Flexible training schedules and perceiving driver trainers as authoritative and knowledgeable are critical to fleet manager buying decisions, according to a report commissioned by IAM RoadSmart. The research has led to the launch of a new suite of ‘Driving for Work’ courses.
In response to the finding that 86 per cent of fleets (1) had experienced an accident in a 12 month period, IAM RoadSmart has worked with the industry to establish the role driver training has to play.
IAM RoadSmart commissioned research with Nutshell in early 2016, to establish how to ensure risk management support really meets the needs of the customer and their drivers. With technology developing apace and more pressures than ever on time, fleet drivers are continually faced with new challenges. The organisation spoke to a group of fleet and health & safety professionals, from small and large fleets, representing in all around 7,000 drivers.
Flexibility of training was cited as the key concern and this has two aspects: The ability to tailor the training to fit driver needs, and having trainers available in locations convenient to the company.
Cost, surprisingly was less of an issue. However quality was at the top of fleet managers requirements. “Due to the amount we spend, quality is more important than the cost”.
The experience of the trainers used also rated highly. Ex-police drivers or those with previous driving roles were preferred – “Our drivers like trainers who know the temptations first hand.”
IAM RoadSmart has used the knowledge gained from this research to develop a new course portfolio which supports these needs including its new headline course – Driving for Work. These courses, developed by IAM RoadSmart in conjunction with industry experts, offer a tailored approach to training, working closely with the customer throughout the process to establish the needs of their drivers.
Few people respond well to criticism and there is clear evidence that frightening messages on risk don’t motivate. IAM RoadSmart’s new courses for business drivers aim to understand the individual’s own motivations and concerns, on a one-to-one basis, while looking at what can be done to make the often stressful business of driving for work easier and more enjoyable.
An important aspect of this new training approach and of the organisation’s rebrand to IAM RoadSmart, is putting the driver at the centre of the support. With this in mind there has been a deliberate shift from training which focuses on fault finding. The new Driving for Work course portfolio provides coaching and guidance on the elements which make the most efficient drivers. They help to open their eyes to all aspects of driving, inherent distractions, their behaviour and that of other road users.
Lesley Upham, IAM RoadSmart commercial director, said: “Business drivers are already under pressure. They are being bombarded with messages from all quarters, not least to be meeting their business objectives. We are conscious that we should not add to these distractions. Instead we work with delegates to make their lives easier through the way they drive.
“This will in turn lead to them being safer on the roads, save money through using less fuel and taking the stress out of the sometimes arduous task of business driving. Driver retention is a key concern of fleet managers and supporting this through improving their driving enjoyment is really important. Taking out the chore and bringing back the fun.”
IAM RoadSmart has recently launched the Business Customer Advisory Group (BCAG), to support its customers through better understanding the issues affecting the industry they operate in. The first gathering in March saw industry professionals come together to give their opinions on what they need from driver risk management programmes.
For more information about IAM RoadSmart’s Driving for Work program click here: https://www.iamroadsmart.com/courses/driving-for-work
Notes to editors:
(1) Bent metal – an analysis of vehicle accidents amongst company fleets: https://www.iamroadsmart.com/docs/default-source/Advice-Insights/bent-metal-white-paper.pdf?sfvrsn=2
To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com