Are fleet managers satisfied with the workplace?

 

Are fleet managers satisfied with the workplace?

Source: FleetAnswers For companies who have fleets, those fleets are critical to the success of the company. Companies pour thousands into keeping the vehicles running well and the people associated with those fleets happy. A well-run fleet starts with satisfied management, so it is critical to know what the satisfaction rates are for fleet managers and leaders.

  • Fleet Manager Satisfaction by the Numbers

According to the 2018 compensation and job satisfaction survey from Fleet Answers, most fleet managers are highly satisfied. 76% of surveyed fleet managers said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs. Only 10% said they were dissatisfied with their jobs.

One fleet manager surveyed said, "I have a great job and feel appreciated and am allowed to do my job with little to no hand holding from management. I would not change anything." However, even those who are satisfied with their jobs indicated areas where improvement is possible.

Interestingly, only a small handful of respondents tied job satisfaction to an increment in salary, feeling that they would be more satisfied with their job if they had a higher salary. Instead, most respondents felt that improved recognition, better work-life balance, improved dynamics and support from upper management would greatly improve their job satisfaction.

  • Areas of Improvement – Stress

One of the biggest negatives of fleet management is stress. Balancing the demands of managing people, including the up-and-coming millennial workforce that thinks differently from previous generations, as well as managing vehicles is not easy.

Stress not only causes dissatisfaction, but it can also lower motivation, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, affecting overall productivity. Stress can also create a work culture that is more negative for all involved.

As one fleet manager said, "We have opportunities for development and training. It is just that my duties are such that I don't have a lot of time for training. Or I can attend training, however I am so busy that I don't have time to practice the new learned skills." Another manager who indicated slight dissatisfaction cited the need for "additional staff to share responsibilities. Administrative workloads continue to increase without staff increasing."

When possible, hiring additional staff can help alleviate some of this stress and improve the overall team dynamic. However, hiring staff is not always possible, but what is possible is giving fleet management the tools and training needed to streamline tasks to reduce workload. Proper fleet management software and technology, for example, can cut down on paperwork and preventive maintenance tracking, freeing more time for fleet management to focus on other tasks.

  • Areas of Improvement – Under Appreciation

Fleet managers work hard. They want to be respected and recognized for that work. Management that feels underappreciated or under compensated will lack motivation, and this will lead to poor performance. That poor performance affects the entire fleet because it impacts team morale.

As one fleet manager put it, "I have been trying to get our company to upgrade my position. (Several years ago) I took on many of our fleet analysts' duties. So, I have more responsibilities that keep me extremely busy, lots of OT, but never got an upgrade in job level."

Ensuring that people are paid fairly for the work they do, and are commended for a job well done, will lead to greater satisfaction.

While many people will be satisfied when they feel that they are properly compensated, fleet management professionals also want to see opportunities for career advancement and training to advance fleet knowledge. This shows that the company is invested in its people and this can increase job satisfaction.

Some fleet professionals indicated that they wished their companies provided training sessions that enhanced leadership skills, career development, and continuing education to keep up with the technological changes in the industry.

  • Areas of Improvement – Work Life Balance

Work life balance is the biggest factor leading to feelings of job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. This is not surprising because fleet managers work hard. It is challenging to balance work with personal and family life as a result.

Currently, many fleet professionals expressed dissatisfaction with their lack of work-life balance. One manager indicated the need for "time off without interruptions." Being unable to enjoy paid-time off is a trend among those who were surveyed. Several fleet professionals expressed the inability to take paid vacations because they were understaffed. Others complaint of not being able to fully enjoy their time off because they had to be on call or attend meetings remotely.

While attending to important meetings or being on call while on vacation is a common expectation, many wished that their responsibilities can be covered by their colleagues when they are taking their paid time off. The easiest way to improve work-life balance is to ensure fleet professionals have paid time off that is adequate and reasonable for the stress level of their jobs.

  • Areas of Improvement – Management Dynamics

Fleet managers feel that the freedom to be able to lead their fleets effectively, hiring people when needed and company adapting quickly to technological changes would improve their sense of job satisfaction. Others want less red tape to get things done in their department and better cooperation with management in other parts of their organization. One fleet professional also indicated that the "good old boy network … in promotion and hiring" was also a problem that needed to be addressed.

Overall, fleet management professionals are happy in their work. A few changes can increase job satisfaction even more, helping improve productivity and motivation in the critical fleets that keep today's companies running well.

Download the 2018 Fleet Management Compensation Survey Report or read the analysis and summary report to learn about factors impacting fleet professionals’ annual median salary.