If someone came up to you in the pub or at a party and having learned you were a train Driver asked:
What are the three things you would say made for a great Driver?
What would you say?
Over the years we have asked this question to thousands of Drivers, Driver Instructors, Driver Managers, Heads of Drivers, Heads of Operational Standards, Operations Directors.
The answers they always come back with are some combination of Non-Technical Skills.
The point we are seeking to make is that Knowledge of Rules, Routes and Traction may make you good but to be great it is your Non-technical Skills that need development.
Getting Drivers to build their own personal safety plans incorporating Non-technical Skills makes a massive positive difference. Getting the Driver Instructors, Mentor Drivers and Driver Managers to support the Drivers in applying those Plans and Skills adds power and pace to the adoption.
Driver instructors are arguably the most important group of Drivers in any Train, Freight or Rail Maintenance Operating Company.
If you want to know what you future Drivers will be like you need look no further than your Driver Instructors. They turn into mini-me’s.
I was sitting on the back of a train with a Driver Manager who told me he could tell from the Driver’s driving style who had taught him.
Driver Instructors have a disproportionate impact, for all the great training the Drivers receive in Driver School it is the Driver Instructor who shows them how it is done in the ‘real world’ and who the Driver not only listens to but who they aspire to be like.
Driver Instructors are the benchmark of your next generation of Drivers. They therefore, in my opinion, will be the best of the best and provided with the training and coaching skills to pass on their knowledge, skills and behaviours to your future Drivers.
Driver Managers have an important role to play in understanding Human Factors and Non-Technical Skills to be able to pass those on to Drivers, but through the assessment process they can identify opportunities for improvement and development.
Employees promoted to their first management role often get little more than hearty congratulations and, if lucky, some introductory training. Yet this career juncture brings a huge shift in responsibility. Frontline Leaders and Managers such as Driver managers have the most direct impact on employee engagement, customer satisfaction and operational productivity.
These people have been promoted from ‘doing’ to ‘leading’, typically because of their technical expertise and high productivity. Instead of being responsible for their own output alone, they now manage others, and their day-to-day success requires a completely different set of capabilities.
Without the tools they need to become better managers, and help their Drivers become more productive, many Driver Managers understandably revert to the behaviours that feel most comfortable to them and for many Non-Technical Skills was not a consideration when they were driving.
The Driver Instructor and Driver manager Programmes are designed to help them understand the process the Drivers have been taken through and getting both Driver Instructors and Managers to develop their own plans then adding in the additional elements to cover:
The combined approach has proved to be very effective in reducing accident and incident rates.
" The overall approach and professionalism was excellent. I would recommend this course to any employee. "
" To be honest, I thought it would be a load of b*******s, but I have to admit it was really good. "
" I particularly enjoyed being made aware of why we do the things we do. "
" This training should be given to all drivers as it helps with all aspects of personal life and the job "
" This training course was excellent. I have learnt many new techniques which have made a difference not only to help me to perform better in my job, but improving home-life as well. "
" I found the content very useful. I have learned some new tips to perform better in my job. I especially liked the nutrition and sleep advice. "
" The course includes many things that will directly improve my performance at work, as well as in other areas of my life outside work. "
" The course was very informative. There are many different techniques and strategies that I am keen to try out. I should think that there is something in this course for anyone with an open mind. "
" It's made me think about and recognise what I can be in control of and responsible for. "
" Leaving with a better insight into myself, how I do things, and how this affects those around me. "
" All enjoyed the group’s open participation "
" The Programme made me stop and think about me as a person, even to question myself "
" I now feel I know how to work a lot better and also how to improve on my weaknesses "
" Particularly liked the discussion and reflection aspects "
" Very balanced, Very informative, Excellent hand-outs! "
" I found the course very helpful and I have learnt a lot from it to help me cope with work and everyday stuff! "
" This training has boosted my confidence! "
" I found out a lot about myself. "
" Excellent. There are lots of things that most participants will implement from this Programme at work. "
" Encouragement of active participation of all participants. "
" Good quality and helpful information "
" You have made me think about myself. THANK YOU! "
" Content was absolutely fabulous. Learnt so much. "
" Information was clear and very factual! "
" Very informative and surprisingly helpful for personal lifestyle, not just work related "