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Release date: 2/18/2020
Fleet Employees Respect Leadership with Experience in the Trenches
By Jasmine Glasheen
No matter what a fleet manager’s pedigree, employees reserve their respect for supervisors who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and work alongside them when necessary. While it’s true that communication is one of a fleet manager’s primary functions, it’s easy for fleet managers in high-stakes fields — such as those managing ambulance response teams or police or fire engine dispatch — to lose sight of one of the key principles of employee retention during high-octane day-to-day work of doing their job.
However, no matter what the vertical, fleet managers need to regularly demonstrate to their employees that they know the field they’re working in, especially when lives are on the line. Between communicating schedules with drivers, dispatching government officials, and keeping clients updated on issues that arise, the hands-on component of fleet management can easily fall by the wayside. It is essential that operatives see their supervisors roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty when work needs to be done to retain their faith in the enterprise that employs them.
Delegation only works when the manager is a living example of the behavior that they want employees to emulate. In fact, “Don’t ask your people to do anything that you wouldn’t do” is the golden rule for Jim Bigelow, Senior Director of Enterprise Fleet at Cox Enterprises Inc.
On any given day, this might mean surveying vehicles to identify wear, meeting directly with clients and employees, and taking part in continuing education classes related to new field developments and technologies.
Regular field experience and continued education are a must for fleet managers to retain the respect of the specialists they oversee. And, according to Forbes, employees who respect their supervisors are less likely to leave their jobs. The fleet industry is facing a talent shortage that has already begun to impact the supply chain and the line of command, so it has never been more important for managers to know how to retain their employees.
Jasmine Glasheen is a cultural thought leader, writer, and speaker. As CEO of Jasmine Glasheen & Associates, she spearheads a millennial think tank that assists brands in creating top-performing content and content strategy.