Staying in touch with your countries - for global fleet managers
85% of the aid & development organisations face a delay in programmes as a result of preventive measures of governments, disrupted supply chains or shifted priorities . At the same time, some organisations are busier than ever. That means that vehicles might be idle or more vehicles are needed, fleet managers and/or drivers might have less work, vehicles might have to be stored. And many more impact.
Therefore, it is important to stay in close contact with your colleagues in countries responsible for fleet management (fleet managers, transport managers, admin, logs) to:
- know how they are doing personally
- get insight in their situation
- understand what their needs are now
- understand what their future needs are
- give them positive energy
Here is what you can do:
- weekly team updates
- use chat groups
- shared resources
- informal video conferences
Weekly team updates
Organise a weekly video conference to share updates, learn from each other, share ideas inspire each other. Use videoconference; this brings people closer to each other than conference calls. There are many platforms that you can use (like Zoom, hangouts, teams).
These meetings are about listening and answering questions. Not about presenting or reporting.
Ask everyone to send in an update the day before the meeting, so you have time to combine it in an overall update document. Make the update simple and valuable. Examples of topics that you can ask to report about:
o Are all drivers and fleet management staff still healthy?
o Does everyone stick to the advices about protection of drivers, passengers and vehicles?
o What is your main challenge?
o What support do you need?
o What ideas or documents do you want to share?
o Number of vehicles idle (vs tota lnumber of vehicles)
o Average number of km’s per vehicle operational (vs expected nr of km’s)
o Number of drivers not working (vs total number of drivers)
Try to limit to 15. If you have more people in your team, then split the group up (regions, level of impact, etc)
30 to 50 minutes, depending on team size and how many questions there are.
Always use the same structure. Then people know what to expect.
- Update on qualitative topics. Discuss what are the main challenges that you will be
- Update on quantitative numbers. Discuss what conclusions people can take from the
- Examples of measures or interventions that people want to share.
- What support is needed.
- Any other questions.
When you process the update reports, you can pick 2 people with remarkable or valuable updates. Ask them to share their experiences.
If you want to keep everyone engaged, stick to short meetings, actively invite people to speak and do not talk too much yourself.
Etiquette for video conferencing
- Be on time.
- Mute yourself when not speaking.
- Agree on the signal people can use if they want to speak
- Ensure your technology works correctly.
- Frame the camera correctly.
- Have the right light.
- Look into the camera.
- Pay attention.
Use chat groups
People like to share ideas and experiences. Especially in a situation like this. Apart from the weekly calls, you can use a chat platform that can be used for group chats (like whatsapp).
Etiquette for chat groups
- Always keep to the purpose of the group! Don’t share irrelevant messages about other topics.
- Do use the group to ask or offer support.
- Do not spam the group!
- Post your message in one single chunk of text, don’t post every word or sentence in a new message.
- Do not have one-on-one conversations in the group. Switch to private messages.
- If a message asks for a positive response like “who has guidance around...”, don’t reply negative (“I don’t have it”).
- Don’t get into in-depth conversations or arguments.
You want people to use the same information and share information and documents. Use the internal shared resources functionality. If that does not work, then set up a public document sharing platform (like dropbox or google)
Informal video conferences
Look for opportunities to have fun together as well. Organise a 10 minute video conference on someone’s birthday to sing Happy Birthday or a Friday afternoon video conference to get into the weekend without talking about Corona.