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By Jason Adams


 Safety Award Programs provide powerful incentives to keep your drivers loyal and safe, but many Safety Managers fall short in developing a campaign that continually motivates over time. Learning how to properly establish a Safety Award Program and choose which achievements your fleet will target is the first step, but deciding on the actual items given to drivers for their safe driving is equally as crucial.

There are two main motivators for drivers: incentives and recognition. Some drivers want to feel appreciated, while others may desire a more tangible item. Often, the sweet spot for many drivers is a mixture of both. Regardless of the route you take, highlighting a driver's dedication to your fleet should be the primary focus when choosing items for a Safety Award Program.

Incentivize Your Awards

An award can come in many forms. Useful items that a driver can wear, display, or share are excellent ways for Safety Managers to show their gratitude and reward each driver of his or her accomplishments.

For smaller items that are less of an investment to a fleet, the use of a catalog is an easy way that drivers can make choices which match their interests or tastes. Catalogs can include brand-name merchandise such as watches, electronics, tools, recreational equipment, and other items that drivers may have on their personal wishlist.

Some unique items cannot be fulfilled by the limits of a catalog, yet they can make a real difference in driver appreciation. These award incentives could include large ticket items such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles or a new personal vehicle for safe driving awards. While many desire these high-cost items, sometimes a simple cash bonus is a simple and effective way to motivate your drivers.

What other options do you have for truck driver safety awards, and what makes the most sense for your fleet? Here are a few categories in which safe driver award incentives fall into:

Wearables and Keepsakes

Items that your drivers can wear not only illustrate their achievements, but also that you value safety culture. Items or clothing worn by safe drivers can help motivate other drivers within your fleet to keep up their dedication to safety.Truck Driver Awards

  • Company Apparel — Jackets, polos, and other clothing is an excellent gift with practical use.
  • Badges and Pins — Safe driving award pins and badges that can be attached to clothing are another way that drivers can show off major safety accomplishments.
  • Plaques and Trophies — Truck driver plaques and trophies can make a nice souvenir to put on display at a driver's house or in a high-traffic area at the office.

Truck Upgrades

Giving a driver the ability to enhance their vehicle makes their time on the road more enjoyable, and also can provide great publicity for your fleet’s dedication to safety.

  • Decals — Illustrating Safety Awards such as Consecutive Safe Driver Years or the Million Mile Safe Driving Award is a way drivers can differentiate themselves from others on the road and take pride in their vehicle.
  • New Truck Model — Any driver would love a new truck. If a driver reaches a significant career milestone, this truck driver award is one to consider.
  • Upgraded Equipment — Sometimes, drivers feel comfortable in the truck they’ve been driving for years. Improvements to outdated equipment in their preferred vehicle will improve their experience on the road.

Family Perks

Long hours on the road and extended time away from home can cause a lot of strain for a spouse or family. That’s why making a point to acknowledge their sacrifices through Safety Award Programs can be appreciated by drivers and their loved ones.

  • Truck Driving AwardsVacations — Offering a getaway or paid time off is a great way for drivers to get off the road and spend quality time with their families.
  • Spouse Gifts — A supportive spouse is invaluable, and drivers appreciate when their employers feel the same. Some jewelry or other personal gifts can make a difference to drivers’ loved ones.
  • Scholarships — Consider offering scholarships for truck drivers’ children that have proven their dedication to your fleet for the long run.

Give Recognition

Not every incentive has to come with an expense. There are plenty of ways that Safety Managers can recognize drivers for their hard work without giving a physical gift or excursion. Giving recognition is also valuable because it can be given out more often, which may keep your drivers on the right track more so than pricier, less frequent awards.

  • Featured Article — A thoughtful article posted on your company’s blog or website highlighting a particular driver with excellent driving history can be a good idea for a content piece and is something the driver can share with his family and friends.
  • Social Media Post — Social media also can be a powerful tool to congratulate drivers more regularly. Posting drivers’ achievements can be great motivation for your entire fleet.
  • Recognition in a Corporate Meeting — Praise at an executive level shows drivers that they are making a difference to the entire company. If your fleet has hundreds or thousands of drivers, it may be easy for them to start to feel insignificant, which is an inaccurate perception you want to avoid.
  • Letters of Commendation — A letter that illustrates a driver’s exemplary safety record is a valuable tool that can benefit them in future positions. Drivers can display this in their cab or at their homes.
  • Event with Senior Management — Getting outside of the office, off the road, and doing an activity with your safe drivers is a way to connect and better see eye-to-eye in the future. Communicating with your drivers is also an excellent opportunity to gather feedback on how your fleet is operating from their perspective.
  • Reserved Parking Space — What employee wouldn’t appreciate a reserved spot when they’re on company property? Parking is a hassle, and this simple gesture could go a long way.

How to Choose the Best Safe Driving Awards For Your Fleet

Not all drivers are alike, and the same awards won’t necessarily work for every fleet. To motivate each driver to do their best, match your drivers’ personality types and demographics with the truck driver recognition awards to yield the best results for your Safety Award Program. For example, a more tenured driver might not have any interest to see his accomplishments posted on social media. In terms of personality, employees with an extroverted personality will more likely favor public recognition, whereas someone who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight would prefer the attention to be in private.

The best way to choose items for your Safety Award Program is to talk to a variety of drivers about what they consider to be most important. The most effective way to motivate drivers within your Safety Award Program is to make sure they get what they deserve in a timely matter. A proven method to track award eligibility and manage how they are given is to utilize a system that automates awards such as the Idelic Safety Suite.

Once you understand the process to implement a successful Safety Award Program, the options you have available for trucking awards, and have identified what is most important to your drivers, you’ll have a successful program that motivates drivers to stay safe and perform at their best for the long haul.

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Tags: Safety, Culture, driver retention, driver performance