Retention Strategies: How to Keep Your Drivers Happy

truck driver

The demand for truck drivers continues to increase as companies work harder to stay afloat. According to the American Trucking Associations, truck driver turnover has increased by 92% in the third quarter of 2020 as the industry started recovering gradually from the devastating aftermath of the pandemic.

Most drivers switch jobs in search of better pay, benefits, and working hours. Many companies exhaust their efforts to address this issue by coming up with new and tested ways to increase driver retention. Though there are multiple options and their usefulness varies according to the organization’s scale, complexity, and budget, these methods have proven effective in making your drivers stay and keep your company moving:

  1. Advocate protection

According to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCA), a total of 5,096 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2018. That’s a 48% increase since the lowest case recorded in 2009. Between 2016 and 2018, injuries involving big trucks and buses rose by 8%, from 112,000 to 121,000, respectively.

Establishing safety practices that encourage motorists on their regular commutes is a good starting point. Emphasize the significance of their behavior and how it will affect them, their passengers, and the business. Highlight the fact that their wellbeing and security are the company’s highest priority.

Instead of paying administrative fees, investing in their enforcement and training is a much better use of funds. It is much more beneficial to draw a connection between a driver’s good conduct and the management’s integrity. Thus, it’s imperative to incorporate management software focused on fleet behavior assessments in order to provide precise and reliable coaching.

  1. Provide open lines of communication

When it comes to organizational community, cooperation and unity are critical components towards reaching your goals. Though technology can offer insightful, actionable data, the driver’s input is just as valuable. Thus, companies need to establish ways to bridge that gap by actually listening to the driver’s concerns and issues.

Developing clear communication channels that encourage employees to voice their concerns will increase efficiency and productivity. If possible, delegated boards should process peer feedback, allowing internal stability. Incorporating this type of culture is a great way to make your drivers feel that they are valued and that they, too, are an integral part of the company thus, boosts retention and performance

  1. Appreciate the work done

Recognizing a job well done and rewarding success is the first step toward employee commitment. Research from the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that employees who feel valued and praised report having improved physical and mental health. This results in better performance at work, causing them to last longer in the company.

Do not hesitate to set benchmarks and milestones as a way to provide meaningful rewards. To inspire and encourage drivers, ensure that you bind results to realistic, data-driven metrics such as healthy miles driven and favorable consumer feedback.

truck driver

Another alternative is to compensate drivers for reducing dangerous behaviors, for instance, diligent driving and reduced idling.

Consider establishing a “driver of the month” or “driver of the year” scheme to honor best employees. Ensure that constructive consumer input reaches the drivers and manager’s ears. This strategy will give them the impression that they are also seen and are just as relevant as any other employees in the organization.

  1. Offer additional incentives and benefits.

Compensation plays a significant part in the retention of employees. Naturally, benefits such as health and life insurance, pension plans, promotion, bonuses, and raises are some of the most attractive incentives any employee cannot resist. In addition, benefits stretched comfortably beyond health and sick leave will also encourage lower turnover rates.

  1. Make use of innovations.

Invest in technologies that simplify, saves, and improves drivers’ performance and productivity. For instance, navigation and scheduling apps will lead to more effective and safer trips for drivers, making them happier and satisfied. Incorporating driver protection systems that are technology-driven is an outstanding example of how emerging solutions can create a friendly community and the development of trust between drivers and supervisors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the condition as the road haulage sector has long had a crisis and driver retention problems. As our economy begins to thrive and bounce back, companies need to reassess their strategies and think of a better approach to keeping their drivers on board and stopping them from jumping from one company to another. Worse, leaving the industry altogether.

High-performance drivers are a commodity for any company and an extremely precious resource as their function calls for continuous heightened susceptibility and good moral character.

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