Use education to gain acceptance from the start and avoid pushback from your team
One of the biggest challenges for owners of HVAC fleets when implementing a GPS tracking solution is introducing the technology to employees. Management may be convinced the use of GPS tracking will benefit their business, however, technicians are not always on the same page. Typically, they're skeptical about GPS tracking and don't understand how or why your business plans to use this technology.
It's important to introduce GPS tracking technology to employees through education to gain acceptance right from the start and avoid employee pushback. Through communication and education, you can build a positive perception of GPS tracking and gain employee acceptance.
Address Employee Concerns
Before introducing the benefits of GPS tracking to employees, it's important to address employee concerns and answer all of the questions they may have. This is also a perfect opportunity to debunk many of the myths and misperceptions they may have about the use of the software.
The most common concern employees have about GPS tracking is that the technology is overly intrusive. "Big Brother" is a term used far too often when describing GPS tracking and it simply isn't true.
Measuring employee productivity is a part of any business; sales managers review their employees' sales calls to ensure the best techniques are being used and customer service managers conduct post-incident surveys with customers to measure their agents' performance.
There are procedures across every industry to ensure employees are performing their jobs in the best way possible — GPS tracking is one way to hold your fleet accountable for productivity and performance.
Explaining to employees that your business will not use GPS tracking to be overly intrusive, but rather to improve productivity and help the business become more profitable, they are far more likely to accept the technology from the start.
Another concern many employees have is they believe GPS tracking is being implemented because of a lack of trust.
Explain that it's about using a tool that creates better results for the business. When technology is available that helps solve difficult business challenges it has to be used, not just in the office but in the field as well. Technology simply helps employees and managers perform at higher levels more efficiently and increase revenue and profit.
Instead of addressing "the group" rather than one or two sub-standard employees, GPS tracking gives managers the ability and the data to single out drivers who are speeding, taking unapproved breaks, have been excessively idling or exhibiting any other behaviors that are not acceptable.
Employees who perform their jobs in the best way possible aren't likely to have issues with GPS tracking because they don't want to be held responsible for other drivers' behavior.
No one wants to be punished as a group or be the one to call out a peer, so employees that are following the rules will actually be glad to have a solution in place for this purpose.
Explain the Need
When introducing GPS tracking to employees, you should explain why your HVAC business needs this technology to solve business challenges.
If fuel costs are at an all-time high, the number of accidents per year has skyrocketed, or customer churn has increased significantly, let your employees know about it. They are far more likely to be on board with GPS tracking when they realize it is being used to solve business challenges that are affecting the entire business.
A common reason to implement GPS tracking is to take control of high costs. With the right usage of GPS tracking software, fleets are able to reduce fuel costs, labor costs and maintenance expenses.
When overhead costs are higher than they should be, the business will have fewer resources available to put back into the business and won't be able to replace worn assets or increase technicians' hourly rates. If employees realize there is a need to monitor these metrics to reduce costs and make the business more successful, they will be far less resistant.
GPS tracking solutions can be used to reduce speeding, harsh braking, rapid acceleration/deceleration and reduce accidents by as much as 38 percent year-over-year. Monitoring driver behavior with GPS tracking will help ensure driver and public safety, which makes for a safer work environment and typically lower insurance rates.
Sharing how GPS tracking improves safety will increase positive perception of the technology and gain employee acceptance.
If your business has experienced high customer churn, you can use GPS tracking to increase customer satisfaction and even help generate new clientele. The number one reason customers choose any type of service business is because of customer service.
GPS tracking improves the customer experience by arriving faster to the job site during emergency response, providing accurate ETAs, verifying job completion and serving customers in the most efficient way possible.
Discuss Employee Benefits
One of the best points to bring up when introducing GPS tracking to employees is how it will benefit them directly, such as increasing revenue and making operations more efficient. When the business becomes more profitable, it will increase employees' earning potential and ensure job security.
When your business is making money, so are your employees.
GPS tracking will help your HVAC fleet complete more jobs per day, which will ultimately increase revenue. Having more funds available will allow fleet management to increase salaries, award bonuses, and create incentives for employees. Incentive programs are a great way to improve fleet metrics and motivate employees at the same time.
Not only will GPS tracking increase revenue to help award incentives, the solution can also be used to measure driver performance individually to monitor the incentive program.
Everyone benefits from a fatter bottom line, and job security is non-existent without profitability. If you're able to reduce costs and generate more revenue with a GPS tracking solution, employees can rest assured their position will not be eliminated or have their hours reduced due to budget cuts.
GPS tracking can also protect employees by providing proof to dispute false claims. If your customer service team receives a call that your technician did not arrive to complete a service or that one of your vehicles was driven recklessly in their neighborhood, management can use the GPS tracking solution to verify the legitimacy of the claim and prevent employees needing to defend themselves in a case of "he said/she said."
By accessing your fleet's historical data, you will be able to tell customers the exact dates and times you visited their home or business, how long you were there, and even which employee performed the service.
Providing proof of service allows HVAC managers to exonerate drivers during a discrepancy that is not their fault.
Avoid Employee Backlash
Along with understanding the best ways to introduce GPS tracking to employees, it is also important to avoid the common mistakes that will result in employee backlash. To ensure employees accept this technology from the start and avoid pushback, your management team should not try to keep the implementation a secret or hide how the business will benefit.
Be upfront and honest with employees about your plans for GPS tracking from the beginning — do not implement GPS tracking into your fleet without your employees' knowledge.
Business owners and fleet managers across the country are turning to GPS tracking technology for all of the benefits that this software offers. To gain employee acceptance of GPS tracking from the start, it is important for management to introduce this technology in the best way possible.
By debunking the common misconceptions about GPS tracking, explaining how this technology will solve your fleet's business challenges, discussing the benefits to employees, and avoiding the common mistakes that result in employee pushback, management will build a positive perception of GPS tracking and gain acceptance from employees.
Jenny Malcolm is the content marketing specialist for GPS Insight. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor's of Communication and is responsible for external marketing communication for all business segments that GPS Insight targets. For additional information, visit www.gpsinsight.com.