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GAMIFICATION: PAVING THE ROAD TO DRIVER SAFETY

Dec 1 • Features, Fleet Technology • 4010 Views • No Comments on GAMIFICATION: PAVING THE ROAD TO DRIVER SAFETY

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Gamification is helping fleet and field service organisations to engage and incentivise their drivers to become more safe and efficient on the roads, says John Cameron, general manager of Trimble Field Service Management.

Careless driving can cost fleet and field service companies thousands or even millions of pounds each year. The UK’s Institute of Advanced Motorists’ Drive & Survive division report that 86 per cent of UK fleets have experienced an accident in the past 12 months, and that every fleet has had an accident where one of their drivers was ‘at fault’.

Many organisations look to improve driving behaviour by deploying telematics technology across their vehicle fleets. Whilst the technology has proven benefits, organisations often struggle to reap its full rewards as drivers may not always be fully engaged and motivated to improve their driving performance, mainly due to a lack of interest or incentive.

Demotivation is something many organisations struggle with, not just with initiatives for improving driver safety, but with all business aspects. In order to avoid the pitfalls of demotivation providing employees with recognition at work, regular rewards and a sense of competition amongst peers are all strong motivators.

In recent years, Gamification has come to the fore as a solution able to tap into an employee’s key motivators and sustain them. Indeed, organisations are increasingly calling upon the skills of software developers to apply the appealing traits of computer gaming into their business applications as a way to increase employee participation, engagement and accelerated learning in a business programme or initiative.

What is Gamification and how does it work?
Owning a smart phone or a tablet is a staple in many of our lives today and downloading apps, particularly gaming apps, is becoming ever more frequent. The power of popular games such as Candy Crush and Flappy Bird recently captured the lives of people from all walks of life. Students, businessmen, parents all became addicted to breaking the latest high score at any spare moment they could get. This inherent desire to compete, either with ourselves or others, is embedded within all of us.

In 2010, venture capitalists identified the potential for Gamification to incorporate the social/reward aspects of gaming into business software. This would not just make daily business tasks more enjoyable for employees, but would increase their collaboration and motivation at work to directly benefit the business and achieve company-wide goals.

Gamification and Driver Safety
A significant industry where Gamification has proven successful is in helping fleet and field service organisations to manage driver safety and risk. Being able to operate a safe and efficient fleet of drivers directly impacts the productivity and bottom line of a field operation. However, when it comes to adopting new processes, engaging employees is a notoriously difficult thing to do, especially when it is something as sensitive as monitoring their driver behaviour. Many businesses have therefore begun to implement gaming techniques into driver safety mobile apps to encourage drivers to perform better on the roads.

Gamification has proven successful in helping field service organisations manage driver safety and risk…

A driver safety mobile app typically records any extreme manoeuvres such as harsh acceleration, braking, turns and speed, the data of which is provided directly to the driver and sent to the back office for analysis. Gamification is integrated in the form of a scorecard that employees can use to record their driving performance. Although the recordings can be both personal and impartial it is the direct feedback that incentivises drivers to compete against themselves, and each other, for the best scores.

It often happens that employees are resistant to new initiatives because they don’t see any personal benefit in adopting them. Organisations therefore emphasise the gaming element of driver safety mobile apps to motivate their drivers, offering them positive recognition and rewards for good driving behaviour. Driver conversations inside an organisation therefore changes from gripes about the new technology to new excitement and collaboration around which team and individual has ranked top for the week and which areas they have improved in.

In order to reinforce focus over the long term, many apps also incorporate daily improvement tips based on an individual’s driving performance. For example, if speeding is proving to be a problem, the app will explain that higher speeds will result in longer stopping distances and excess fuel use, therefore negatively impacting their overall driver safety score.

Gamification ultimately offers a plethora of opportunities to fleet and field service organisations in helping them to motivate their drivers to change behaviours and develop their skills. However, the potential for Gamification doesn’t stop at driver safety. Gaming techniques can be incorporated into business applications both business and industry-wide. The pace at which gaming techniques is being adopted is gaining in momentum and market growth is expected to reach $5,500 billion by 2018.

Whether a company is looking to improve customer engagement, employee performance, training and education, innovation management, personal development, sustainability or health and wellness, organisations can integrate Gamification to help guarantee employees stay fully motivated and committed to achieve business goals.

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