The gamification of fleet driver coaching

Fleet Management
The gamification of fleet driver coaching
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Key Takeaways

Gamification has been around for nearly ten years. But with few able to do it well, adoption has lagged behind for driver coaching. Its left many fleet managers wondering if it’s a key factor for 2019.

Let’s take a look at some of the key considerations.

The benefits of gamification

According to Wikipedia, gamification “employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, and employee recruitment and evaluation.”

Basically, gamification turns something boring and burdensome – like, say, driver behavior evaluation – into something fun, competitive, and self-improving. It helps make even the most tiresome and tedious tasks engaging, and improves the effectiveness of those tasks in the process.

Why? According to eLearning Industry, gamification addresses several key psychological realities that affect all adults, and leverages them in clever ways to incentivize training success.

Gamification, for example:

  • Evokes a motivating sense of friendly competition. People naturally want to be the “best.” Gamification taps into this natural drive to make training more fun.
  • Provides learners with a quantitative, measurable sense of achievement. Gamification provides a sense of instant feedback with hard data that other methods can’t match.
  • Encourages progress through the training, motivating action and influencing lasting behavior change. Studies on memory retention show that behavioral changes delivered via gamification training are much more likely to persist after the training than other methods.
  • Delivers a much more engaging learning experience. Gamification creates an effective, informal learning environment that allows employees to practice real-life skills in a “low-stakes” game context.

This is partly because, as the diagram below shows, humans remember much more of what they do than what they read or hear.

Gamification of Driver Coaching Structure
Figure 1: Information Retention by Type

Gamification will only grow in attractiveness and effectiveness as the working population continues to age. Millennials make up more and more of workforce. According to, by the time the average Millennial turns 21 years old, he or she has already spent nearly 10,000 hours playing video games, making them literal “experts” according to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 Hour Rule.

Gamification is already effective for employee training. It will only become more effective with time.

Why should fleets care?

So how does gamification apply to fleets, and why should fleet owners and fleet managers care about gamification?

As Fleet Equipment Magazine explains, “Since gamification appeals to the human instinct to compete, either with yourself or with others, this technology can impact driver behavior by helping achieve company-wide goals, greater safety, productivity, and compliance by delivering real-time data to drivers and their managers.”

But let’s dig deeper into how those impacts add value for fleets.

Fleet drivers like gamification

When it comes to fleet telematics solutions, many drivers initially balk at the idea of Big Brother watching their every move, tattling on each mistake.

But gamification transforms that mindset into something positive.

“Today, fleets are finding that it’s tough to get [driver] buy-in with the stick,” says Bill Cooper, Vice President of Customer Acquisition at WEX. “Gamification makes the leap from ‘Big Brother’ to ‘this is fun.’ For a service fleet, they’re often a tight group with a lot of rapport. Gamification dials into their natural competitive nature.”

And while a little friendly competition is a good thing, fleet managers can harness that gamification power even further. “[A fleet] can put its drivers into teams, so they can have the Northeast versus the Southeast, for instance. Then they compete together,” explains Roni Taylor, Vice President of Industry Relations for Spireon. “It’s a very constructive and fun way of rewarding the driver and helping them change their behavior.”

And about those rewards. Gamification presents a built-in opportunity for fleet managers to offer any number of incentives to boost driver morale and reduce driver turnover, ranging from trophies and bragging rights, to better route and vehicle assignments, to large cash bonuses and prizes.

That’s not to mention the long-term career benefits of a safe driving record.

If you still need more help, we wrote about how to get your drivers to buy-in to fleet telematics here.

Gamification makes fleets and drivers safer

The latest data shows that gamification makes fleets – and their drivers – safer.

Zendrive found that fleets that who gamify coaching achieve the following:

  • Reduction in speeding by 21%
  • Reduction distracted driving by 59%
  • Overall reduction of collision risk by 49%

And of course, those safety benefits translate into immediate and powerful financial benefits. Safer driving records help achieve less vehicle downtime, reduced repair costs and more.

Gamification reduces the total cost of ownership for each vehicle in your fleet. 51% of ongoing vehicle costs are influenced by driver behavior, and you can fix that.

But while you may have one bottom line in mind, your drivers likely have another: getting home safely.

With gamified driver coaching, you can reduce each driver’s risk of collision by 49 percent. That’s a 49 percent increase in driver safety, a 49 percent decrease in that driver’s chances of getting hurt on the job!

Gamification of driver coaching reduces fleet turnover

Fleets are struggling through a nationwide shortage of up to 50,000 fleet drivers.

After all, this is a tough job. And with safe, qualified drivers in such high demand, driver turnover is rampant. Many CDL drivers receive as many recruiting offers as developers in Silicon Valley.

Drivers often leave because of a payment issue; they struggle to make the money they want. With compensation often tied to dangerous events per mile, they don’t see a path to advancement.

But what if you could offer them better driver coaching? That would make them safer drivers, and enable them to earn more money?

Well, then you’d have a very compelling reason for them to stay with your fleet. All while you enjoy the benefits of reduced

Moving forward

Gamifying driver coaching is not just another trend. It is an understanding of something fundamental to human nature. When properly leveraged, its benefits can be enormous. Especially for fleets.

By integrating this, fleet owners can save money on the total cost of ownership of their vehicles. They can keep their drivers (and our roads) safer. And they can enjoy greater employee morale and reduce driver turnover with clear paths to financial advancement.

Gamification of Driver Coaching Zendrive Dashboard

Learn more about Zendrive's fleet solutions here.

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