If you live in a metropolitan area or watch the news, you probably have noticed the demand for drivers is at a fever pitch. They’re needed to deliver crucial goods and services during the pandemic. Companies already offer incentives to drivers to work for them. They need to come up with strategies to retain them.
To retain drivers, you need to create a company culture that encourages them to stay. An often overlooked way to do so is to think of relations, not transactions. In this article, we share with you cultural factors that will help you retain drivers. So, read to the end.
Make Sure Drivers Understand Company Goals and Objectives
Teaching drivers company goals and objectives minimize conflict and misunderstandings that may make employees quit. Employees will align with company goals and objectives if your company operates on strong values. Telling your employees about the plans of the organization is an effective way of aligning employees with company goals.
Face-to-face meetings are efficient in helping your employees understand objectives and finish tasks. You should also encourage interdepartmental cooperation during meetings.
Let Drivers Meet the Entire Team
Most driving companies still use the straightforward method of hiring. A driver comes in, meets two supervisors, is trained, and is put on the road. This hiring culture doesn’t help in driver retention. The best approach is to let new drivers meet the entire team before starting work. Take a look at this article in Recylcing Today Magazine which explains how to find and keep quality drivers.
They should meet and interact with other drivers and higher management. This makes them feel welcome and part of the crew. Allow drivers and management to share their thoughts and best practices with the recruits. This sends a message to the new drivers that they are valued members of the team. Drivers that are valued and welcomed are likely to stay with the company.
Link Safety to Culture
Coming up with a safety culture that engages drivers daily helps you retain drivers. You need to show your drivers how their actions matter. They should be told that safety comes first. Consequently, you need to invest in coaching and compliance as opposed to imposing fines. If drivers are shown how their safety contributes to the bottom line, they’re likely to comply with safety regulations.
Rewarding performance is the best way of appreciating employees. Drivers that are well paid for their effort are likely to stick around. Therefore, you shouldn’t shy away from coming up with milestones for drivers. Remember to offer meaningful incentives to motivate your drivers towards achieving company goals.
The popularly used milestones to reward drivers include:
- Driving for long without accidents
- Mastery of the driving course
- Safe miles driven
- The number of positive reviews from customers.
Ask for Driver’s Feedback and Act on It
Hearing the voice of employees is common in companies with cultures that encourage employee retention. Drivers, like other employees, also like having their voices heard. Creating clear channels of communication helps drivers share their ideas and feedback. You should encourage dialogue when coaching drivers.
Drivers should also be involved and made partners in problem-solving. Involving drivers helps in driver retention because it makes them active contributors. The feedback you gather from your drivers should be implemented and the results shared with the team.
Give Drivers Time to Rest
Truck drivers stay long on the road, keeping them away from their families. Most employees want to achieve the elusive work-life balance. Recent surveys have shown that the time companies give employees to rest is a deciding factor. Giving drivers time at home opportunities will help your company retain them.
The best way to ensure drivers have ample rest time is to include it in the driver’s calendars. Drivers also need to know about their schedule in advance so that they can plan around it.
Give Health a Priority
Allocating time and resources to protect the health of drivers help you retain them. One survey found that 70% of truck drivers considered their delivery times as unnecessarily strict. This puts pressure on drivers when trying to meet deadlines.
There’re federal regulations that protect the health of truck drivers. Nevertheless, the health and safety of drivers are still a concern because they can legally drive up to 14 consecutive hours. Cases of sleep apnea, fatigue, depression, and loneliness are common problems drivers have to deal with.
Some freight companies have come up with different health benefits to deal with the side effects. The benefits include workplace gym, nutrition, and free screenings. Moreover, some freight companies are offering competitive health insurance to employees.
Build an Authentic Team
Review your training programs, values, policies, and expectations and upgrade them based on the needs of new drivers. Take time and create new relationships and ask drivers their desires and the things they would like to achieve in their career. Building an authentic team also means integrating new drivers with the veterans.
You can also build teams of drivers with similar roles based on factors like the type of cargo transported and geography. You can compare the performance of different groups of drivers based on specific metrics to inspire some friendly competition.
Use Technology to Help You Connect With Your Drivers
New highway rules require drivers to closely supervise the hours spent driving. Using the latest technology is the best way of helping drivers keep tabs. Don’t allow your drivers to be stuck with an outdated method of tracking time. Technology makes drivers feel supported; hence, they’re likely to stay.
Reinforce Your Retention by Paying a Close Attention to Culture
Experts in human resource management have noticed that employees rarely quit because of money. The main reason employees leave a company is because they’re looking for better opportunities. Sometimes, they’re looking for a better work environment.
If you teach your driver’s company culture, they change for the better. If left unsupervised, expect some bad results. This means that you have to revise and constantly improve company culture. Some of the ways you could use to achieve this include:
- Finding where your culture stands. Use qualitative data to analyze the position of your company’s culture.
- Compare your finding with peer companies to see where you stand.
- Improve the culture of your company by closing the gap.