In a new climate of trucking, holding down the driving workforce has become a challenge. Loyalty is not something to expect from employees — you have to be able to ensure that drivers' well-being and happiness are actively maintained by the actions of your company.
Not only does employee retention improve business costs and overall quality of performance, but making the necessary changes for a better company culture will leave employees satisfied in staying within their role.
So, how do you achieve driver retention on a long-term basis?
The turnover rates
In 2022, data from the American Trucking Associations and the National Private Truck Council — as reported by Heavy Duty Trucking — showed that trucker turnover rates for large truckload carriers were at 78%.
Although stats are slightly better than last year, there's still a remarkably high number of drivers that didn't feel satisfied with the company they worked for.
Truckers tend to leave due to a few reasons:
For fair reason, truckers feel that a working relationship with their company should be give and take. Here are some ways that you can make your drivers feel happier within their roles.
A great way to establish trust with employees is by taking an active role in hearing what they have to say. Seeking driver feedback will give drivers a platform to have their voice heard, and if feedback is directly acted upon, then your chances of increasing employee satisfaction are greatly improved. In fact, Forbes stated that employees who felt heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered and perform at their best.
Another way to gain trust is by ensuring your fleet managers and dispatchers have had quality training — including behavioral training. Truckers have previously left because of the way they were treated by other members of staff. Standards in how to appropriately address truckers should be established and maintained so that employees aren't unnecessarily mistreated.
To handle this, it may be beneficial to review the ways in which the well-being of managers can be improved to prevent the projection of negative attitudes in the workplace. This may encourage fleet managers and dispatchers to become more approachable members of the team.
Perks and compensation
Many truck drivers don't get the benefits that some officer workers take for granted. To be offered perks such as sick pay, paid time off and pension schemes are rare in the industry. Offering benefits as well as fair compensation can be key to employee retention as it promotes an environment that says "we care about our workers."
Also, offering upskilling packages to promote career progression and personal development will give your employees the opportunity to build on themselves professionally. This not only can make them feel valued, but also create a sense of brand loyalty with increased motivation to take on managerial roles within the company.
It all goes back to the give-and-take relationship. If you give your employees incentive to stay, then they are more likely to remain loyal to your company. By listening to drivers and offering rare perks, you can make your company stand out as the change truckers want to see.
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