With driver turnover rates at an alarming 89% and the cost of replacing a single truck driver exceeding $8,000, a focused approach to employee retention is necessary for transportation companies. One of the most effective strategies to reduce driver turnover is to ask drivers for feedback. But be ready to hear some things that might be hard to take!
Truck driver turnover costs companies money, as every time a driver leaves the fleet, they have to find and hire a new one. That capacity loss also hurts the ability to deliver cargo on a timely basis.
Maintaining open lines of communication and ensuring that field managers provide effective training, recognition, problem resolution, and fair treatment to drivers can reduce the high driver turnover rate. This includes level-setting expectations through screening during hiring to ensure your company can meet its income and work/life balance goals.
Developing loyalty through a mentoring system can also help to reduce driver turnover rates. This can be expensive and time-consuming, but it can save a transportation company from constantly recruiting new drivers.
Create A Culture Of Safety.
One of the biggest reasons drivers leave their fleets is that they feel their safety and health should be prioritized. The most effective way to address this is to create a safety culture throughout your fleet. To do this, you must start with a safety culture at the top. It should be a part of the mission statement, and all managers should enforce it.
Then, make it a point to touch base with your employees regularly. This allows you to keep up the momentum of your safety culture.
Hiring truck drivers is challenging, but keeping them is a different ball game. This is a costly issue for transportation companies, and finding ways to reduce turnover is important.
One way to do this is through incentives. Incentives can help motivate drivers and improve employee satisfaction. Some carriers offer loyalty bonuses or safety incentive programs to attract and retain drivers. It’s also important to listen to drivers’ feedback and take action when needed. For example, consider implementing changes if drivers complain about pay or other aspects of the job. This can make drivers happier and keep them at your company longer. An incentive team, including drivers and upper management, helps create a successful program.
A good driver retention program can reduce the time a fleet manager spends sorting through resumes, interviewing candidates, and training new drivers. It wastes staff resources that could be better spent on other tasks.
Mismatched expectations between a company and a driver are why new drivers leave. Communicating expectations during the hiring process can ensure satisfaction down the road.
A company can also help its drivers feel heard by seeking feedback through surveys or group meetings. A dedicated channel for feedback can help make drivers feel like an active part of the team and make them more likely to stay.
A strong work-life balance is essential for your people’s physical and mental health. It can also help them improve their performance and engagement with the company.
As employees navigate different lifestyles and priorities, the definition of work-life balance may evolve. However, leaders must keep it front and center to avoid high turnover rates.
One way to do this is to give drivers time off for important personal events. Another is to hire a driver care manager to advocate for them in case of inaccurate dispatches or breakdowns. This will reduce frustration and increase retention. It can be costly to replace a driver who leaves your company.
Even the most dedicated drivers will leave if they need to be recognized for their hard work. Creating milestones for drivers and recognizing their contributions are simple ways to show that the company values its employees.
Fleet managers can also encourage an open-door policy to ensure drivers know they have a place to voice their concerns. This type of honest communication is what drivers want.
Although the trucking industry has been romanticized in movies and TV, it’s a stressful job with many safety risks. Your fleet loses capacity and profits with each driver that walks out the door. Implementing these eight proven driver retention strategies can help reduce turnover and keep your team happy on the road.
Invest In Technology
Truck drivers represent a critical link in the supply chain, but the industry suffers from high turnover rates that can be expensive to companies. Hiring, training, and retraining new drivers can cost $6,000 to $12,000 per driver.
Many drivers leave because they feel unvalued or unappreciated for their work. They may also need more transparency or hidden ultimatums in their employment contracts.
Embracing technology is the best way to address all of these negative factors. Fleet tracking systems, transportation management platforms, and AI dashcam programs can improve drivers’ quality of life and increase retention.
Employee development helps your drivers grow professionally and become more invested in your company. You can do this by giving them goals and milestones to achieve and acknowledging their successes. This makes them feel like a real partner and gives them a sense of belonging.
In addition, you can encourage employees to work together by offering team-building activities and fostering healthy workplace relationships. Research shows that 50% of people with a best friend at work are more loyal to their employer. This can reduce turnover rates and save your transportation company money by avoiding the high costs associated with hiring and training new drivers.