The reality is that truck driver turnover is a big problem for many transportation companies. This can be expensive and time-consuming to deal with.
A significant factor in driver retention is monetary compensation. However, a company needs to keep in mind other factors as well. Here are a few strategies that can help reduce truck driver turnover:
Create a Culture of Safety
Creating a culture of safety involves establishing values, perceptions, and beliefs. Changing an organization’s safety culture takes time and requires senior leadership commitment. When a company wants to build a strong safety culture, it must start with a plan that defines what the desired culture looks like and how it will be measured.
An excellent way to measure an organization’s safety culture is through surveys that ask employees to rate their level of trust in management and their willingness to report adverse events without fear of repercussions. A high score on this survey indicates that the company has a strong, positive safety culture.
Employees in a firm with a strong safety culture are encouraged to offer ideas and proposals for enhancing processes and standards. In addition, a good safety culture enables managers and supervisors to respond positively when employees raise concerns. They may only be able to make suggestions, but they should try to find a compromise. This can help to improve morale and reduce the high driver turnover rate.
Create a Positive Work Environment
When it comes to driver retention, a nice work atmosphere can go a long way. Drivers are a critical part of the transportation industry, and it’s essential that they feel valued and appreciated for their hard work. Ensure that your drivers receive clear explanations of company policies, benefits, and expectations from the very start.
A good onboarding process can also help to connect new drivers with existing coworkers. This can be done in various ways, from office-wide introductions and meetings to mentoring programs or pairing new drivers with more experienced employees.
It’s also essential to be honest with drivers about their responsibilities and the realities of life on the road. This includes being upfront about the pay, scheduling, and other aspects of the job. In addition, offering choices in some areas — such as allowing drivers to choose their load options or fleet manager — can boost morale and encourage retention.
Pay Attention to Drivers’ Needs
The trucking business is experiencing driver scarcity, and truckers are becoming less committed to their fleets than they were previously. This means that it’s more important than ever to take steps to reduce driver turnover.
This doesn’t just mean offering higher salaries; it also means paying attention to the small details that make your company stand out. This could include perks like pet and child-friendly policies or flexible scheduling. It could also be as simple as communicating a clear pay structure and ensuring drivers know their mileage calculations.
Keeping your drivers happy is easier than you might think. It all starts with listening to their feedback and putting that into action. Doing this from the road can be challenging, but implementing regular check-ins with supervisors and a dedicated feedback channel is vital. It can also help to offer mentorship programs to new hires.
This helps drivers feel valued and engaged and allows them to share their experiences with others in your fleet. This can be a great way to increase employee retention without spending too much money.
Create a Strong Relationship with Drivers
Many transportation companies work hard to care for and pay their drivers well. However, a driver’s work environment extends beyond their truck and the walls of their company. They want to know their voices are heard, and their concerns are being addressed.
The best way to do this is through regular communication with them. This can be done in various ways, including phone conversations, text messaging, and emails. It is also helpful to offer multiple options regarding training and development programs. This way, drivers can find the best program for them and their needs.
Strong relationships with drivers can also be accomplished by ensuring they are appropriately incentivized and recognized for their performance. If a driver feels like they are being appreciated, it is much easier for them to stay with the company. This can be achieved by offering milestone rewards, incentives for safety-related behaviors, and acknowledging their successes. It is also helpful to have empathetic driver managers who can relate to the struggles of driving on the road.
Invest in Technology
Many factors can influence driver turnover, including bad experiences with upper management and a need for more transparency. However, if you provide drivers with the right tools and technology to succeed, they are likelier to stay with your company. This includes ensuring that they have access to the best trucking software, telematics technology, and other fleet safety tools.
Providing opportunities for advancement can also help drivers feel like their employers value them. This could include offering pay raises, tuition reimbursement, and training courses. It is also essential to ensure drivers access healthy food and comfortable rest areas on the road.
High turnover costs companies thousands of dollars in sign-on bonuses, training, and recruiting. By prioritizing retention, you can save money and increase your profits. In addition, investing in a driver-first culture can mitigate the effects of the current freight shortage.