Some people are self-motivated, but most of us require a push to keep going. That push usually comes in the form of beating others at something. - Photo via Pixabay

Some people are self-motivated, but most of us require a push to keep going. That push usually comes in the form of beating others at something.

Photo via Pixabay

I recently started learning French, using the Duolingo app. It allows you to earn points for completing lessons, compete with other users to pass to the next league, set daily goals, and see the consecutive number of days that you’ve reached them. The points are worthless, and I’m not competing against anyone I know, but these small competitions still have me opening the app every day.

Some people are self-motivated, but most of us ­require a push to keep going. That push usually comes in the form of beating others at something. You have goals you want technicians and drivers to achieve — can gamification help you reach them?

Drivers, Departments, and Technicians Can Compete

A number of technologies are ­available to track vehicles and driver behaviors. You can track where vehicles are and how often they’re being used, fuel use, acceleration and braking, speeding, and more. Fleet managers and department heads can focus on specific goals, encouraging drivers and recognizing those  who are performing well. For example, drivers can be recognized for safe driving practices such as seat belt use and the fewest instances of unsafe driving. 

Even departments can compete against each ­other. For those looking to reduce agency fleet emissions, departments can compete to reduce their vehicle miles traveled, reduce petroleum fuel use, or increase their zero-emission-­vehicle purchase or use. Or departments can compete based on how long it takes drivers to bring vehicles in for preventive maintenance after they’ve been notified.

Fleet management information systems already track technicians on productivity standards. Technicians can compete based on how many work orders are ­completed on time or any other factors that could be improved. Organizations with multiple shops can have different facilities compete based on safety, such as number of accident-­free days.

A leaderboard on the organization’s intranet, or in the case of technicians, in the fleet shop, allows people to see how they’re doing.

You could even use it to discourage unwanted ­behavior. It’s important that drivers entering odometer data when fueling input the right numbers, as the fleet department relies on this to make maintenance decisions. A “fat fingers” award for the most ridiculous inputs could encourage drivers to be more careful.

Establish Rules and Rewards

Many public fleets already benchmark and compete against the private sector. With the data available today, why not offer this tracking and competition to government employees? 

Essentially, anything that can be tracked and measured can be gamified. You need to set it up, including establishing rules to level the playing field; track it (hopefully this is something that is already being tracked); and provide a reward. A reward can be something as simple as bragging rights, but individuals may welcome something more concrete. 

And because it can be boring to play the same game for a long time and discouraging to see the same names on the leaderboard for something that seems unattainable, periodically switching up goals can keep things fresh.

What have you done to encourage positive competition among staff and drivers? Has it been successful?

Author

Thi Dao
Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

View Bio

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

View Bio
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