At a time when driver recruitment and retention are the biggest challenges across the transport sector, bus operators should consider how they can make their organisation a place where people want to work.
One such area is the process for managing driver holiday requests.
It can be quite frustrating for a driver, who at the end of their working day, needs to speak to someone about a holiday request, only to find that person is unavailable or busy seeing to other drivers. The driver can have a clear and easy way of requesting leave that does not affect their own time, such as a driver app which can be used remotely and independently when convenient.
Other options that make managing the driver’s work-life balance easier can also be available. For instance, it can be easy to swap a shift for a more suitable start or finish time or know where they might be at a given time on a given date in the future. Having easy access to duties weeks in advance and the content of those duties empowers your drivers with better management of their own time.
The benefits go beyond the time saved discussing leave or swaps with the person responsible for driver allocation; the quality of information is vastly improved, and it differentiates your organisation to current and potential employees.
Drivers who want to volunteer for overtime can also be accommodated. They do not have to scan the noticeboard after each shift or burden the allocator; they too can request overtime at their convenience or even just let the allocator know they are available.
If a driver can do all this at any time, it adds an element of fairness. The driver does not miss an opportunity to request holiday just because they could not get into the office and the overtime does not always go to the person who is in the canteen at the right time. If overtime is available through a driver app, it is available to all your drivers at the same time in the same place.
Driver requests are a time drain and fraught with inaccuracies when done manually. By leveraging technology, you can make the process a positive experience where staff are encouraged to take the appropriate leave and come back recharged, refocused and recuperated.
Drivers need support to help manage their home life around varying shift patterns and you need an efficient and fair process which makes the depot allocator’s life easier, whilst improving the level of control and accuracy of information.
Coming soon – In part 2 of our series on driver communication, we consider how you can ensure your staff are kept in the loop about operational and business decisions.
How we can help
Part of the EPM Group, Omnibus has over 30 years’ experience in software and consultancy services and has comprehensive knowledge of the passenger transport industry and well-established software solutions to meet your challenges.
Our driver app OmniENGAGE enables operators to stay connected with drivers whilst reducing administration to your operations team remain focussed on service provision.
To book a free consultation to see how we can assist with your challenges and requirements, complete the online form or call 0161 683 3100.