data ties back into efficiencies, helping transport managers traverse the operational landscape so they can focus on road safety rather than having to worry about operational efficiencies.
The right telematics solution can help fleet operators support drivers and alleviate their pressures. Gone are the days when drivers need to be consumed with worry that they have misplaced one vital piece of paperwork or will have to pull over to answer the phone about the next delivery. With digital transformation, all content can be inputted securely and stored for future use.
Gamification is another way transport managers can make day-to-day activities more enjoyable and stress-free for drivers. Using driver incentive tools where drivers can assess their performance in correlation to their colleagues in a friendly and fun competitive manner can make meeting KPIs less of a panic and more of a fun team-building exercise. For example, Teletrac Navman’s Driver Scorecard feature uses data from a vehicle’s telematics device, to detect key driver behaviours. This data is automatically fed into the scorecard in real-time, providing transport managers with the option to use it to digitally engage and motivate drivers to achieve their goals.
Transport managers also shouldn’t underestimate how positive reinforcement, especially when underpinned with financial recognition, can go a long way in making drivers feel appreciated and, in turn, reducing stress in the workplace.
Whether by employing telematics tools or engaging in wellbeing incentives, we know that reducing stress levels for drivers is a key issue for the transport sector and one that should be a priority for all in 2022.
Article by Oswaldo Flores, Product Manager at Teletrac Navman. Teletrac Navman is a global specialist in telematics and can utilise its AI-powered telematics platform to deliver real-time data, visibility and impact for any fleet operation.