Industries across the board are turning to video-based coaching for help in developing workers’ skills, and their efforts are paying off through enhanced employee performance. In the medical field, surgeons who relied on video-based coaching for professional development said they found it to be “highly instructive.” In education, Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research showed that teachers are using video-based coaching to evaluate themselves and their peers, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive.
So why can’t video-based coaching be used to elevate professionalism and safety among commercial drivers? That’s exactly our point—it can be, and fleets already have caught on. Here are key ways video-based coaching is lifting commercial fleets to a higher elevation of excellence and profitability.
It reduces driver turnover
An effective coaching session (read: one that’s timely and upbeat) can transform drivers’ unsafe habits into behaviors worthy of imitation. When you develop a talented pool of drivers who are acknowledged for excellence and rewarded for improvement, they’ll want to stick around for a long time to come. Because when drivers feel like a priority, they stay. In a world where qualified drivers are scarce and recruiting costs are sailing upward, coaching your current drivers as a means to retain them is not only wise, it’s also cost effective.
It cuts costs
Capturing unsafe driving habits on video and transforming them through coaching can change driver behavior and lead to fewer collisions and near misses down the road. The result? Lower claims costs, fewer vehicle repairs, reduced training costs, and most importantly, fewer injuries.
Behaviors such as speeding, revving and hard braking aren’t just risky. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, they also raise a fleet’s fuel costs by up to 30 percent at highway speeds. A video-based coaching program can highlight drivers’ most expensive habits and lead them on a safer, more affordable path.
It boosts morale
It may sound counterintuitive, but video-based coaching programs can breathe new life into drivers’ job satisfaction. Video can show who’s really at fault in an incident and exonerate drivers from wrongful blame. Talk about a confidence booster. Coaching, meanwhile, presents a great opportunity to show drivers you care, learn what’s on their mind and shape their professional development.
Billy Roach, a driving coach for the City of Mobile fire division and the 2017 Lytx Coach of the Year, knows this well. When Roach began coaching in 2015, he worked to build rapport with his drivers. They responded by improving their behavior. In the months and years after Roach began coaching, collisions for the City of Mobile declined by 41 percent, near-collisions virtually ended, and morale soared.
It keeps drivers on track through continuous training
HR website Recruiter.com says that while a dedicated training program can impact everything from retention to performance, “unfortunately, not all companies dedicate sufficient time and resources to employee development.”
But those who lead their peers in safety do. They often choose continuous training over intermittent training. When a safety incident is followed by a video-based coaching session within four days, the incident is fresh in the driver’s mind and the coaching session can be more impactful. As commercial fleets work to attract younger drivers, it’s helpful to know that millennials seek out jobs that offer development opportunities, as Gallup stated. However you approach continuous training, keep in mind that the most successful coaches change behavior through a combination of respectful dialogue and accountability.