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Winning Employee Buy-In for New Fleet Ideas

December 12, 2018

The biggest barrier of winning employee buy-in is understanding and changing employee perspectives. To illustrate, consider the movie “The Karate Kid”.

How is the Karate Kid Similar to Fleet Management?

“The Karate Kid” tells Daniel’s story. Daniel wants to learn karate to compete in a tournament. To Daniel’s disappointment, his karate instructor “teaches” him karate by assigning household chores. Daniel initially thinks that his mentor is scamming him but realizes that household chores builds muscle memory for karate moves. Daniel then goes on to win the tournament.

New fleet management ideas are similar to “The Karate Kid”. Employees usually push back against new initiatives, just as Daniel argued against doing household chores.

However, most of the time, new fleet management ideas result in better productivity and safety. Hence, the key for winning employee buy-in is disproving initial reactions. We’ll demonstrate three examples.

Planning Better Routes


Firstly, we’ll look at the service industry and at route planning programs. Many service providers use routing software for planning routes. In addition, route planners measure route completion times.

First Reaction

Many employees initially fear change. Some employees suspect that their managers are trying to micromanage their time by squeezing more appointments during their busy day.


In reality, most managers use route planners for saving time and for improving operations. For instance, a business owner used route planners to ensure that employees visited the same customers.

The business owner found that consistent jobs improved business operations because employees knew their customers and knew their routes. Also, it increased employee morale because service agents built relationships with regular customers.

Protecting Drivers from Bad Drivers


Secondly, we’ll look at fleet cameras. There is exponential growth in fleet camera adoption because cameras reduce and eliminate safety incidents.

First Reaction

The most common driver reaction is anger and suspicion. Many drivers think that cameras are invasive. In fact, about a third of new fleets experience some sort of camera vandalism. Common examples include turning the cameras away or taping the lenses.


However, in reality, fleets use cameras for monitoring events. Hence, winning employee buy-in for cameras requires education. For instance, a fleet’s safety manager invited the HR manager to view their fleet camera training session.

In that session, the HR manager saw that safety staff only reviewed safety incident footages. The HR manager then reported their findings to drivers. Hence, drivers bought into the program and appreciated that cameras provide peace of mind against not-at-fault traffic incidents.

Improving Maintenance Planning


Thirdly, we’ll discuss maintenance automation. The new maintenance trend is automating tasks. Certain maintenance tools monitor vehicle diagnostics, create tasks with due dates, and follow up with employees.

First Reaction

Most maintenance staff fear automation and get defensive. For instance, some employees get nervous when managers measure their completion time. Common fears include underperforming against standards and getting overloaded with more work.


In reality, managers use CMMS for saving time. To illustrate, consider the example of automating circle checks.

Maintenance staff start repair work when drivers report issues on their inspection logs. However, a common frustration is that some drivers have poor handwriting or turn in damaged reports. In contrast, maintenance automation digitizes inspection reports. Hence, maintenance staff can focus their time on the actual job instead of on administrative work.

There is no “I” in Team Nor Management!

Winning employee buy-in is not easy and organizations often fail because of employee push back. Employees naturally act defensive when managers introduce new ideas. However, the manager is responsible for communicating with their staff and proving that new ideas will help the team in the long run.

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