By Dave Riordan, Chief Client Officer
The User Group Conference (UGC) always presents a unique opportunity for us to get a fresh perspective from clients who are using innovative solutions to solve complex problems. This year was no different.
At the 2018 User Group Conference, we learned about the state of risk on America’s roads from transportation industry experts, who described, in a quantified way, what our clients have been telling us: that transportation-related costs are increasing along with risk in general.
We learned that overall collision frequency has been rising between 2 and 5 percent annually, while severity of claims has been even greater—experiencing double-digit annual growth. It intensifies the urgency for us to ensure that our program helps protect our clients in the transportation industry against trends such as nuclear verdicts; an unhealthy driver pool; increased distraction behind the wheel; and distraction among pedestrians.
In light of these challenges, the pressure for telematics providers to deliver solutions for clients has never been higher. We’ve strived to help you manage it all through the power of video telematics, while you’ve been busy preventing collisions in the best way you know how—by running top-notch programs. You’ve taught us that the better you run the Lytx DriveCam® safety program, the more effectively you manage risk.
During the UGC, many of our clients graciously shared innovative stories about what’s working. Through a combination of culture, technology, data, and accountability, our industry-leading clients are creating true transformation at their organizations. We’re inspired. We’re confident our readers will be, too. Here are four of our favorite client takeaways from the 2018 UGC:
Delivering the right data to the right audience drives organizational alignment—and results. Behavior change in organizations isn’t easy. You need the right audience to pay attention to the right things so those in the chain of command can pinpoint and improve the things that matter. Helping leaders focus on the right locations, the right drivers, the right coaches, and the right target behaviors at the right time matters.
So how do you ensure you get the right information to the right people? Creating an entirely new management process is impractical. It’s much more effective to take advantage of an existing, management process such as monthly ops reviews and find a way to feed driver performance into it.
To be effective, the integrity of the data is critical. For example, people at all levels of your organization have to be looking at the same data in the same format. It’s not helpful to have one group looking at monthly absolute numbers when another could be looking at normalized weekly stats. Several of our client presenters described the importance of ensuring consistent views to the right people so that proper action and accountability follow.
Targeting key behaviors helps propel transformation in an organization. Several client breakout leaders underscored the importance of the 80/20 Pareto Principle in focusing on where your risk is concentrated, and how DriveCam safety program data can be used to target actions in the right place. One client described how they use Pareto charts to target actions on virtually every dimension of the program—locations/groups, behaviors, drivers, and coaches. It’s a useful tool, because it reveals where your greatest challenges and opportunities lie, allowing you to focus on the behaviors that are most greatly impacting your bottom line.
Company culture, resources, training and analytics all play vital roles in helping an organization choose which behaviors they’ll target to drive transformation. Assessing where you’re seeing your most frequent behaviors is step one. Several of our clients in the transportation industry provided examples of how a tight focus on a small number of behaviors can help affect all behaviors. They described how focusing on things such as seat belts, cell phones and traffic violations can lead to more effective coaching and ultimately impact other behaviors and overall risk. People can feel confident knowing that there is no single formula for success, but there is no substitute for focus and effective coaching.
Institutionalizing continuous improvement helps take an organization to the next level. Some companies seem to facilitate continuous improvement without having to think about how they’re going to do it. They have a mechanism in place that’s part of their normal annual flow that they can use to make improvements without having to reinvent the wheel every time. They don’t ever seem to question what’s going to take place because they already have the infrastructure in place to support the improvement process.
The DriveCam safety program is part of that infrastructure. The program’s analytics provide rich information about risk concentration, behaviors and overall driver performance. What steps do you take once you’re presented with that data? That’s where continuous improvement happens.
Several presenters described the types of infrastructure they use to be confident continuous improvement will take place. Starting with a culture that owns the importance of safe behavior, they described having programs for “target behaviors” or “target locations,” where defined goal setting and support will kick into gear to help drive improvement. With that infrastructure, there is no need for such fleets to create a new initiative every year, because they know they have the cultural bedrock and proven program that will kick in.
Recognizing and rewarding employees is a critical component in the most successful safety programs. Our clients in the transportation industry and others have shown us that there are many “right ways” to recognize and reward employees. But they all emphasize authenticity and timeliness.
Annual rewards are great, but they’re not as effective as more timely praise in driving behavior change. Giving the reward at the time that positive action takes place is much more powerful if behavior change is your goal. Rewarding drivers and coaches in the moment reinforces the action and makes them feel valued. The positive impacts of that can lead to overall job satisfaction, increased vigilance on the road, and a strong desire among employees to keep performing at a high level.
The City of Kansas City (Mo.), for example, has been successful in rewarding employees at every level of the organization. They created a “Safe Start” program for rewarding new drivers who’ve been with the city less than a year. It reinforces the value they place in safety and gives new drivers a taste of the excitement around the company’s annual rewards program—but sooner. The new drivers don’t have to wait a full year to be recognized. And they begin to see, early on, the recognition that comes with a safe driving record.
When you reinforce safe behavior in a consistent and timely way, you help build a strong, safe culture and encourage actions that benefit your employees and your organization.
Every year, clients at the Lytx User Group Conference show us what it takes to be the best. Find more inspiration on running a best-in-class safety program here.