Are your employees ready to resume driving for business after covid?

With business mileages plummeting over the past 12 months due to various Covid-19 restrictions, many employees are feeling more anxious about driving again and going out on business.

The pandemic has affected people in different ways: there are some who will be incredibly nervous about not only driving again, but meeting clients face-to-face. So it is essential that as a responsible employer you can identify these employees and offer them help to adapt back to the ‘old normal’.

Our Driver Survey

To help, at RED Driver Risk Management, we have compiled a six-question survey that allows fleet decision-makers to put in place processes to identify staff who may feel nervous about driving for business again. These are:

  1. Are you expecting your staff to resume ‘driving for business?’
  2. Are you asking staff that have not previously ‘driven for business’ to drive – possibly even in their own vehicle?
  3. Have you directly asked your staff whether they feel comfortable returning to ‘normal’?
  4. Have you directly asked staff about the effect that Covid-19 has had on their mental well-being?
  5. Do you have in place a resiliency/wellbeing programme that all staff can access?
  6. Do you have in place any training courses available to staff who are not comfortable in any of the above areas?

Duty of care has always been the foundation of good fleet risk management. But never has it been more important than now, and businesses need to be aware that the parameters of what they previously considered duty of care may have shifted considerably in the past year.

Not only will employers have to spend more time looking after their employees’ mental health, but they also have to be able to ensure productivity isn’t affected.

After a year of lockdown, many employees have been working from home and driving a lot less than usual. But as there is a resumption of more typical working practices, mileages will start to rise again and this brings risk with it, not only for drivers whose skills are rusty, but for those who are naturally more nervous anyway.”

Our Wellbeing Profiler

At RED Driver Risk Management, we offer a Wellbeing Profiler which allows businesses to monitor their employees and rank their wellbeing monthly, giving early warning signs of behaviours or attitudes which may put them at more risk on the road. Additionally, it provides comprehensive bespoke monthly reports featuring a resilience score to all users based on their answers with specific training advice about improving in the most needed areas.

For example, analysis of RED Driver Risk Management’s data for one client running a fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles highlighted issues such as anxiety and personal management, and in particular during the first quarter of 2021 (when lockdown three began). Scores across the board fell, with employees feeling more anxious, more tired, angrier, less relaxed and with a less positive attitude.

Two of the main areas of concern were a lack of self management and control, and the company was then able to put in proactive assistance to improve mental health and well-being. Employees subsequently felt they had more support and the ability to take more control of how they were working, and RED DRM was able to track this improvement.

‘Back on the Road’ Training Plan

RED Driver Risk Management is also offering fleets a specially devised ‘Back on the Road’ training plan catering for drivers post-pandemic. The programme can be delivered in-vehicle on a one-to-one basis or interactively via a live webinar and covers:

  • Understanding attitudes of other road users
  • Comprehensive vehicle checks and safety, safe loading
  • Confidence building
  • Driver observation and anticipation
  • Speed awareness and refresher
  • Driver re-focus after a prolonged period of non-driving
  • Specific road type confidence building, motorways or rural roads or slow speed maneuvering