How are top trucking firms fighting attrition?
Reducing driver attrition continues to be the single biggest hurdle for major trucking firms for the better part of the last decade. The ATA is claiming that on average, the industry will need to generate 96,178 new drivers every year.As every company is different, so is each truck driver and his/her reasons for leaving. Therefore, it is up to each company to find their own way to deal with this recurring issue. Every company has a different method to tackle this problem with varying results. There is no one particular solution to reducing driver attrition. Some big trucking firms have taken some interesting steps towards this issue. Let us have a closer look at the same.
Schneider’s three-year study revolutionizing it’s trucking paradigm
By launching a 3-year study in 2006, Schneider took its first steps into analyzing certain personality attributes such as risk aversion and patience of its truck driver personnel. With over 1,000 participants, the main goal of this study was to understand the factors that affect the stability and safety of truck drivers. Here are some of the things they did:
With a belief that peer-to-peer relationships hold utmost importance, as people tend to commit to their coworkers long before to the company itself, Schneider introduced a program in which every new driver was assigned to their respective regional retention managers. These managers regularly stayed in touch with the new truck driver force throughout their training until they were assigned to their first solo driving position.
Having implemented strategic layouts like assigning loads to the truckers based on their experience, automatic transmissions, and simulation-based training to help reduce anxiety among new drivers, Schneider created an example for the other trucking industry professionals for driver retention programs.
3) Clarity on Pay
The fact that drivers are paid by the mile adds to their stress as t the amount that they earn can vary from paycheck to paycheck. To combat this, Schneider started offering a program providing minimum pay to their drivers.
Over the years, they have also tried to make the working environment much more supportive and motivating by encouraging their employees to acknowledge all the positive behavior around the workplace through notes, emails etc.
Boyd Bros. Transportation brings back uniformity in truck personnel
With a focus towards uniformity amongst truck driver managers, Boyd created a list of best practices for all their driver-managers based on the input from their two best managers. Essentially, rather than having 5 different managers do one thing in 5 different ways, each manager across all of their branches now was doing things in the exact same way.
There comes the uniformity shield!
Boyd believed that once turnover is reduced throughout the company by creating a good working environment, you end up constructing a knowledge-based system that can take care of any situation. Here's how they went about it:
While hiring new drivers, the drivers and their assigned managers were supposed to sit down during the orientation as per a new compliance by the company. This opportunity was used to understand the needs of the driver and the company in a better way. Discussing expectations when it came to time away from home, communications, safety, etc. helped new truckers.
2) Technology efficiencies
The corporation targets at increasing efficiency of drivers and deliverables by using technology in ways such as email settlements, E-ZPass, PrePass, fuel optimisation systems and TripPack scanning. For owner-operators in particular, who also are a part of Boyd, they have introduced bookkeeping assistance from the Corporate Chaplains of America, who offer 24/7 counseling for truck drivers or their families.
3) Stability at job
The operations management department at Boyd, had begun to closely work with its safety and recruitment departments. This is to avoid drivers from being misled about the jobs that they are applying for due to faulty recruitment practices. This way, Boyd can market its company in the right way, and prospective employees end up walking into the door with an accurate idea about how much they will be paid or how much home time they will be getting. By doing so, they have done a good job of portraying truck drivers as potential professional employees.
4) Strong company philosophy
Additionally, the company also follows the FISH! Leadership philosophy which comprises of four main concepts
- 1. Having fun, which can be defined as a state of mind that sparks creativity and adds new energy to old tasks.
- 2. Choosing one’s own attitude or accepting the realization that you ultimately control how you react to whatever life throws at you.
- 3. Making someone’s day, or helping yourself to an energy boost by offering someone help or words of support.
- 4. Being fully engaged in the present or “being there”.
Strategic Program Inc. uses its human resources acumen to bring changes
Strategic Programs Inc. (SP) is a human resource research firm that analyses individuals, teams, and organizations. Since they have a lot of clients in the trucking industry, they released a statement on how companies need to assess their organizations and figure out the reason for their high attrition rates.
1) Exit interviews by third-party
Holding the belief that one of the most effective ways to fight turnover is to figure out why drivers are leaving their jobs, they focus on exit interviews. It is, however, more susceptible if the interview is done by a third-party who does not belong to the company. Employees tend to be more open when confiding in someone outside the company. This is what Strategic Programs Inc. ventured on.
All research methods are to be well-planned and professional, whether they consist of face-to-face interviews or written questionnaires.
If you're looking to implement similar ways to engage with your workforce, then you should try Noticeboard.
You can apply the same principles that these companies have, to onboard, train, and build relationships with your drivers - at scale. Plus, you can piggyback on the expertise of our content team to custom create content and surveys that suit your drivers' need.
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