Building Driver Loyalty
Last year, the total quit rates across all industries sat at 27.9%. While at first, the number might ring some of your internal alarm bells, the truth is this: it's not all that bad, especially considering the shocking statistics we're seeing lately in the transportation industry.
According to an article in Heavy Duty Trucking, among drivers hired in the first quarter of 2019, only 64.9% made it past 90 days on their new jobs. And the rest of the year didn't fare much better; by the third quarter, the number rose to 96%.
This begs the critical question: what can be done?
While you might be spending the bulk of your time and energy on recruiting drivers, it's worth considering if more effort should be placed on building driver loyalty; on finding ways to ensure your best drivers want to remain with your carrier instead of hastily handing over their keys and making a break for your biggest competitor.
Wondering how to make it happen? Here are our top three ways to increase driver loyalty so you can ensure your company isn't part of these shocking stats:
1. Solicit Driver Feedback
Everyone has an opinion, but more often than not, they're not given the opportunity to express it. By asking your drivers for feedback on how your fleet can improve, you'll see driver satisfaction rates begin to increase.
Some companies find it beneficial to sort feedback into "buckets": feedback that requires immediate action, comments that can be looked at in the short term, and then feedback that can be placed on the back burner for a while and dealt with in the future. It's a judgement call, to be sure, but if you've made relationship-building a priority, you'll find it easier to determine which issues need to be addressed right away and which ones don't require such urgent action.
Once you've gathered your feedback (consider getting it on a quarterly basis at minimum), establish meetings with those on your management teams to find ways to address the problems creatively and make them a thing of the past.
2. Develop a Rewards System
While National Truck Driver Appreciation Week has come and gone, why not extend the gratitude to last throughout the entire year? Drivers want – and need – to know they're a valued part of your team, so be loud and proud.
The rewards don't need to be expensive or elaborate, but they should be thoughtful. This is when it pays to know your drivers on a first-hand basis. Get to know their hobbies, their likes and dislikes, and tailor their gifts accordingly.
And don't be afraid to take the recognition online. Social media can be incredibly powerful when it comes to expressing your thanks; drivers want to be recognized among their peers. An added bonus? This can help drive up those recruiting numbers. Drivers will see your carrier appreciates the drivers you already have and might be more likely to send their resume your way.
3. Develop Loyalty from Day One
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Ensuring your new drivers experience a smooth and uncomplicated onboarding process is a great place to start. Make it easy and stress-free for them to get where they want to be: on the road.
The good news? Today's technology makes that simple and fast onboarding a possibility.
Here at TruckRight, for example, our software is mobile-friendly and pre-populates essential information, so drivers don't need to enter the same things over…and over…and over again.
It's also paperless, which means you don't need them to come into the office to sign anything. Onboarding can be done wherever they are, whenever they are able.
The seamless process should continue through to online training. With an online, interactive Learning Management System such as Ignite powered by CarriersEdge, drivers have access to an extensive training library that offers remedial training and coaching and offers you real-time analytics and reporting.
Even better? They don't need to show up in a classroom. And this is a good thing…because how many drivers do you know actually enjoy that part of starting a new job?
Had to think about that for a second, didn't you? You've got your answer.
Some Final Thoughts
While the turnover rates are no doubt shocking, that doesn't mean your carrier needs to be part of them. By starting with just these three steps, you'll see retention rates rise and reduce the need to make recruiting such a high priority.