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Proactive Driver Coaching

Risk management is one of the most important roles a manager can fill. The possibility of an accident is part of the job, but any manager can take steps to protect their team behind the wheel. Of all the preventive measures you can take to stop accidents, proactive driver coaching is one of the most effective. 

What is Proactive Driver Coaching?

Proactive driver coaching is a method of training drivers on how to operate their vehicles safely. The goal is to prevent accidents from happening in the first place by arming drivers with the knowledge they need for safe travel.

This particular coaching strategy is different from the training sessions and classes your staff attends to earn their commercial driving licenses (CDLs). Instead, this training method consists of the fleet manager encouraging safe driving behavior over time and rewarding the fleet drivers for their success.

There should always be two-way communication in proactive driver coaching. The drivers will feel engaged in the learning process and will be more likely to apply what they learn on the road. A supportive, encouraging relationship between the coach and driver ensures safe driving habits come more easily. 

What are the Benefits of Proactive Driver Coaching? 

Proactive driver coaching is effective because it reaches crew members on a deeper level and produces tangible results. Here are some of the most notable benefits of practicing proactive driver coaching in your warehouse:

  • Reduce Collisions: The ultimate goal of proactive driver coaching is lowering collisions, and it's completely obtainable. Quality training will lead to fewer accidents on the job.
  • Increase Savings: This approach to training encourages safer, more efficient driving. As a result, your crew will do a more effective job and help pave the way for lower insurance rates.
  • Improve Road Safety: Proactive coaching encourages lower road speeds, frequent seat belt use and cautious driving.
  • Enhance Efficiency: Your crew will learn driving practices that reduce idling, boost fuel efficiency and decrease strain on your vehicles' engines.
  • Lets You Learn About Your Team: The depth of interaction that proactive coaching encourages helps fleet managers gauge who is and isn't meeting performance standards, which can further inform coaching and goal-setting processes. 
  • Build Staff Engagement: Proactive driver coaching engages each crew member's individual strengths and weaknesses, so they'll feel more involved in the team's performance and goals.

Proactive Driver Coaching Best Practices

An effective strategy for proactive driver coaching will ensure you see the fullest extent of the benefits. So, what are some of the best practices for proactive driver coaching? 

  • Set Clear Policies: Transparency is important, so always communicate company policies clearly and ensure the whole crew understands them.
  • Determine an Actionable Plan: The coaching process can be fluid and unique to each individual, but you can still set overall goals and strategies for your fleet drivers.
  • Deliver Quality Feedback: Any advice you communicate should be clear, specific and actionable. This feedback will help the driver know what steps they can take to improve.
  • Prioritize Supportive, Constructive Conversations: Drivers become more engaged when you show them respect, so include them in the process and keep all criticism constructive.
  • Focus on Evidence-Based Discussion Points: Every policy you coach and teaching point you bring up should have a reason. Statistics and video evidence are always helpful.
  • Respond to Close Calls: If you notice a problem while using fleet management software, say something. It's better to catch mistakes before they develop into bad habits.
  • Institute a Reward System: You'll see better results when you celebrate each driver's successes. Rewards encourage crew members to keep improving.

Gain Actionable Data for Your Coaching Strategy

Proactive driver coaching is an effective way to push your crew to make improvements in safety and efficiency, but you need proper tools to ensure your strategy is successful. Fleet management platforms combine hardware and software to pull actionable information that can inform your coaching process. 

At Rand McNally, we tailor systems that track everything from delivery confirmations to driving habits and fuel usage. Our programs can help you discover areas for improvement and watch as your coaching strategy produces results. You'll see it all in a user-friendly interface that makes viewing and sharing data easy. 

Coach Your Team with Video Telematics from Rand McNally Fleet

Creature a culture of safety with solutions from Rand McNally. Our video telematics will help you proactively coach your team and get insights into their driving behavior. We'll work closely with you to develop a system that improves driver performance so you can spend less time and money responding to incidents. Get in touch with us today to request pricing, learn more proactive driver coaching tips or ask about our fleet management software.

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