In the freight industry, your drivers are the lifeblood of your operations — and unfortunately, far too many companies treat them poorly despite the driver shortage. In fact, poor treatment or conditions for drivers is only fueling that shortage, and to truly maximize your ability to attract and retain talent in this highly competitive environment, you need to center truckers' quality of life.
That may seem like it's easier said than done, but the following tips should help you get a better handle on making your driver's lives a little better as they spend days or weeks at a time on the road:
1) Give them the most accurate data you can
For truckers, a constant source of frustration arises when dispatchers don't give them all the information they need to quickly, easily and safely get from Point A to Points B, C, D and beyond, according to Trucker.com. As such, strive to provide them with plenty of pertinent data as they hit the road, then consistently stay in touch to update them about any changes they might need to know about as time goes on.
2) Get better about driver compensation
Another source of frustration? The fact that truckers feel they're overworked and underpaid, Trucker.com said. This is an industry-wide problem (and frankly, it's one workers in just about every sector deal with), but companies that provide the "little things" like detention pay, performance bonuses and so on will find that this is an investment that pays off in terms of keeping drivers happy and spreading the word about how well they're treated.
3) Encourage them to stay healthy
The life of a trucker isn't always easy and it can start to take a toll on their physical and mental well-being over time, according to C.H. Robinson. For that reason, freight companies would be wise to incentivize truckers to stay active and eat healthy whether they're on the road or home for a few days. Exercise and a better diet are proven to improve mental and physical health over time.
4) Try to reduce their stress levels
Another mental health issue for truckers is the amount of stress they face on a daily basis, which can lead to a litany of issues, like difficulty sleeping, C.H. Robinson added. As such, if you can take anything off their plates, such as some of the administrative tasks that have moved onto their list of duties in recent years, you may be able to help your truckers keep their cool over even the most trying trips.
5) Keep the truck comfortable
Truckers often complain that their conditions on the road aren't exactly setting them up for comfort, according to Trimble. Something as simple as spending a few hundred dollars to make drivers' cabs more comfortable (like with new mattresses or reupholstered seats) lets them know you're looking out for them.
6) Give them more time at home
Finally, more flexible schedules are going to be a must in the industry as time goes on, Trimble noted. When truckers spend more days at home, they tend to be more satisfied with their working lives, possibly even if that means decreased income.
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