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Communication is Key When Implementing Driver Risk Assessments
19/09/2012

Feedback from companies that have introduced risk assessments for their company and grey fleet drivers have said that one of the key issues they face is driver resistance.

Many drivers, particularly those who have concerns about their accident levels, points on their licence or are simply ‘proud of their driving ability’ can often feel negative about their driving standards being scrutinised and rated.

Yet according to Jonathan Mosley, director of sales and marketing at E-Training World, this is often more to do with the manner in which it’s communicated than the process itself.

“A successful roll out of driver risk assessments isn’t just about getting driver buy-in,” said Jonathan, “it’s about middle management too.

“Clear, initial communication to drivers is important because that helps set the tone for why the risk assessments are being carried out, what the benefits are and the importance the business places on the safety and well-being of its employees. On our own system there is a short video before the assessment begins explaining this to drivers.

“However, additional communication is also needed to explain to middle managers the important role they play in the process.

“If a driver bemoans having to do their assessment, branding it a waste of time and money, it is essential at that point for their line manager to talk them through the benefits which include the company placing great importance on its corporate responsibilities, achieving cost savings by working to reduce accidents, time savings by pinpointing which drivers need training (as opposed to wasting time and money by sending everyone on a course regardless of ability or risk) and also outlining that this is something that all reputable companies do nowadays.

“That way, driver approval increases and over time resistance to the process falls as it becomes an accepted part of being an at-work driver.”

E-Training World’s system is a knowledge and skills-based risk assessment covering attitude, knowledge, concentration and observation, and hazard perception. Since its launch the company has received tremendous feedback from drivers who find the process clear and understandable.

“We’ve always recognised how important it is to get driver buy-in, and within our system we make the question sets clear, we explain what is expected from the driver every step of the way and we even allow drivers time to practise their hazard perception skills before taking that section of the assessment,” concluded Jonathan.

“This has gone a long way to heightening driver approval and acceptance, however we certainly see further improvement when middle managers embrace the process too.”

For more information, please contact Jonathan Mosley, Director –Sales & Marketing on 0845 260 7998 or email jonathan@e-trainingworld.com