Saying a fleet manager’s work is never done isn’t too much of a stretch considering the number of responsibilities on their plate. Typically, they’re in charge of:
- Developing and controlling the fleet’s budget
- Purchasing and maintaining vehicles
- Hiring, training, and ensuring the safety of drivers
- Analyzing vast amounts of data to improve decision-making
- Keeping up with technology, industry standards, and compliance issues
When you add unforeseen challenges to the mix of responsibilities, you have a job that is pretty high on the stress meter.
Lessening the Stress
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, business was anything but usual. Multiple layers of unforeseen challenges were suddenly on the radar. Many trucking operations were grounded during the outbreak. In contrast, others hit the ground running, delivering critical medical supplies and consumer staples to save lives, protect health care workers, and keep supply chains moving.
Successfully navigating through these unforeseen challenges, whether they’re pandemic related or related to other events, begins with recognizing that worry in stressful times is normal. It’s common for people to feel shocked, anxious, and out of control when faced with uncertain situations. Many are out of their normal routine, which can make coping with stress and anxiety -- while also managing a fleet -- even more challenging.
The good news is reducing stress and anxiety and becoming more resilient in a “topsy-turvy” workplace is not as difficult as you may think. In fact, it can be accomplished by adopting simple, practical tips.
So inhale. Exhale. And consider these six tips:
- Prioritize — When things become out of control, prioritizing time and tasks may seem to be one of the hardest things to accomplish. Still, it’s one of the most important. It ensures your time is used wisely and that tasks are completed. It may take some self-discipline when demands are higher than ever, but saying “no” to some tasks to make sure the most important ones are taken care of will go a long way in relieving stress and anxiety.
- Identify What You Can Control — When stressful situations arise, it’s important to ask yourself if there is anything you can do about it. If you determine there is immediate action you can take, forging ahead and taking that action will help you gain a sense of control and help you move forward.
- Accept What You Can’t Control — Focus your attention on what you can do rather than what you can’t. There will always be variables beyond your control. Choosing to become a problem-solver rather than a worrier will give you a sense of mastery over challenging situations, while building your confidence.
- Support Your Drivers — Driver stress can lead to unsafe driving behaviors, which can cause multiple problems. Help reduce driver stress and yours by keeping the lines of communication open. This approach lets drivers know their well-being is a top priority and they have a voice on changes that may be warranted. Avoid putting too much pressure on drivers. Increasing workloads when drivers are stressed more than usual is counterproductive. Address expected workloads with drivers so they can mentally prepare for any changes.
- Take Care of Yourself — Aim for at least 15 to 20 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. It improves your mood and helps maintain a healthy immune system. Calm your mind by listening to music and paying attention to your breathing. Practice deeper and slower breaths. “No man is an island,” so try to avoid isolation and keep connected with the important people in your life for better mental and physical health.
- Limit Media — Staying in touch with what’s happening, especially during a natural disaster or situation like COVID-19, is wise. But listening to alarming news blasts 24/7 can raise your anxiety and stress levels. Stay informed and avoid the dizzying whirlwind of news blasts by choosing one reputable news source for updates.