GPS is second nature today. “It’s ubiquitous,” says Scott Steckel, director of strategic development, Plunkett’s Pest Control. “People are used to using their smart devices to get them from place to place, so using turn-by-turn directions is not something we have to teach.”
While you don’t need to explain what GPS is, helping technicians understand why and how you’re using the technology will help you gain buy-in and give them the insight they need to leverage the system, too.
When Truly Nolen introduced its drive cams and GPS behavior modification alerts, the company tapped into some videos provided by their supplier and held calls with managers. “We did some video conferencing materials, and we just let people ask questions — and there were a lot of questions,” he says.
Giving team members a forum helped dispel any myths about the system, and it gave them a better understanding of how they can use it to their benefit. Here are two questions with responses that can break down the Big Brother complex.
Q: Will this technology always be “watching me” while I’m on the road?
A: The drive-cams Truly Nolen uses only record footage when an incident triggers the system. “We have to make sure the manager and drivers understand that this technology is reactive — it’s there for their safety,” Lawlor says. In case of an accident or aggressive move by another driver that prompts a Truly Nolen technician to react by swerving or stopping hard, there’s video proof. Also, the system keeps drivers safe. If an incident occurred and the interior camera shows a technician was texting while driving, the behavior can be corrected.
Q: Why is the GPS always beeping?
A: “No one believes it’s because of their driving,” Lawlor says. “Everyone thinks they are the best driver — and then you put in a system that is going to send an alert based on the accelerometer and it catches people off guard.”
Hard turn. Beep.
Hit a bump. Beep-beep.
Fast stop. Beep-beep-beep.
Sure, it can be annoying. “I’ve had it happen to me,” Lawlor says, adding that relating this to team members can humanize the technology. Everyone is going to get some beeps. The idea is to use those as a way to check yourself on the road. “Just help them understand why it does what it does,” he says. Again, emphasize safety and let them know it’s a tool they can use.
Steckel adds: “It’s how you present the data that comes in. We live in a world where sometimes, we are driving offensively. Explain, ‘We want you to learn from this — it’s feedback and it’s not reporting to management. The truck is telling you what just happened so you can improve.’”