Fleet Safety – How to Hire and Retain Cautious, Compliant Drivers

Do you want drivers who are accident-prone or drivers who’ve likely never caused an accident? What are you willing to do to get them?

Research and experience prove that the safest drivers are those high in the C (Compliant) and S (Steadiness) behavioral factors. These are the best drivers you want to hire and retain. Then you keep them by applying the most effective techniques for managing and motivating them. Good drivers don’t quit their companies, they quit their managers.

In this article, we’ll look at ways to relate to drivers with the Core C behavioral style. By doing these things, you’ll be able to more effectively and easily manage and motivate them.

Managing Effectively

Understanding their passion for attention to detail, and desire for quality performance and accuracy, you can manage drivers (and others) high in the C factor effectively by knowing that they need:

*A manager who prefers quality over quantity
*Logical answers in a logical order
*The opportunity to ask questions to clarify or determine why
*Support in making high-risk decisions
*Time to gather facts and data before making decisions or taking action
*Training in people skills
*Performance appraisals on a regular basis
*A manager who sticks to business

Motivating Effectively

Effectively motivate Core C drivers by understanding that they want:

*Time to perform to their high standards.
*Straight talk supported with facts
*Time away from people – to be alone
*Information in a logical order
*High quality work standards
*Precision work to perform
*Safety procedures
*Instructions so they can do the job right the first time
*Better planning and fewer changes in the organization

Your drivers will do a better job and “go the extra mile” for you if they know you understand their wants and needs. Good managers know they can’t manage everyone in the same way. Outstanding managers are trained to understand behavioral styles and attitudes, and manage each driver as an individual.

Communicating Effectively

It’s also important to learn how to (and how not to) communicate with drivers who have the Core C behavioral factor. Here are tips on how to interact most effectively with your drivers (and others) who have this behavioral style:

DO these things:

*Give them time to verify the reliability of your actions or statements; be accurate, realistic.
*Be organized and follow through.
*Use testimonials from experts.
*Use proper “buzz words” that are appropriate to their area of expertise
*Give them space, keep your distance, stand at least three feet away from them and don’t touch them.
*Prepare your case in advance; they need facts and data.
*Give the time to be thorough; give them a step-by-step timetable in writing; assure them there won’t be any surprises.

DON’T do these things:

*Pretend to be an expert if you’re not.
*Be superficial or chatty
*Push too hard for quick action or decisions; don’t be unrealistic with deadlines.
*Be vague about what’s expected of either of you.
*Be redundant
*Make conflicting statements
*Use gimmicks or clever, quick manipulations.
*Make statement you can’t prove.
*Be casual and overly-friendly; stick to business.

These are guaranteed ways you can be more successful when communicating with drivers – and others- who have the Core C behavioral style.

The ideal work situation for drivers with a Core C behavioral style includes a private work area; a close relationship with a small group of associates; a preference for technical work, specializing in one area; projects that produce tangible results; data to analyze; assignments that can be followed through to completion; and an environment dictated by logic rather than emotion.

Behavioral style analysis and values assessments can give you crucial information you need to know to determine whether to hire particular drivers; and if you do, how to manage them so they will stay with your company and be outstanding employees.

©2007 Annette Estes. All Rights Reserved. Permission to reprint granted as long as entire text and tag line are included.