Incorporating a GPS tracking platform into your fleet operations is a big step toward improving efficiency and reducing costs. Systems like those from GPS Trackit offer everything from better routing to improved fuel economy and reduced wear-and-tear from aggressive driving. But adopting those systems can also present a cultural change for your drivers. Make the transition carefully and correctly and you can increase your crew’s motivation and engagement. Skip some steps and you risk building a culture of suspicion and distrust.
Follow these steps to set up an employee GPS tracking policy that will make it easier to achieve your goals.
Evaluate the Legal Climate
Before installing GPS-enabled tracking devices in your vehicles, it’s important to have a full understanding of the laws in your jurisdiction. For example, many states have established that an employer has the right to install GPS tracking devices on any vehicle without having to notify employees using those vehicles. But employers can find themselves in a grey area if they go beyond what is considered “normal and customary.” For example, one employee sued her employer for being terminated after she uninstalled the tracking software it put on her company-issued smartphone. She contended that being tracked when she wasn’t on company time violated her privacy.
Spell Everything Out
Once you’ve established a plan to implement a GPS tracking platform, make sure the rules surrounding the use of your fleet vehicles are comprehensive and clear. The goal of setting up an employee GPS tracking policy is to have a policy that removes any room for confusion or interpretation. By establishing what kind of tracking will be happening and what kind of use is permissible—and what the consequences are for failing to follow fleet use policies—everyone can go forward with clarity.
This step is especially crucial for organizations that allow drivers to take their work vehicles home at night. If employees are allowed some limited personal use of the work vehicle, spell out how that use will be measured—either by GPS or weekly logging.
For sample language, you can use to build your own policy, check out our resource and support library here.
Communicate Early and Often
Even when the law says companies can install tracking devices without notification, it’s almost always better to be open and clear about what systems you’re using—along with what some of your overall goals are for using the technology. Many fleet operators begin this communication by giving company-wide presentations about what the tracking platform can measure, and how improving efficiency and protecting crew members are priorities. Starting a pilot program that tracks a select group of vehicles can also be a good way to illustrate that a tracking program is non-invasive.
The concept of tracking driver movement can be a sensitive one, but being upfront about the plan and reinforcing the benefits of the program can help offset the “big brother” suspicion that can often crop up in these conversations.
At the most basic level, experienced drivers want to be rewarded for their skill and safe operation. By communicating honestly about an employee GPS tracking program and using the data from that program to reward drivers for their safety and efficiency, you can align your drivers’ interests with yours. Many GPS Trackit clients use data from the platform to build driver scorecards designed to get crews competing to see who can produce the best metrics for fuel efficiency and safety. In the best programs, drivers are looking forward to being tracked to earn the financial bonuses that come from “winning.”
For more information on how to build a specific employee GPS Tracking policy for your fleet, contact a GPS Trackit advisor for a confidential consultation.