How to Easily and Realistically Change Driver Behavior
The primary reason you train your drivers is to achieve a specific outcome in behavior. This means changing habits. But habits can be hard to break. And if those habits are unsafe or unprofessional, they’re costing you money and putting your business at legal risk. They need to change. How do you easily and realistically change driver behavior?
Better driving habits are reflected in numbers: fewer preventable accidents and tickets, increased fuel efficiency, lower fleet maintenance costs, more consistent record-keeping, and a trimmer budget. This all adds up to a safer, healthier, more protected trucking business.
The key is training.
But first, you may need to break some habits of your own…
How driver training usually goes
Let’s say you’re in a room, which may or may not have windows, under fluorescent lights. You pour yourself a styrofoam cup of coffee and take your place in a folding chair or office swivel chair with awkward lumbar support. You’ve got a stack of papers in front of you (maybe some dreary print-outs of PowerPoint presentations). You’ve met a couple of people around you, but for the most part, you’re not here with colleagues you know well. Maybe the instructor is trying to artificially pump up the energy level (a little irritating). And everybody, almost without exception, talks too long.
It’s training day. And if this is orientation, lucky you. You get to do this three or four—or more—days in a row.
Problem #1: In-person meetings drain time, energy, and money.
Drivers have taken time off for this. And, even if the chairs, coffee, snacks, and instructors are great, there is probably still somewhere else they’d rather be: enjoying their day off, or on the road. The information is important, but in seven or eight solid hours of sitting and listening, it’s impossible not to get bored and distracted. Presentations are often repetitive, and not applicable to everyone in the room.
Problem #2: All-day learning = low level retention. That = dangerous.
Drivers have got to cram so much learning at one grueling sitting; it’s not realistic to expect them to catch it all. Maybe this would be OK if you were teaching geometry or on a company retreat. But you’re dealing with 80,000 lbs. of truck moving swiftly down the highway. You’re going over safe driving practices, safety regulations, road laws, and vital maintenance requirements. This is life-saving and litigation-preventing information. When it comes to safety, you—and they—literally can’t afford to not remember.
Problem #3: In-person training isn’t flexible.
That’s a fact. All day training, especially when they’re not subject-specific or hands-on, is a strain on your drivers, your instructors, and your budget, because they expect too much. And this isn’t an inattentive employee we’re talking about. It’s the average person at an all-day corporate meeting. No one can pay attention that long. You’re asking human brains to be more flexible than they actually are.
Why keep doing things this way?
Online training doesn’t replace the things you absolutely need to teach in person. It reduces the number of hours and days you spend per year doing it. By moving the main training site online, it frees up your drivers to learn much more.
The magic of microlearning
The “magic” of microlearning is harnessing the power of brain functionality and common sense together. Instead of putting drivers in a classroom, you’re putting the classroom in their hands.
Short, engaging microlearning videos from Infinit-I are only 5-7 minutes long and cover over 800 topics.
Learning in short bursts is proven more effective in retention. Microlearning taps into the brain’s ability to give concentrated attention to a subject for a few minutes at a time. Remember college cram sessions? You knew it was better to study a little every day for the midterm, rather than stay up all night to cram the night before. You can get an A on the exam in both scenarios. But while short bursts of learning lead to real long-term learning, brain dumps in turn into brain dumps out.
With online microlearning, you can train far more frequently. Repetitive learning is more effective in changing habits. Why try to have one on-site training meeting per quarter and struggle to get even most of your drivers there? Instead, make microlearning a consistent, frequent part of your company culture. Run orientation with online training support, correct driver behavior, and send regular training, such as monthly assignments, to serve as continuing education.
Request our catalog of over 800 available microlearning training videos.
Online training modules don’t interrupt a driver’s daily routine. Drivers will thank you! Modules can be completed anywhere, at any time. A haul has ebbs and flows of work and waiting. Instead of asking drivers to take a day off and come to the office, or take a day off the road and miss a day of income, they can use wait time productively, according to their own schedule.
Train until you see real change. You can send drivers topics specific to your company, specific to FMCSA regulations, or personal improvement training — even encouraging videos from Executive management.
Common issues you may want to correct include:
- Improper lane changes
- Following too closely
- Failure to wear a seatbelt
- Texting while driving or failing to make a hands-free call
- Pre-trip inspections
- Other violations documented by law enforcement or EORDs
- Other gaps in maintenance or record-keeping
At Inifnit-I Workforce, we offer over 800 microlearning videos in dozens of subject areas to easily and realistically change driver behavior. Need to see real, lasting results, fast? Request your free demo of Infinit-I today.