When you think about a startup company, what comes to mind? While table tennis tables, kegs, and open office concepts were popular trends in the startup space, what is often envied about startups is their culture. Startups are fast-paced, dynamic, and a true team effort. While there are pros and cons to startup culture, there are common aspects that may benefit a fleet organisation.
Identify and champion a mission
Startups are built around their mission statements. These statements drive the work of every employee in the company. Identifying and championing a mission statement keeps all teams aligned and moving towards a common goal. For many fleets today, goals may center around safety or sustainability. These goals affect more than just the fleet—they often impact the entire community surrounding the fleet. If each employee, from the managers to the technicians to the drivers, understands the fleet’s mission, they will then take pride in the work that they do and understand how it impacts on the overall success of the organisation.
Practice open communication and accessibility
In typical startup culture, the CEO is a highly visible figure to employees. They are often in the trenches with the entire team, working to solve problems and provide valuable guidance and leadership. Employees are encouraged to talk directly to the CEO about challenges they are facing or to pitch ideas for new products or processes. If a fleet organisation is looking to adopt a more startup-like culture, the fleet manager needs to try to be easily accessible. This can be achieved through open door policies, regularly occurring team meetings, or just taking time to be physically present throughout the fleet.
Focus on the team’s collaboration, education, and career growth
Startups are often fast paced, with employees often wearing multiple hats and collaborating with different roles and departments. This collaboration helps employees understand how different roles work within the organisation—which could ultimately lead to a future career path for that employee if they find the role interesting. For fleet employees, this type of collaboration-focused culture can be very energising. It could pave the way for a technician to become a procurement manager, or vice versa. Continuing education is another strong path for employees to advance in their careers, which could include certifications and training programs.
Ask for feedback (and listen to it)
Employees are often the best source for constructive feedback and insight, but as fleets grow, it becomes more and more difficult for an employee’s voice to be heard. Startups often foster a culture of feedback through roundtables, all hands calls, and individual check-ins. These processes can be easily implemented in a fleet organisation; however, the most important aspect is for the feedback to be listened to by the higher ups. If feedback goes unaddressed, it will be obvious to the employee who raised the concerns. This will lead to them not sharing their feedback in the future.
For any organisation, it’s easy to fall into comfortable routines—clock in, do your job, clock out. One of the most defining traits of a startup environment is its commitment to innovation. When innovation is at the forefront of strategy, fleets can solve both new and long-standing challenges, keep employees engaged and committed, and achieve goals. Technology often plays a large role in fleet innovation. Having advanced fleet technology provides many benefits, including reduced costs, optimised maintenance schedules, and improved environmental impact. There are many areas of improvement technology can help with:
- Motor pools may help reduce the lingering concerns of managing a grey fleet.
- Integrating electric vehicle charging data allows fleets to manage electricity as a fuel.
- Use a fleet management system which safeguards DVSA standards when it comes to compliance and safety.
- Automating lifecycle cost analysis streamlines procurement and disposal.
- Providing technicians with tablets and smart app technology to carry out their daily driver inspections and increases workshop productivity.
For many fleets across the United Kingdom, adopting a culture like a startup organisation may increase employee morale and productivity. To learn more about how modern fleet technology can help speak to an expert: