Automotive fleet management, a mission for HR

07/01/2019 by Hicham HMICHE


Automotive fleet management

Vehicle fleet management is generally assigned to a company's administrative, technical and logistics departments. However, it is also a human resources activity, as it affects the relationship between the company and its employees. Indeed, fleet management takes on social and legal proportions in addition to impacting the company's internal image. A good HR strategy is therefore required to transform the car fleet into a tool for internal communication and staff retention.

Vehicle fleet management under its legal and social propensity

The provision of a service vehicle is governed by rules to which each user must comply. These are the guidelines established by the company, including the terms and conditions of use of the vehicle concerned. Two scenarios may occur.

First, the vehicle is exclusively at the employee's disposal in the performance of his duties. This is generally a non-nominal use. In other words, any employee who needs to travel can use the car in question. Rules of use are needed to manage the vehicle fleet effectively. The objective is to avoid conflicts between authorized users and to limit the risks of litigation between employees and employers. The establishment of a legal framework - which is the responsibility of HR - is therefore necessary as soon as the keys are made available. These are generally internal rules of procedure common to all in order to overcome discrimination.

Secondly, it is possible that vehicle fleet management may involve the provision of personal and nominative information. The user can therefore drive the company vehicle outside working hours for personal use. In this specific case, fleet management requires the establishment of precise rules of use. The company can define a geographical perimeter not to be crossed, set a fuel cap, determine the risks not covered by the company, etc. Here again, HR is responsible for drafting the contractual document that sets out the terms and conditions to be respected. The use of geolocation systems is regulated by law. It is up to HR to establish how these monitoring methods will be applied. For example, it should be specified that GPS is activated when the vehicle leaves an urban area or travels on unsecured roads to ensure optimal protection for the driver and passengers.

In addition, any company that makes vehicles available to its employees is required to provide a minimum level of social security coverage. In practice, managing the vehicle fleet involves taking out insurance. In this context, HR's mission is to assess the risks and define the company's position according to the situations that may arise. Thus, vehicle fleet management includes identifying the measures to be taken if the employee violates the Highway Traffic Act. Fleet management also consists in defining the company's responsibility in the event of an accident. It makes sense to create scenarios that facilitate the adoption of appropriate solutions that protect the company without unfairly harming employees.

Good to know: in the event of an infringement, the company is obliged to report the employee at fault

The mission of HR in the context of vehicle fleet management therefore also involves informing employees about legal provisions, their rights in the event of a claim, their liability in relation to the use of company property, etc. We speak of civic-mindedness insofar as HR refers to both the environmental and safety dimensions and the societal and legal aspects of vehicle use.

Manage the vehicle fleet well to enhance the value of the company

As a reminder, the employer brand refers to the image that employees and potential recruits have of a given company. Its improvement obviously requires efforts from the marketing department. But HR has an even more important role to play. The objective is to motivate employees to remain loyal to the company in addition to making potential employees want to join the team.

The role of HR is therefore to ensure the condition of the vehicles that are the subject of fleet management. It is not necessarily a question of proposing the most recent models, but of ensuring that the native functionalities are there. At the same time, the aesthetics of vehicles have an impact on the state of mind of their drivers. It's a matter of logic: you're proud to be driving a functional and well-maintained car. Regular maintenance is also a guarantee of safety and comfort, concepts that automatically enhance the image that the company sends back to its employees. It is in the interest of properly managing the vehicle fleet.

A car certainly represents a rather significant financial investment. It is nevertheless a motivational tool for the staff. Motivated teams will promote the company's merits, which has a significant impact on its reputation. These same teams that measure the attention given to them will also contribute to the development of activities by increasing their productivity tenfold. The sums allocated to fleet management are therefore gradually being made profitable. HR can also work with financial services to define essential expenses and their limits.

When we talk about fleet management by HR departments, we are talking about a judicious recruitment method, but not only. It is a question of establishing a relationship built on trust, respect and taking into account the human dimensions of the provision of professional vehicles. Profiles with the best potential will more easily integrate teams to make the company prosper. In parallel, the automobile fleet is included in the list of benefits offered to employees who are already employees.

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