It’s no secret there’s a massive truck driver shortage. The American Transportation Research Institute ranked it as the number one issue in the trucking industry for the third year in a row.
Unfortunately, this issue worsened due to the coronavirus. Now there’s a shortage of over 63,000 drivers. To make matters worse, driver turnover can end up being pretty expensive for trucking companies.
This is because advertising a job opening, interviewing candidates, and training them requires both time and money. Instead of driving your costs up, focus on creating a culture where drivers are taken care of and valued.
Here are 5 ways to create an excellent company culture so you can retain qualified drivers.
How to Retain Your Drivers
1. Reward Your Drivers
An insightful survey by Commercial Carrier Journal reveals that 20% of drivers would switch companies if they felt disrespected by their employers.
So, to reduce driver turnover rates you must reward your drivers and treat them fairly.
Celebrating their performance or implementing an incentive program is an excellent way of acknowledging your driver’s hard work.
For instance, you could pick an ‘Employee of the Month’ and give them a gift card or an extra day off. Or you could start giving year-end bonuses to employees who followed safe driving practices.
2. Ask Your Drivers for Feedback
Everyone, including drivers, want and deserve respect. Ensure your drivers have a say in decisions made in the company like new software or operational changes.
For instance, before introducing new technology within your fleet, ask your drivers for their input.
If you implement changes without consulting your drivers then you might hinder adoption levels and your operation as a whole.
Truck drivers want to feel like active contributors and that their opinions matter.
3. Instill Safety in Your Company’s Culture
Fostering a culture based on safety is another excellent way of improving your drive retention rates.
Emphasize how the driver’s actions matter and let them know safety should always be their top priority. Consider investing in effective coaching and training sessions for your drivers.
By implementing safe driving practices your reputation will remain strong and you’ll keep your costs low.
4. Invest in Your Drivers
Leveraging innovative equipment and supplies is essential to operating a successful and effective trucking business.
Inadequate equipment, outdated technology, and poor vehicle maintenance can lead to unsatisfied truck drivers.
Here are some investments you can make to keep employees happy and willing to work:
- Newer trucks with advanced technology
- Comfortable seating
- Advanced GPS systems
5. Offer Competitive Pay
Many link the driver shortage to truckers’ compensation. In 2019, the average pay was $58,000.
Moreover, offering a competitive benefits package as well as retirement plans will keep your drivers satisfied.
Lastly, truckers appreciate companies that respect their work/life balance.
The Bottom Line
Truck drivers keep our country going and play a vital role in the supply chain. To retain them, we need to offer competitive pay, equip them with innovative technology, reward them, instill safety in our company’s culture, and ask for feedback.