Construction businesses across the country are adopting GPS tracking solutions into their fleet operations at an increasing rate. Although it may be an easy decision for you as a construction manager to implement a GPS tracking solution, it’s not always easy introducing GPS tracking to your employees. It’s not uncommon for GPS tracking to be viewed by employees as “big brother,” or that it means upper management doesn’t trust them.
It is important to introduce GPS tracking to employees in the right way so they fully understand what the technology does, why your business will be using it, and how it will affect them. In order to get employee buy-in from the start, you need to debunk the myth that GPS tracking is “big brother,” present the benefits for both your business and employees, and be forthcoming about your reasons for implementation.
NOT “BIG BROTHER”
“Big brother” is a term used far too often to describe GPS tracking, and simply doesn’t portray it accurately. If you think about it, what other business out there doesn’t hold their employees accountable for their work performance? Sales representatives have their calls monitored by sales managers to make sure they are using the best techniques to close deals. Even CEOs meet with their board to review their work performance. GPS tracking is a resource for the construction industry to do the same thing.
CREATE BETTER RESULTS
Tracking your fleet is not about a lack of trust in your employees; it is about creating positive results for your business. If there is technology available to help you solve difficult business challenges, create more efficient fleet operations, and increase productivity, why would you not use it?
GPS tracking is not about getting employees in trouble; it is about making changes to your operations that will create better results. GPS tracking data gives you the ability to coach drivers into better habits and set the standard for what is acceptable. Employees are not aware their behavior is considered unacceptable. For example, a driver may think it is fine to start up their vehicle 5 minutes before they drive to their next job to get the A/C running on a hot day. What they may not realize is how idle time can add up when every vehicle or piece of equipment in the fleet is idling for an extra 5 to 10 minutes. If employees see how much of an impact it can make and know this activity is being monitored, it is unlikely they will continue this behavior.
SHOW THE BENEFITS TO EMPLOYEES
One of the best points you can share with employees to get them on board when introducing GPS tracking is how it will benefit them directly. If you utilize GPS tracking in the right way, you should be able to reduce costs, reduce risk, and increase revenue. If your business becomes more profitable, it will increase earning potential and job security for employees. Once they realize how it benefits them directly, they should be enthusiastic about implementing a GPS tracking solution.
Increase billing accuracy. GPS tracking can help your construction business increase billing accuracy by monitoring fleet activity and tracking when equipment arrives and leaves the jobsite. Many businesses depend on time consuming record keeping trying to stay on top of invoicing. GPS tracking will easily automate this task to save valuable time and money.
Having the ability to manage the amount of time it takes equipment to arrive at the jobsite and the amount of time it spends there, you can cut costs, improve billing accuracy, and ultimately increase revenue. By increasing revenue for your business, you will also be able to increase employees’ salaries or how much they are paid hourly.
Job security. Increasing your profit margin will also reduce the chance that you will need to lay off employees or cut salaries to compensate for high overhead costs. Everyone benefits when revenue increases, and job security is non-existent without profitability. By finding ways to eliminate unnecessary expenses and increase productivity, employees will benefit from knowing their jobs are secure.
PROTECT YOUR DRIVERS
When introducing GPS tracking to employees, it is also good to share how this technology can provide proof to dispute false claims and protect drivers from being held accountable for customer complaints or even vehicle theft that was not their fault. Your business has surely experienced taking a customer service call with a complaint about one of your employees and had no real way to verify or refute these claims. Technology can be used to protect your fleet by providing proof of driver and proof of equipment location.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Along with presenting the benefits and refuting common misconceptions about GPS tracking, it is important to be upfront with employees about your plans. It is not advised to keep it a secret; this will only add fuel to the fire if drivers are already opposed to being tracked. Let them know why you will be using the technology, how it works, and how it will affect them. By answering questions openly and honestly, you can gain your employees’ trust and get them on board with implementing GPS tracking. ■
About The Author: Jenny Malcolm is the content marketing specialist for GPS Insight. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s of Communication and is responsible for external marketing communication for all business segments that GPS Insight targets. www.gpsinsight.com
Modern Contractor Solutions, May 2015
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