5 Traits That Make a Good Fleet Manager
Feb 23, 2022
Your job as a truck driver fleet manager is a lot more than just managing your team's busy schedules.
Being a manager includes countless responsibilities. Some of the most important tasks can include protecting and supporting your drivers—others include helping them improve and engage with their jobs. It's important to remember that a motivated and happy team is much more productive.
According to the State of the American Workplace report done by Gallup, engaged teams experience more improvements than their less-motivated counterparts in various areas, such as these:
- 10% Higher Customer Satisfaction.
- 17% Higher Overall Productivity.
- 20% Higher Sales.
- 21% Higher Profitability.
- An astounding 41% reduction in absenteeism.
To help keep a team engaged and productive, having a good manager lead the way is essential. We've compiled a list of five quality traits of highly successful fleet managers. When each of these habits is applied effectively, you can help improve your team's safety and increase your company's bottom line. Continue scrolling to learn more.
5 Traits that Make a Great Fleet Manager
- Put Your Crew's Safety First — As a manager, your team's safety needs to be your number one priority. Staying on top of truck maintenance and paying close attention to your crew's stress and fatigue can help mitigate accidents. Don't wait for a close call or an accident to occur before giving this attention; the impact could be disastrous.
Fatigue and crash risk are directly correlated, so it's essential to pay close attention to this and your drivers' wellbeing when creating their schedules. Even a tiny amount of drowsiness can lead to problems or accidents. Avoid issues big or small, like taking the wrong route or causing a crash, and be proactive instead of reactive.
- Try to Make Things Easy for Your Team — Vehicle maintenance can be undoubtedly challenging, which is why good managers make scheduling and reporting as easy as possible. Thankfully, today's advanced and time-saving technology allows drivers to digitally perform their routine truck inspections. This investment will save your team countless hours on the road and makes the process much more simple.
Digital inspection technology also helps ensure regular checks, resulting in a better maintained and safer fleet. When you automate this process, you and your drivers will have less to worry about.
- Listen to What Your Team Has to Say — The best managers consider themselves part of the crew rather than someone in a higher operating position. Instead, they are mentors and collaborators who put the people on their team before profits. They create a space where open and honest communication can occur, and they listen to their drivers' positive and negative feedback.
Create an environment where your team knows they can turn to you when a problem arises, whether it's occupational stress, issues with their truck, or even personal things, like mental health. It's your job to support your team however you can. The best managers are empathetic and can put themselves in their team's shoes.
- Make Your Expectations Clear — Confusion and lack of clarity in the workplace lower efficiency and productivity. Besides, your drivers don't like feeling unsure of their responsibilities. When expectations aren't clear, your team cannot put all of their focus on their job; it can be mentally draining, and you want your drivers to be as focused and alert as possible.
A study on employee performance and clarity, conducted by Effectory, discovered that close to half of the employees they studied lacked transparency in their workplace roles. This is, obviously, less than ideal. Before you and your drivers become part of this statistic, make sure you are extremely clear and engage in effective and thoughtful communication.
- Promote Balance and Positive Mental Health — It's no secret that life on the road can be lonely and highly taxing on your mental wellbeing. Making meaningful connections for truck drivers is undoubtedly difficult, which is why good managers promote balance and put the mental health of their drivers high on the priority list. Here are a few ways you can boost your team's morale while they're on the road:
- Encourage Team Interaction: Get your team on their radios and engage in conversation with one another. No one understands how challenging life on the road can feel than another driver. Telling each other their stories can create lasting relationships and increase team morale.
- Communicate With Loved Ones: A good manager will encourage connection with their loved ones back home. Physical separation from family and friends can result in mental and emotional detachment. However, your drivers can combat this by regularly chatting with their people back home. Ensure they are taking regular breaks to check in with a quick text or phone call, or it might mean equipping your trucks with Bluetooth technology so they can talk on the road.
- Watch TV: Being alone on the road isn't solely a lack of physical presence; it's also a mental thing. Watching television can help fulfill the human need for connection. Even when you're physically alone, the people on your TV screen will keep you company and make you feel a sense of connection.
Be a Good Fleet Manager and Get EpicVue
If you want to be a good fleet manager, get your drivers EpicVue. EpicVue outfits your fleet with premium in-vehicle satellite television with over 180 exciting channels.
You probably don't run into too many people you know during your route, but the connection you create when you engage in conversation about the shows you are watching feels a lot like home. After that, you feel ready to head back out on the road, recharged, and can enjoy the new relationships and memories you've made, despite the confines of your vehicle.
Watching television can counteract the overwhelming feelings of isolation. Happy and healthy drivers are more likely to stay with your team, which significantly reduces the costly cycle of recruitment and retention. Contact EpicVue today to learn more!