How to Keep Good Drivers
With a driver shortage and fierce market competition, how do you keep your best drivers and dispatchers? There’s no silver bullet but looking to other industries might give you an edge on your competitors. The three statistics below (shared by ERE Media) show that employee retention is a global challenge:
- Approximately 73 percent of companies revamp their onboarding to improve employee retention.
- 33 percent of new hires quit their job after approximately six months with the company.
- 78 percent of business leaders rank employee retention as either urgent or important.
You get the point: employee retention is extremely important to the long-term success of any company.
When it comes to the trucking industry, keeping good drivers is easier said than done. As a fleet owner, the last thing you want is a high turnover rate. When this happens, you’ll find yourself spending excess time and money on onboarding related tasks.
Although truck driver turnover will always be a problem for some companies, others have found a way to prevent this. In fact, according to Trucks.com, turnover at big trucking companies has reached a five year low.
Citing information from the American Trucking Associations, the driver turnover rate among carriers with more than $30 million in annual revenue decreased to 81 percent (two points) in the most recent quarter.
Steps to Take
With all this in mind, take a look at the steps you can take to keep good drivers. These points of advice will come in handy regardless of company size or manager experience:
1. Efficient Communication
There is nothing worse than a fleet owner who doesn’t stay in constant communication with drivers.
If you’ve struggled in this area in the past, it’s easy to change your ways. Simply put, you need to make an effort to improve communication across the board. Let your drivers know you’re thinking of them and that you are grateful for the job they do.
2. Solicit Feedback
How do you know what you’re doing right and wrong until you ask? Don’t be shy about asking drivers for feedback. Once you have this in hand, you can then make changes based on the information provided.
3. Pay Fairly, Pay On Time
Above all else, good drivers want to be paid a fair wage. Just as important, they want to be paid on time, every time.
If you’re not paying the industry average or above, you can expect drivers to jump from your company to a competitor at some point in the future. You’d be surprised to find how many other opportunities you have for cost-cutting. If you are concerned about your bottom line, take a deeper look – don’t start with driver wages.
4. Set Driver Expectations
It’s important that all parties, from the fleet owner to the drivers to the dispatchers, are on the same page at all times.
When you set unrealistic expectations, drivers will soon become frustrated with their performance. Plus, they’ll begin to look down on the company for putting them in position to fail.
5. Create Ideal Schedules
While you can’t accommodate every requirement of your drivers, there’s nothing wrong with working together to set an ideal schedule.
This starts during the interview process. Ask drivers what their ideal schedule looks like. Also, find out how flexible they are.
When drivers are happy with their schedule, they’re more likely to perform at peak efficiency while also sticking with the company over the long haul. Using our tool will help you keep driver schedules in mind as you book loads. It’s easy for you and easy for them.
The importance of truck driver retention should never be overlooked. If you follow the five tips above, it’ll become much easier to keep good drivers with your company for an extended period of time. As a result, you’ll feel better about the stability and long term outlook of your company.
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