If you’ve experienced high turnover with your drivers recently, you’re not alone. Not only is there currently a driver shortage, but the country is also in the middle of the Great Resignation, an ongoing economic trend of employees leaving their jobs en masse.
It’s far more expensive to hire and onboard a new employee than keep an existing one, so now more than ever, it’s important to retain your top talent and reduce turnover.
The four most effective ways to retain drivers and reduce turnover include:
- Increasing pay and benefits.
- Fostering a strong company culture.
- Communicating clearly and frequently.
- Providing current technology.
Let’s talk about each of these in more detail.
1. Increase Pay and Benefits
With how much inflation has risen over the last couple of years, your drivers may be noticing their paycheck doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. Combined with the fact most drivers have fluctuating paychecks, financial stress can play a huge part in an employee feeling dissatisfied with their job. You can remedy this feeling by increasing driver pay across your organization and offer a more stable source of income to allow them to budget more effectively.
In addition to investing in your drivers’ financial health, it’s important to prioritize their physical and mental health. Providing top-tier health insurance will allow your drivers to feel comfortable seeking medical attention and keep them on the road longer. Consider including coverage for counseling services, offer paid time off, guarantee time at home, etc. so they have a good work-life balance and feel cared for.
2. Foster a Strong Company Culture
Your drivers will feel more compelled to stay with your organization if they feel an inherent connection to your mission and the team they work with. A few ways you can improve your company culture include:
- Performance Rewards and Incentive Programs: Offer financial bonuses based on performance, incentivize strong performance across the company with group goals and rewards, give out referral bonuses for customer and employee referrals, announce awards for “Best Company Driver,” etc.
- Training and Continuous Education: Provide paid, comprehensive training for new hires and extend continuous education opportunities for existing employees, such as safety or communications courses.
- Build Relationships: Make it a point to get to know your drivers, and then pay attention to which drivers need to make it home for certain family events and when. Do your best to accommodate their home-life needs when they bring it up.
3. Communicate Clearly and Frequently
Part of your company culture (mentioned above) should also include open and honest communication policies. Your employees will take after your leadership in this area, so if you lead by example, they will be more willing to follow in your steps. Start the clear communication from the very beginning: During interviews, provide an accurate picture of what the job duties will entail, both good and bad. Providing an honest look at the driver position ensures you only hire people who know exactly what they’re getting into, which means they’ll be less likely to leave due to job duties.
You should also welcome and invite feedback from your employees, and then follow up on the feedback with actionable changes. The feedback can be as simple as word-of-mouth, or a formal survey you send out to all employees a few times a year. Either way, you should always provide a way for employees to give anonymous feedback so they can be honest without a fear of backlash and will subsequently feel they are valued by the organization.
4. Provide Current Technology
While investing in technology can seem expensive at first, having fast and reliable technology for both your drivers and office staff is crucial to optimizing your operations. Without current technology, there will be delays in communication and frustration from employees. As many service providers begin sunsetting 3G technology, it’s crucial to upgrade your drivers’ phones and mobile devices to stay in compliance with ELD mandates.
It’s just as important to have efficient technology for your office staff so they can communicate quickly and clearly with your drivers on the road. Investing in a trucking software to help manage your data and communications is a great way to simplify and streamline your operations.
For example, ProTransport offers one of the industry’s most customizable, fully-integrated trucking software platforms.
With this all-in-one software, you can:
- Manage accounting and create invoices
- Track GPS data and communicate with drivers
- Schedule maintenance reminders
- Store valuable driver documents
- Manage load history and data
- Calculate IFTA with a few clicks
- Integrate with QuickBooks, tolls and ELD data
- And much more!
It’s possible to reduce your turnover, but you’ll need to be willing to invest in your workforce to keep them happy and healthy. Streamlining your operations through technology is a great way to get started.