As everyone in the trucking industry knows, the driver shortage problem persists. And, it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. With incentives and bonuses tempting drivers to jump between carriers, it seems logistics companies are facing mounting challenges when it comes to obtaining and retaining good drivers.
To make matters worse, in these stressful times many carriers place much effort and emphasis on obtaining drivers, rather than securing the ones that they currently have – a huge mistake, but easy to fix.
Carriers can better manage their turnover rate, by simply taking a few steps to ensure that their drivers are constantly feeling satisfied, respected, and appreciated.
With that in mind, here are some ways to keep your drivers happy, and working for you.
Offer Performance Incentives
We all like to feel appreciated. Fact. No matter the size of your fleet, your drivers work hard – to benefit you. And, unlike a typical 9-5 office job, your drivers deal with unappealing circumstances while being away from their families, daily. So, acknowledging their efforts from time to time with incentives or bonuses is the perfect way to show them how much you respect what they do for you – and make for some very happy drivers.
You can provide simple incentive programs to your employees for six months of safe and timely driving, for saving money on fuel, or even give them some quality time at home.
Regardless of the nature of your business, tying rewards and bonuses to the overall driver performance should always be an integral part of your employee retention policy. Irrespective of the specific amount of reward or incentive, the idea is to get a way to encourage your drivers and lower the overall driver turnover.
There’s no doubt that at its core, a strong fleet needs good and reliable routes. Repeatedly offering your drivers poor routes that leave them in driving for longer, and backtracking all around – is a very easy way to watch them walk out the door.
Also, aside from driver dissatisfaction, poor routes only negatively impact your business due to their inability to achieve as much as optimized routes – and their constant waste of fuel.
Optimized routes, on the other hand, will allow your drivers to reach all their destinations on time – and in minimal time – due to their accuracy, and ability to factor in numerous external factors, such as weather and traffic conditions.
Even more, these efficient routes ensure a balanced workload for all your drivers, thereby, avoiding any instances of overwork, or unequal opportunities for your drivers.
When it comes to solving their retention issue, many companies put a lot of effort into boosting recruitment. The problem with this is when reality hits, and drivers realize the everyday life on the job doesn’t match up to inflated expectations of pay, hours at home, enjoyable experiences, and more, drivers become disappointed and leave – to find another company that can offer them what they were promised.
An easy fix to this is to avoid creating inflated expectations in the recruitment process and place your efforts in retention. Be genuine. tell the hard truth to new recruits, and let them decide for themselves if they are a good fit for your fleet. The ones who choose to work for you will most likely choose to stay for the long run – and won’t be dissatisfied when they hit the road.
Ensure a Healthy Working Environment
Your drivers play an integral role in the growth of your company. But, surprisingly and unfortunately, these workers are the least paid and respected professionals in the market. Making them the hardest to keep, and most important to satisfy.
Your employees want their hard work to be acknowledged and appreciated by you. Therefore, treating your drivers with respect can go a long way to earn their overall loyalty.
You can set your business apart by creating an employee-centered culture that acknowledges and values the hard work of your drivers. In order to do this, it’s important you take the time to assess your company and what compels your drivers to leave so that you can take the right and necessary steps to maintain a healthy and suitable working environment for all your drivers. This will help you increase employee satisfaction and retain them for a long time.
So, how do you improve driver satisfaction in your fleet?
Whether you use the tips above or have your own tricks that suit your business, improving satisfaction opens the doors to your business growth. Making it one of your most important tasks, and one not to be passed up on.