Mental Health Month: Prioritising Mental Health for Drivers
Drivers play a vital role in ensuring the smooth functioning of various industries. Whether that would involve transporting goods or delivery drivers bringing packages to our doorsteps, their job comes with its own unique set of challenges and stressors. Recognizing the importance of mental health and wellbeing among drivers is crucial for companies that employ them.
While it should be a priority for all businesses, mental health and wellbeing is particularly relevant to those who drive as part of their job and it is estimated that 30% of illnesses in the transport and logistics sector are mental-health related.
How does it manifest within your business?
Mental health issues could impact your business in several ways.
• Poor driving
• Poor Customer Service
• Days off either from sickness or absenteeism
Which may result in:
• Degraded public perception
• Higher fuel costs
• Damage to vehicles
• Higher training costs
• Lower employee retention
Statistics published by Brake, highlights that nine in ten drivers admitted to feeling stressed or angry when behind the wheel. By prioritising drivers mental health and creating an environment that fosters open discussion surrounding mental health, companies can create a supportive workplace that benefits both the driver and the organisation as a whole. The following are some ways Fleet managers and CEO’s alike can prioritise their drivers mental health.
Understanding the challenges
Drivers face a multitude of challenges that can negatively impact their mental health. Long hours on the road, isolation, traffic congestion, tight deadlines and the pressure to meet and perform targets are just a few examples. Additionally, drivers often have to deal with unpredictable and unsociable work schedules.
Drivers may also struggle with sleep disruptions and difficulty in maintaining a healthy work-life balance due to the unpredictability of their work schedule. The effect of these factors can take a toll on their mental wellbeing, making it essential for companies to address these challenges and look out for warning signs of burn-out.
Promoting Mental Health Awareness
To encourage open discussions about mental health among drivers, companies should prioritise mental health awareness. This can be achieved through various means, including training programs, workshops and informational campaigns. Providing access to confidential counselling services, either in-house or through partnerships with mental health professionals, can offer drivers a way to discuss their concerns and seek guidance.
Companies should also make sure that their policies promote a healthy work-life balance and discourage excessive overtime or unrealistic deadlines and targets that may contribute to stress.
Destigmatising Mental Health
Companies should strive to destigmatise mental health issues by promoting a culture of acceptance, understanding and empathy. Normalising discussions about mental health as an essential aspect of overall wellbeing can encourage people to reach out if they require additional support. This can encourage drivers to seek help without fear of judgement or negative repercussions.
Some other ways you can improve your driver wellbeing include:
• Organise better schedules for your drivers
• Encourage physical activities in breaks
• Encourage employees to take breaks as needed
• Offer ways to deal with traffic issues (through telematics)
Prioritising your drivers mental health is not only ethically responsible but also beneficial for companies in terms of employee satisfaction, retention and productivity. By actively addressing and acknowledging the challenges drivers face and fostering open discussion, companies can create a supportive network that values the wellbeing of its drivers. Through training, policies and destigmatisation efforts, this will lead to happier, healthier and more engaged employees. It can also result in safer driving and higher driving standards, making UK roads safer for everyone.
A recent survey showed that among respondents:
• 75% of people will say that they’re fine when they are not
• 58% felt that having a mental health problem was a stigma
• 28% of managers said that they’d had a conversation with an employee about mental health issues
• 38% felt that talking about it would affect their career negatively
According to government figures:
• 45% make excuses when they take time off for mental health reasons
• 40% of men under 45 have thought about suicide
• Men aged between 20-49 are more likely to die from suicide than cancer, road traffic accidents or heart disease
• £100 billion per year is lost because of unaddressed mental health issues which affect – or are made worse by – the workplace environment
How can Cambrian Fuelcard Services help?
One way that you can help to look after the wellbeing of your fleet involves the use of telematics. Using cutting-edge technology, you can track your fleets location in real time. The software ranks your drivers performance based on their speed, braking, acceleration, idling time and general driving behaviour. It can pick up on any changes in driving behaviour and help a fleet manager to address any issues proactively. Fuel cards can also help to reduce stress by reducing the need for your drivers to keep receipts or large amounts of cash on them to pay for fuel.
All of these services, which we offer, can help to relieve the stress and anxiety of your drivers and improve their wellbeing.
To find out more about our fuel cards click here – https://www.cambriancards.com/fuel-cards
To learn more about our telematics devices click here – https://www.cambriancards.com/telematics