By Trent Dressen, Director of Sales, SuperVision
Finding great talent, especially in a driver shortage, is a hassle. It takes time and energy to post the job, interview, and hire the right person. Finding ways to retain drivers will minimize that hassle in the future.
1. Convey Your Culture
From the very first communication with a prospective employee, you are conveying your company culture. Think about what your culture says to the drivers you are trying to hire or retain.
Do drivers feel welcomed and valued? Are they included in team celebrations? Or are they cut off from the rest of the company by a “driver window”?
Promote a company culture that values drivers and their safety. During the recruiting process, give them a realistic preview of what their duties will be. Once they’re on board, use key performance indicators to reward excellent performance and create policies that make driver retention, and driver safety, a company goal.
2. Make Competitive Pay and Benefits the Baseline
While offering competitive pay and benefits is necessary during a driver shortage, they’re not enough to retain drivers. Consider other ways to reward drivers for a job well done. Use data-driven performance metrics to measure and track safe behaviors and motivate drivers.
Offering bonuses or PTO for the highest performing drivers can improve performance and safety as well as employee satisfaction. Alternatively, provide incentives to drivers who improve unsafe habits or increase their efficiency.
3. Encourage Employee Engagement
When recruiting, it’s also time to start engaging your future employees. Employees who feel satisfied with their jobs perform better and are more productive. There are many ways to increase employee engagement:
- Add their names or initials to their vehicle to welcome them to the team.
- Provide new drivers with a mentor who can help them learn the ropes and offer advice.
- Document and discuss employee expectations so everyone is on the same page.
- Have a clear roadmap for career advancement, with regular check-ins or coaching sessions.
- Highlight existing policies that offer employee engagement perks.
4. Show Your Appreciation
In addition to competitive pay, look for more ways to show your appreciation. If your building has a gym or other amenities, make those available to drivers as well as office staff.
Because drivers are on the road, they can feel disconnected from their coworkers. To encourage connection between drivers, consider the following:
- Annual or quarterly gatherings.
- Connect drivers with others in their geography.
- Connect drivers of the same cargo types.
- Birthday, anniversary or holiday cards.
Another easy way to motivate and reward drivers is to share positive feedback with them and their manager. Consider a “Driver of the Month” program that acknowledges exemplary behavior.
Drivers will appreciate feeling like they are part of the team and that you value their hard work.
5. Ask for Input — And Listen
From day one, ask drivers for their input, ideas, and feedback. This will show them that you are interested in and invested in them. Creating open lines of communication can help drivers feel more connected and supported. Provide a place they can ask questions or voice concerns, such as a dedicated email address or hotline.
Most importantly, act on their advice or concerns. Respond to their emails or calls to ask clarifying questions and thank them for sharing. Look at how to address the issue they’ve brought to your attention and make the necessary changes.
When employees know their input is taken seriously, they will feel like valued members of the team.
Retain Drivers with Active Engagement and Monitoring
SuperVision’s Retention Performer helps you monitor driver satisfaction and predict driver turnover. This allows you to connect with them and correct the problem — before they leave. Retention Performer encourages proactive communication with an automated workflow, including scheduled driver touchpoints and customized talking points, to help increase driver engagement.
Adopt an engagement mindset and invest in tools that can measure and map turnover trends so that you can retain more drivers.