Driving for greater well-being in the workplace

According to mental health charity, Mind, research consistently shows that when employees feel their work is meaningful and they are valued and supported, they tend to have higher wellbeing levels, be more committed to the organisation’s goals and, importantly, they perform better too.

Research shows that FTSE 100 companies that prioritise employee wellbeing outperform the rest of the FTSE 100 by 10 per cent. By supporting staff wellbeing, they reap the benefits through enhanced morale, loyalty, commitment, innovation, productivity and profitability.

Wellbeing and driving at work

As the UK’s largest privately-owned contract hire and fleet management specialist, Grosvenor Leasing’s interest in staff well-being extends beyond the physical workplace to company vehicles.

Unsurprisingly, many drivers suffer different forms of stress compared to office-based staff. Examples being, getting from one appointment to another with little time to spare, having to grab food on the go, sitting in endless traffic jams, getting up earlier than others to make it to meetings and getting home later in the evenings.

Being a lone worker also means less bonding with work colleagues and teams, time away from family, missing important events, and the choice between driving more miles and doing longer hours or staying away in faceless hotels.

Employee engagement and discretionary effort

According to Gartner, the world's leading research and advisory company, highly engaged employees work 50% harder and are 9 times less likely to leave a company. Their research also reveals that 70% of business leaders believe engagement is critical to achieving objectives.

With this being so essential, it’s important that field-based workers are not left feeling forgotten, making your company drivers a key area for applying engagement techniques.

Here are 5 pieces of advice from Grosvenor Leasing:

1. A company car is for work and leisure

When setting the company car choice list, offer some flexibility so that drivers can match the vehicle to their lifestyle as well as their work. Your sales manager may be a dog lover (and want an estate) and your HR director’s children may have flown the nest and she’s now ready for something more sporty. Remember that behind every member of staff is a person!

2. Avoid a ‘them and us’ culture

This can emerge in a number of ways. For example, office staff feeling that they are more part of the company than field-based staff, because they are more visible and have physical desks.

Good line management will avoid this, particularly if the manager oversees a team covering both field and office-based personnel. Joint events, meetings and flexible work space in the office are important - so that when people come in, they feel welcome, part of the team and not an interference.

3. Use pulse and engagement surveys

These can track morale and allow early intervention. By asking for regular feedback (anonymously if necessary) can help identify issues that can either cause a ‘them and us’ culture to grow or highlight a drop in engagement levels. For example, a company car driver commenting that they don’t feel welcome in the office, or office staff feeling that field-based staff don’t understand their work pressures.

4. Encourage timely intervention

There’s a danger with remote workers that you wait until they are in the office before giving feedback. It means either criticism or praise isn’t given ‘in the moment’. As a result, those ‘out on the road’ are left in a vacuum of having very little feedback, but are then hit with everything when they come in. Avoid this by giving feedback immediately and encourage others to do the same.

5. Lead by example

Senior leaders and managers should be role models for healthier work habits and encourage staff by example. For example, don’t send emails late at night to field based staff on the basis that they’re admin time is limited to evenings and weekends.

Also, appreciate that many company car and van drivers make very early starts and can finish work later than those in the office. If they want to see their son or daughter in the school sports day, tell them to be proud and honest about what they are doing rather than letting them try and hide behind a made up appointment.

For more information about contract hire, fleet management and going green with your fleet why not speak to one of Grosvenor’s friendly team on 01536 536 536.