Telematics is changing the way organisations are operating their fleets and improving employee safety. Telematics is more than just GPS tracking – it’s the technology that offers you a treasure trove of data that can be utilised to improve the bottom line, and keep your staff safe, efficient, and accountable.

However, one of the challenges in implementing telematics is getting support from the organisation’s employees. It is natural for employees to have questions about the implementation of telematics. When change isn’t fully understood, uneasiness takes charge.

When change isn’t fully understood, uneasiness takes charge.

The main concerns are centred around it being ‘big brother’ trust issues, with telematics being used as a form of measurement to punish, or as some have called it in the past, ‘behaviour re-adjustment.’ These concerns are common in any industry or organisation, as employees may not understand the organisations’ objectives behind the implementation.

To ensure a successful project and employee adoption, now and beyond, we will look at steps to build a positive perception of telematics.

Present Telematics to Employees

Due to concerns regarding employee resistance, management should not implement telematics without presenting the reasons and benefits to employees first. It is also important to listen to the objections and concerns your employees have about telematics. Having an open and honest conversation via a group meeting or smaller departmental meetings, is more favourable, versus an internal ‘all staff’ email. Being able to answer questions with complete transparency will help dispel any myths or rumours about telematics and ease employee concerns.

Resentful employees are not happy employees, and one element that unfortunately does get forgotten is sharing information on how telematics will be utilised within the organisation. Whether it be GPS vehicle tracking or lone worker safety devices. If management is not transparent around how data will be consumed and applied, employees will be less willing to accept it. Have no fear explaining to employees that the business will not use telematics to be intrusive, but rather, improve health and safety, increase productivity, and become more efficient. It is important for managers to be sincere and honest about their plans to use the technology from the beginning, otherwise, any benefits a vehicle tracking system might bring could be diluted by damaging employee relations.

Address Employee Concerns

Allow open and honest conversations. The most common concern is the ‘invasion of privacy’. There may be many employees, that have operated for a long time without the use of telematics. The implementation of new technology can be unclear to employees and not fully understood, especially when the organisation has successfully operated to date, without it. Usually, it comes down to trust. Make it clear that incorporating telematics isn’t about a lack of trust, but rather introducing a new set of tools, to create better results and improve employee safety.

Explain Why the Business is Introducing Telematics

To increase employee acceptance and engagement, it’s important to explain why telematics is being implemented. If driving fines are high, fuel costs are increasing, natural disasters are putting lone workers at greater risk, new legislative requirements, or your organisation is wanting additional measures to ensure overall employee safety, it is important to share this information. Presenting how telematics can help solve these business challenges is important. They help create a better overall understanding of why it is important to the business.

Explain the Benefits

It is always advantageous to explain the benefits of telematics to employees. Whether it be increasing work efficiency and reducing the need for overtime, increasing business revenue with overall operational efficiency improving, ensuring the health and safety of lone workers or even becoming environmentally conscious and looking at ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Gamification is also a great way to improve fleet metrics and motivate employees at the same time. A driver scorecard report could rank vehicles based on speeding, heavy braking, and idle time. By sharing this report’s graphical results with employees, they will have a clear understanding of what areas they need to improve.

Reduce fear through training

Navigating through new technology can be daunting, even for the most technically savvy individuals. Your drivers may protest because they feel they won’t be able to use the technology properly, or that it will take up unnecessary time in the field.

With some basic one-on-one training, your staff will have a solid understanding of how the system works. Have your department managers understand the system and conduct training, so there are further ownership and better buy-in. Today’s technology allows for user-friendly interfaces, so most employees should be able to teach themselves. But always ensure the workforce knows the company is committed to providing support throughout the change if they need it.

Provide Business Policies That Include Telematics

Best practice is to set parameters of when and where telematics will be used. Including telematics in your business policies will help set expectations around behaviour, how data will be used, actions taken for tampering with equipment, and how vehicles will be monitored.

Present telematics properly and your staff will get on board

Introducing telematics to employees is a common concern for many businesses during implementation. Presenting telematics in the right way is crucial to gain employee acceptance from the start. Management will increase the positive perception of telematics by explaining how and why the technology will be used, having open conversations with employees, and presenting the benefits available.

When you have a united team, your business will experience the benefits. Through open communication and support, you will have the best platform in place to increase productivity, improve driver safety and reduce costs.