How is my driving?

TAKING CONTROL OF CHAOS

How is my driving?

By Anthony Walley, The CONFIDANT Group

During a consultation with a large trucking company, a seemingly impossible problem was brought to my attention.

One of the managers was asked to cut more than a million rand from his division’s budget, but since the previous budget was already pared down to the bare essentials, the manager couldn’t see where the new reductions would come from.

The solution became apparent after a quick look at the numbers: the company was accounting for incidents and accidents which, by conventional wisdom, they had no control over.

In this line of business, bumper bashings, minor traffic infringements and even moderate to serious accidents are not uncommon. But they are certainly avoidable. And if they can be avoided, they can also be controlled.

Coincidentally, the prevailing wisdom is that training is the most critical aspect of road safety in South Africa. How wrong!

Training is important, yes, but it’s the drivers themselves – and the personality and character traits that they bring with them to their demanding jobs each and every day – that are most important.

Since the common denominator in any incident or accident is the driver, this is where the manager needed to focus his efforts. If I could show the manager why, and how he could take control of apparent chaos, he would no longer need to over-budget, and this is where his savings would come from.

Based on proven research, there are certain traits that determine our propensity for a given role in a company. For long haul truck drivers, these could include patience, the ability to concentrate for extended periods, resistance to deviating from the rules, general health and stamina, and so on. Take any of these away and you could argue the person in question isn’t suited to becoming a long haul truck driver.

Put another way, it’s the individual traits unique to every one of us that makes us more or less suited to the work we do. I could be the most able minded, persistent person with an exceptional eye for detail, but this doesn’t mean I’d make a good truck driver.

With the right data, I was able to show the manager how to properly assess his employees and determine which of them best suited their roles. I could also show him how to train suitable candidates to be more effective in their jobs, and in doing so, how to avoid the incidents and accidents that had, until now, blown his budget.

This article is part of a series titled ‘Taking control of chaos’. For more insight follow Anthony’s posts on our blog, or contact Anthony directly on anthony@confidant.co.za

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