Today, we are here to discuss how to increase driver retention. The short video 5 Unique Tips for Driver Retention hopefully gets everyone thinking about this common challenge: how to retain drivers post-pandemic. It’s common knowledge that the trucking industry has faced driver shortages and problems with driver retention for some time now – and the COVID-19 pandemic did nothing to help the matter. I’m sure you already know that some parts of the industry, such as those delivering medical supplies, were under incredible pressure to keep their shelves constantly stocked. However, truck driving training schools and testing facilities were closed due to pandemic restrictions, so there was a drastic restraint put on the number of new drivers coming into the industry. The trucking industry’s influx of new drivers slowed down and has never thoroughly picked up again.
However, as we see the economy starting to rebuild itself, fleets have begun to feel the effect of driver shortages, and drivers will soon have their pick of where they would like to work again. To find out how your company can build driver retention to ensure you deliver the best possible results, here are 5 successful driver retention strategies.
Use the Right Technology
In our modern age, it’s never been as important to embrace the technology at our fingertips to connect and communicate with drivers. After all, rules such as the ELD mandate instruct truck drivers to keep close tabs on their hours, meaning that drivers should be kept up to date with innovative technology. By purchasing the right technology, you can make your drivers’ daily tasks safer, easier, and much more efficient – if you’re looking for increased productivity in your business, I recommend following this strategy.
Adopting more intelligent scheduling and routing can help drivers get home sooner with more efficient trips. It’s obvious that you can increase the satisfaction of drivers who are increasingly at home, so I think it’s worth utilising a fleet-tracking system that combines mapping data and GPS to enhance driver retention. By feeling that their fleet is constantly supporting them and has their best interests at heart, drivers are more likely to stay put!
Build Communication With Your Team
Next, my second crucial factor in creating successful driver retention is to build impeccable communication within the team. Ensure you communicate your policies, values, and expectations with your new drivers through an onboarding program. I recommend taking some time to connect with your drivers, asking them about their career ambitions and what they may want to get out of the experience. Maybe you’d like to consider integrating new drivers within your existing teams, like pairing them with people who can guide them. Creating groups within your one big team can help them learn from each other, trigger friendly competition, and even promote safety in the workplace.
Value the Importance of Safety
Building safety within your work culture will engage drivers on their routes. By establishing that your drivers’ safety is the company’s top priority and investing in coaching, compliance, and good quality safety features, you can make your employees feel valued, enhance their safe behaviour and skills, and give the fleet a better reputation. I’d advise incorporating a blend of artificial intelligence and advanced video technology into the technology for your fleet, helping you to analyze critical data points. Data collection in transport cycles is crucial because there are so many blind spots that your drivers may miss. Plus, data will cancel out any bias that may arise and can improve risk management by helping you pinpoint the problems that the fleet is facing.
Put Your Drivers First and They Will Put You First
I believe that good work is always something to celebrate. Drivers will want to reap the rewards of their efforts, so they’re certainly more likely to stick around if they feel appreciated by their employer. Thus, I’d advise setting targets for your drivers and offering good incentives to motivate them. For example, you could offer rewards based on factors like seat belt usage, acceleration, braking habits, and speeding, or perhaps recognize your employees with the highest safety scores by giving out a ‘driver of the month’ award, a safety bonus and utilization bonus, or maybe a promotion. Considering promotions, it’s crucial to note here that many of your drivers won’t want to be truck drivers for the rest of their life – listen to their career goals and see if your company can offer them a position they are aspiring to be in.
Another efficient way to boost mental health in this type of job is to allow your drivers to drive with their pets. This is a quirky, original concept, but being exposed to a furry friend could reduce stress and boost morale in the long run! We’re all aware that truck driving can be a very lonely career, causing many to become depressed. Having some company on each journey could make all the difference.
Obtain and Take Action on Feedback
Everyone wants their voices to be heard – including truck drivers. Since getting feedback out and about may be more complicated than getting it in an office, perhaps try to establish another communication approach to allow drivers to share some feedback. Possibly utilise a pulse survey with frequent check-ins. These surveys are communicated via phones, so drivers can swiftly check and complete questionnaires all while on the job. I’ve found that this approach can supplement your face-to-face check-ins. After all, when you collaborate with drivers and listen to them, it can make them feel like they are genuinely valued and have the power to significantly contribute to the business, which will lead to enhanced on-the-job performances and develops loyalty. Furthermore, it’s important to note that asking for feedback is not really enough – you need to show how you are acting on the feedback; otherwise, this may have a backward effect and put engagement, loyalty, and performance at risk. Thus, larger fleets could consider forming a committee which works together to prioritise colleague input, which will demonstrate to drivers that action really is being taken!
In conclusion, you can see there are many different strategies to enhance successful driver retention. Following the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it’s now more vital than ever to look after our workforces and give them what they need to thrive on the job. With strategies such as rewards, communication, and safety, you can get one step closer to doing this. After all, if your drivers are happy with their work, they will be more likely to stay loyal to your company.