There’s a lot of research on the subject of worker productivity. You could spend a great deal of time sifting through lots of websites, research papers and whitepapers to learn the best techniques. The reality is that you most likely don’t have the free time to do that so we’ve condensed one proven method for improving productivity into a short five-minute article.

This technique has been responsible for a 19% increase in mobile worker productivity*, so it’s no wonder fleet owners are taking an interest in seeing how it can help them manage remote staff more effectively.

*Source: “Service Workforce and Fleet Management,” Aberdeen Group, 2009

Productivity gains need to be sustainable

One key thing to keep in mind when it comes to worker productivity is that it is not simply about squeezing as much as you can from your staff, and finding ways to make them work harder. For this technique to be successful it needs to be done in a way that achieves two important outcomes:

  1. Improving worker productivity and output — good for the business
  2. Helping staff to feel productive and intrinsic to the success of the business — good for staff morale

By achieving both of these when improving staff productivity you’ll make sure the gains are long term and sustainable. Sure, management could use this technique to ‘crack the whip’ and punish workers who fail to meet the imposed standards, but while there may be short-term gains, overall it would be detrimental to the health of the business as morale dives and staff retention deteriorates.

Scientific approach to worker productivity

In the early part of the 20th century the world was experiencing a radical change in the working environment. A major power shift was happening with the growing popularity of workplace democracy, and a big rethink of management styles.

In 1931, famed psychologist and researcher, Elton Mayo, conducted management experiments at an electrical factory known as Hawthorne Works. In what has become known as the Hawthorne Effect, results of the study came to some interesting conclusions.

While the research had originally been undertaken to investigate the effect of reducing illumination (interestingly a decrease in lighting did result in an increase in productivity!) the experiment uncovered some interesting findings.

It was discovered that increases were not necessarily a result of external factors such as lighting, pay rises or shorter working hours. Positive changes in worker productivity seemed to be more related to intrinsic benefits such as a feeling of belonging to a team and management taking an interest in them.

You can use your Telogis telematics solution to take advantage of these findings to help boost both productivity and morale with your fleet workers.

Using telematics to boost fleet productivity

Telogis fleet management tools can be used to help your mobile workforce focus on achieving realistic targets, targets that can easily be measured and monitored.

Introducing a productivity tool such as telematics can sometimes be met with resistance. There are several things you can do to improve the transition and adoption of fleet tracking systems in your fleet but the key thing is to be honest and upfront with staff.

Clearly discuss the implementation plan, including any baseline tracking, as well as rewards, incentives or repercussions for not meeting expectations. Explain provisions for assisting drivers to meet the new guidelines and how they will be measured.

With Telogis you can start to measure a whole range of productivity metrics, metrics that can influence your fleet’s overall output.

  • Start and stop times– Using ignition or geofences to detect when vehicles start or enter a specific location.
  • Jobs per day — How many jobs are being completed and by whom.
  • Job timing – How long are jobs taking to complete to provide helpful trend analysis.
  • Route deviation — How closely drivers adhere to the optimized route and save unnecessary miles.
  • Driver safety analysis — Accidents are a massive blow to productivity. Driver Scorecards help fleet managers analyze what areas drivers need coaching assistance.
  • Service timing – Measure the percentage of on-time starts, late starts and missed jobs to determine issues with your internal processes or resources.

There are a huge number of metrics that can be used to work with your drivers and mobile staff to create measurable targets that help them to gain greater job satisfaction while improving overall productivity.

Telogis provides you with the tools to put the Hawthorne Effect to good use in your fleet, without the need for an excessive amount of paperwork, tedious record keeping or complicated formulas. Once implemented, metrics are recorded around the clock, without interference and automatically reported on.

Find out how easy it is to use Telogis to help your drivers get the satisfaction and reward of working towards and achieving team goals.