Business acumen is an in-depth understanding of how a company operates, what drives its business decisions, how it generates revenue, and how it is exposed to losses. Naturally, a motor carrier’s senior leaders are privy to the inner workings of the business. The question is, how much time do they spend providing employees with business acumen, especially in regard to the company’s risk management strategies?
A motor carrier’s present and future success hinges a great deal on its ability to prevent losses. Having a workforce that appreciates the logic behind the company’s risk management strategies and equates those plans to the company’s organizational objectives can go a long way toward minimizing losses and maximizing profits.
Furthermore, if employees understand their roles in the big picture and know how they stand to benefit personally from the company’s initiatives, that knowledge can inspire improved performance and employee buy-in. With this in mind, here are a few areas where motor carriers can improve employee acumen.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 94% of serious crashes are due to human choices. A driver chooses to speed, tailgate, or be distracted while driving, and these behaviors can lead to crashes. Perhaps drivers would be less likely to engage in risky behaviors if they understood the financial impact of losses to them, their coworkers, and their employer. For example, insurance may not cover the hidden costs of a crash. If an employer has to pay for these unbudgeted expenses out of pocket, the losses could trickle down and affect employee benefits, wages, and other areas.
Drivers are the forward-facing image of the company. They have more interaction with customers than anyone else has and they leave a lasting impression.
That is why motor carriers should explain to drivers why their personal hygiene, attire, and professionalism are crucial to maintaining the company’s image.
Likewise, drivers, mechanics, and dispatchers directly influence public perception of the company through its Safety Measurement System results. Moving violations, mechanical defects, hours-of-service violations, and BASIC alerts can all damage the company’s credibility and affect its ability to compete for business.
Complying with federal regulations and state laws is another way to improve an employee’s business acumen. For those employees new to the trucking industry, the DOT regulations can provide a meaningful introduction. Explain to employees how avoiding compliance violations and fines are loss prevention techniques that support the company’s bottom line. When employees look at compliance that way, they may be more inclined to support compliance efforts rather than view them as a burden.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.
The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.
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This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.