Though gamification is not necessarily a new concept, it is something that has been growing in popularity as a way to encourage good driver behavior and improve both business and employee performance.

For fleets, telematics-enabled gamification of driver safety training is possible with a combination of positive encouragement and data-based driver behavior monitoring.

Aided by the General Acceptance of Gaming

Gamification can help connect employees with their employers and co-workers and direct them all towards the same mission and vision. With the recent rise in the popularity of social gaming, the widespread acceptance and use of apps and mobile technology is helping propel interest in gamification.

By moving employers away from motivating staff with punishments for bad driving behavior, gamification helps make the leap from the ‘Big Brother’ approach to one which fosters a fun environment. Gamification operates on the theory that all you should do to encourage engagement is add gameplay. The innate desire to win and be recognized as a leader may help improve driving behavior over time more effectively than discipline.

Setting Goals

By setting clear goals, such as reducing instances of speeding and hard braking, employers and managers can hold employees accountable for the progress they make each week. In this way, gamification can provide a constructive and unintrusive strategy for tracking and monitoring driver behavior. With GPS vehicle tracking data, managers can track the driving habits of every driver on their staff. They can use this data to show drivers if they’re meeting expectations or falling short, rewarding or warning them accordingly.

Mark McKenna, National Sales Manager of Bluedrop Services says, “With the introduction of gamification, it can be possible to make the reduction of fuel consumption, green initiatives, reductions in insurance premiums, and other realistic and measurable goals attainable. Gamification adds an incentive to training and following through with the techniques that drivers are taught”.

Encouraging Self-Improvement

With the use of gamification techniques, fleets can start to look to individual drivers to encourage self-improvement. By delivering immediate feedback and scoring after a trip, data-based gamification offers an opportunity for drivers to reflect on their habits and clearly see areas that need improvement. The appeal of gamification is broad, offering great potential for fleets with many drivers. While many fleets have already adopted telematics and GPS tracking systems, some struggle to take the next step of doing something constructive with all the data these systems yield. With gamification, this data can be used to grade and reward drivers according to the goals they are working toward.

Drivers may not always be fully engaged and motivated to improve their driver performance. Gamification seeks to remove this element, introduces a sense of healthy competition, and provides a fun way to improve overall driver performance. The direct feedback provided by fleet tracking data, when gamified, can encourage drivers to compete against themselves, their co-workers, or as a team working toward a common goal.

Gamifying Your Operation

To benefit from the advantages of motivating drivers and giving them a sense of pride in what they do, it is important to focus on just one or two goals at a time. It is also important to be able to customize the program to your business’ unique needs. If your drivers are making short local trips, for example, setting a goal of arriving at worksites on time may be more attainable than a goal of reducing idle time.

If you do choose to gamify your driver training, be sure it does not compromise your drivers’ safety. Focusing on speed-based objectives, such as increasing the number of service calls each driver takes in a day, may inadvertently encourage the exact behavior that you are trying to stop. When getting your drivers excited about improvement, it’s always best to encourage a culture of safe driving and accountability.