How often do you worry about how happy your employees are at work? How much effort do you put into ensuring your customers have a good experience? Do you ever think about the end consumer --potentially even a toddler who might not have their beloved cereal in the morning because your fleet operation was inefficient?
Keeping your stakeholders happy is essential to running a successful fleet.
In the second episode of “The Fleet Success Show,” our hosts Josh Turley, Steve Saltzgiver, and Jeff Jenkins dig into one of the four pillars of Fleet Success – Stakeholder Satisfaction.
Learn how they define Stakeholder Satisfaction, how to achieve it at your operation, and why it’s necessary.
What is Stakeholder Satisfaction?
First things first, let’s define what Stakeholder Satisfaction means. Our trio defines it as: “Living up to the expectations of those who depend on the job you do.”
What does this mean? It means if you do your job well, then others can achieve their own personal goals and objectives. If you don’t, then it can have a ripple effect through your stakeholders, and their stakeholders, and so on.
Determining Your Stakeholders
To achieve Stakeholder Satisfaction, you need to determine who your stakeholders are. Turley suggests using this exercise:
“Think about your organization. Draw two circles. Think about the people who are immediately impacted by the job you do. What is it, who are they, what job are they in, what role do they serve? In the next circle, think about the people who depend on them to do their job,” Turley said.
Doing this exercise helps you determine your primary stakeholders (people whom you immediately impact), and secondary stakeholders (people who are impacted by the people you impact).
- Primary Stakeholders: Some examples of your primary stakeholders can include technicians, drivers, fleet managers, and others in the organization. For government fleets, police officers and department heads could also be included in this group.
- Secondary Stakeholders: Included in your secondary group could be your customers (although they could be primary, depending on your operation), or taxpayers for a government fleet.
You may also have a third layer. The tertiary level could include your employees’ spouses and families, or anyone else who is affected by your operation’s performance.
Doing this exercise can help you better understand your stakeholders and their needs.
“You are going to realize really quickly that stakeholders are just people,” Turley said. “They are people with emotions. They’ve got their own fears. They have their own anxieties. They’ve got their own problems that they’re dealing with, and their problems aren’t necessarily your problems. So, one of the key parts about stakeholder satisfaction is understanding what their problems are and how you impact their problems.”
Listen to the full episode to learn how connecting with your employees can motivate them to work harder.
Steps to Improve Stakeholder Satisfaction
Once you’ve identified your stakeholders, the next step is to figure out how to make them happy.
To start, you need to talk to them. Ask them what’s important – and really listen. Every person has their own objective and goals, so it’s up to you to ask them questions and figure out how to help them achieve it. When they provide feedback, listen, and let them know that they’ve been heard. This will help improve communications between you and your stakeholders.
“Most things that go wrong happen because of a lack of communication, or a misinterpretation,” Jenkins said.
Once you figure out what your stakeholders need, you then need to determine how to measure if they are satisfied.
One way to measure their satisfaction is by establishing an advisory committee. Establish a group of stakeholders you can talk to about issues and problems and get their input on new policies, procedures, and other decisions. “If you don’t weigh in, you can’t buy-in,” Turley said.
Another option is to survey your stakeholders to see how you’re doing. At RTA, we send a quick survey after every support call so customers can rank their service from one to five stars. The RTA support team averages 5-star service, which motivates them to continue to get high scores.
Why Stakeholder Satisfaction Is Important
Failing to achieve stakeholder satisfaction can have negative effects on your entire fleet operation. Jenkins shared an example of this during “The Fleet Success” podcast.
He previously worked for a trucking operation whose maintenance department consistently had negative reviews. Preventative maintenance services took 10 hours on average to complete, which upset the drivers. They needed to get on the road, not wait around for their truck to get PM. As a solution, they gave drivers backup trucks to use when their vehicles were in the shop. This was a Band-Aid, but it did not fix the problem. The trucks were subpar compared to the normal assets the drivers operated and resulted in some unexpected breakdowns.
This left unhappy stakeholders all around, Jenkins said. The drivers were upset, the dispatchers were mad, and the drivers’ families were unhappy because now they had to be away from home longer.
And even the end consumers were impacted.
“Now you’ve got some 3-year-old in Minnesota that’s upset because they don’t have their Lucky Charms because Sam’s Club ran out because we didn’t get it delivered on time,” Jenkins said.
By not taking care of their stakeholders -- the drivers -- there was a negative ripple effect down to the driver’s stakeholders.
Why is Chick-fil-A a great example of Stakeholder Satisfaction? Listen to the podcast to hear Steve’s totally unsolicited praise and explanation.
Dig deeper into the definition of Stakeholder Satisfaction in the second episode of our podcast, “The Fleet Success Show.” If you like it, subscribe to get future episodes and share the link with your peers!