How Do Fleets Determine Driver Eligibility?
Company vehicle driving privileges are not based simply on an employee’s job title. Several fleet managers discuss their company’s vehicle eligibility requirements.
Which employees can drive a company vehicle is most often specific to each company’s organization, culture, and needs. However, common steps to determine employee eligibility include working with senior management and HR to set policy, implementing the eligibility program, communicating the policy and process clearly to drivers, and following through, particularly enforcing consequences for noncompliance.
Field Position Required at Novo Nordisk
Primarily sales and field representative vehicles, Novo Nordisk operates 2,650 fleet vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The remaining units are executive and expatriate vehicles.
Driver eligibility criteria states drivers of the pharmaceutical company’s vehicles must have a field position (sales rep, medical liaison, or clinical research associate) or an associate vice president title or higher. U.S. employees living and working abroad for Novo Nordisk are granted a company car in their ex-pat agreement.
“We have not changed this policy in the three years I’ve been with the company, and we are not looking to change this,” said Donna Bibbo, manager, fleet & travel at Novo Nordisk, Inc.
Pfizer Utilizes MVRs to Identify High-Risk Drivers
At Pfizer, a research-based pharmaceutical company, vehicle eligibility for its 7,500-unit U.S. vehicle fleet is based on a pre-hire MVR check. Based on that check, high-risk drivers are not hired. An MVR check with risk assessment, including collision history, is run annually on all drivers.
Performance management is based on risk, including disciplinary action for high risk (3 percent of Pfizer’s population) up to and including termination (under 1 percent annually). MVRs are run for spouses or significant others — and an indefinite suspension of driving privilege is assessed for high-risk spouses.
Worldwide, Pfizer operates 31,000 units. A minimum fleet operating standard requires management in each country establish and monitor use eligibility. The company reviews each policy, including established standards, for eligibility. Pfizer has not recently modified its program, but has experienced better success with compliance. According to Fred Turco, senior director/team leader Pfizer Fleet Global Operations, “Our policy has teeth.”
All high-risk colleague files are reviewed by personnel from HR, employee law, medical, fleet, insurance, and safety.
“The outcome is a performance management note to file or warning letter, which impacts the colleague’s ability for a raise and promotion — or termination,” said Turco. “In addition, the review has no correlation to colleague performance, just acceptable organizational risk.”
All expectations are clearly communicated and consistently implemented, notes Turco. “Lastly, we place equal emphasis on colleague recognition of ‘excellent drivers,’ or colleagues with no MVR or collision history over a specified period of time.”