Driver Retention Strategies: 10 ways to engage drivers when they're on the road
Trucking firms need to retain drivers. Period. The only way to do that, without burning a hole in your pocket, is by being in touch with them, and more importantly, acting on their concerns.
Here are 10 innovative ways to do exactly that:
In addition to speaking with them while on duty, make sure to check-in after their 11-hour shift. Doing a simple one-question pulse check on how things are, goes a long way. For this to be effective, it is important to close the loop: ie, ensure that you act on their inputs/ concerns, and take action if need be.
There are over 100 trucking conferences every year. Spread awareness about them months in advance and inquire about their interest to attend them. A chance to participate in these, interact with fellow truckers across companies and see the industry from a holistic viewpoint would help change their perception about this career for the better. The validation they get about the industry, their own company, is unparalleled.
Work with your customers to treat your drivers well, and to have bathroom facilities that are hygienic for both men and women truckers. This has a huge effect on driver retention.
Instantly communicate any change in pay policy/ delay in salary. Do not let connectivity or their physical presence stop you from communicating this.
Evaluate performance regularly and give them a career path. They need to know that their endless journeys on the road will have a destination that they will be proud of.
Set up a private channel to mediate and resolve potential conflicts between dispatchers and drivers conflicts. Drivers need to know that the management also cares about them - Another driver retention goldmine.
Proactively enquire about their home-time requests. You can simplify this action if you give them access to a form that they can fill anytime. Anticipate a lot of home-time requests during the holiday season. If it cannot be accommodated, find a way to reward them or compensate them in kind for complying with the hectic schedule.
Share health tips every week, addressing both prevention and remedy of illnesses prevalent in the industry - Sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, obesity. If you set up a schedule on which it should run, then you are bound to see the higher impact of these tips - drivers will expect to hear from you on health, and over time, will start paying attention to these tips. The healthier they are, the happier at work they will be.
Make the most of these trucker’s affinity to social media - Given that the sights and sounds that each trucker encounters are different, give them a chance to show their everyday schedule and work-life to peers. The validation they get from peers is more powerful than the validation they seek from acquaintances and strangers.
Give them a validation without making them work too hard for it. For example, you can ask them to take a picture of the load before they hand it over to the customer.
Here's a summary of it all:
If you’re looking for an easy way to do all of the above, and then some more - look no further than Noticeboard. The platform helps you train, manage and engage drivers truckers wherever they are.
It does not intrude on their time, does not consume a lot of their phone battery and can onboard them in a few minutes.
You can track performance, measure results and give feedback - in one platform for 1000s of drivers.
It also helps that these activities lead to driver retention - a perennial problem in the trucking industry today.