With the driver shortage all across the nation, it can be a real hassle to lose a driver. Who knows how much money and time you’ll spend recruiting a new, qualified driver. It takes much less effort for fleet owners to keep current drivers happy than to find new ones, so learn about how to improve your driver retention here.
Tips For Improving Driver Retention
Respect Your Team
Drivers are people. I’m sure before you worked your way up to fleet manager or higher you ran into a few higher-ups that seemed to speak to you like you weren’t important and it probably didn’t feel great. Treat people on a professional level and how you would like to be treated.
Also, not all drivers are the same. Take an interest in them. Be sure to learn their names, a little about their hobbies, families, and more. Whenever you see one of your drivers ask how they’re doing and what’s new. Show interest in them as a person, don’t just treat them like tools. As a result, you’ll notice that your driver happiness is increasing.
Offer your team better tools to work with. They’ll be spending a lot of time in your trucks and equipment so make sure that they are comfortable and in good working condition. Nothing makes you seem like you don’t care like a rickety old rig on its last leg.
Be A Good Communicator
Both rookie and veteran truckers will love to tell you what they think. They’ll voice their opinions for hours, but sometimes they won’t know if it’s okay to approach you or not. That’s why you need to make yourself available to them and ask them for their thoughts and opinions on different matters. Also, provide a place where your drivers can comfortably voice their concerns.
It’s important that you make time for your drivers. If they approach you, don’t brush them off. Hear them out. Remember to be engaged with them as well.
While some truckers would love to put 30 years behind the wheel, others hope to learn the business and climb up the ladder. They will go somewhere that will offer them the chance to learn. Put a program in place that will allow your drivers to move up within the company.
Always give them the opportunity to learn more about the business and bring up educational topics like how to find loads, brokering, how to build a relationship with shippers and more. Consider even offering training them for different aspects of the business. You can also leave a few books and trucking business magazines around the office for your drivers to read. Let them know that they can borrow the books to take a look at when they have downtime during a trip.
Offer Rewards And Benefits
When people do a good job they want to be recognized and rewarded. Be sure to bring up who is doing a good job in company meetings and offer some sort of rewards program. For example, offer the most gas efficient driver a prize. You could also offer a prize for going a certain amount of days without any driving incidents.
What will your team get for sticking with you? Will they get a fair amount of vacation time? Will you offer your drivers health insurance? Will you help them with their premiums? Insurance can take a huge chunk out of their paychecks, so helping out with that can set your company apart from the crowd. Also, offering a unique set of benefits will make you memorable.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Read up on the reviews about your company and when drivers leave contact them and ask them why they left and what could be improved. You could also conduct exit interviews. Just remember that if a disgruntled driver doesn’t have the best feedback for you to keep it professional and use what they say to improve conditions for the rest of your team.
Retaining Drivers Is Easy!
Don’t get caught up with the driver shortage. Simply respect your team and offer them a few unique benefits that can’t be found elsewhere. Take their suggestions seriously, and listen to them. Heck, even ask them their thoughts on business-related matters and offer them some training. Then before you know it you’ll have an outstanding team of dedicated drivers.
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