If you work in management or as a dispatcher for a trucking company, you know full well just how valuable communication with your drivers is on an ongoing basis. However, your truckers might have a different opinion about hearing from you if you're a little too persistent about checking in or they don't feel as though they're being heard during your conversations.
If you want to make sure your communication strategies are more effective in keeping your drivers in touch and engaged, the following tips should help:
1) Show some empathy
First and foremost, you need to recognize that a trucker's job just isn't easy, and that sometimes they may be dealing with all kinds of headaches, according to Randall Reilly. That means it's important to hear them out about what issues they may be having, and doing what you can to deal with issues on your end so truckers can get back to the task of getting from Point A to Point B with as few problems as possible.
2) Try to reach out via video chat
A great way to really connect with truckers is not to call or radio them, but rather wait until they're pulled over for the night and have a quick conversation via video chat, Randall Reilly noted. That way, you can both put a face to the person on the other end of the call and have a more human interaction. That can be great for drivers' mental health, in a number of ways.
3) Don't use "corporate speak"
While you may sit in meetings and take phone calls from other managers all day, truckers don't exactly "speak the same language" as you might be used to in most of your work, according to TCI Business Capital. If you want to really connect with your drivers, something as simple as using plain language is important, especially because it helps clearly communicate what you're looking for to someone who's not as steeped in corporate culture.
4) Check in regularly — but not too regularly
Just like you probably don't like to be micromanaged by your supervisor, truckers don't want to hear from dispatch too often, TCI Business Capital advised. As such, you should keep track of when you talk to each trucker and make sure you're not checking in more regularly than you would like to hear from your own boss.
5) Have a purpose
In the trucking industry, everyone's time is valuable, and while the occasional "check-in" call isn't out of line, it's generally a good idea to have a specific, pertinent topic of conversation in mind before you call, according to Trucking Info. That way, you can get right to the point and both get on with your days in short order.
6) Ask drivers about their preferences
Of course, not all drivers are the same, and some may not mind more frequent conversations than others, Trucking Info said. For that reason, you would be wise to simply ask them what they prefer, and try to honor that. If you do, truckers may be happier to answer your call.
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