Truck driver turnover costs companies money, as every time a driver leaves the company to work for a competitor, capacity is lost. To increase driver retention, carriers must focus on developing employee loyalty and building a positive culture.
Besides a robust compensation package, nonmonetary benefits determine whether a truck driver will stay with their employer.
Invest in Quality Equipment
In the trucking industry, driver retention is critical. After all, you lose capacity each time a driver walks out your door to work for your competition. And considering that hiring and training a new driver costs a high turnover rate seriously threatens your business.
Investing in quality equipment is one of the most important ways to improve your trucking company’s driver retention rates. Truck drivers take pride in their vehicles, and if they’re stuck driving around in outdated or broken down equipment, it will reflect poorly on their employer.
Invest in technology that makes it easier and safer for drivers to run their routes. This can help improve driver safety and even save fleets money through more intelligent routing, scheduling, and CSA compliance. This will show drivers that their fleet cares about them and is invested in their success.
Offer a Healthy Work-Life Balance
A lack of work-life balance is one of the most common reasons why drivers leave trucking companies. It’s essential to help your drivers enjoy life outside of the truck by optimizing their routes and giving them plenty of visibility into their schedules. This way, they’ll know what to expect and when to be home.
It’s also a good idea to offer opportunities for advancement and encourage employees to feel invested in the company. This could include mentorship programs, training courses, and more. Showing a clear path to success can boost employee morale and increase retention rates.
If you notice that a driver is leaving your company, it’s worth having an open and honest conversation with them to learn why they’re going. This will help you identify issues and change your company culture that may contribute to high turnover rates.
Offer a Competitive Benefits Package
Truck driving is a rewarding career that offers freedom and the opportunity to deliver valuable products to customers. However, the job also comes with its own unique set of challenges. As a result, fleets need to create a supportive work culture and ensure their drivers feel happy in their roles.
Offering competitive pay and a comprehensive benefits package is critical to driver retention. For example, health insurance and retirement contributions are big draws for drivers who want to secure a steady source of income in their golden years.
Additionally, incentivizing drivers for safe driving behaviors like consecutive collision-free days and customer satisfaction can encourage them to continue performing well. This shows that your company cares about its drivers and wants them to do their best for the business. By focusing on truck driver retention, your company can avoid the frustration of high turnover rates and a worsening driver shortage.
Reward Top Performers
Recruiting, vetting, and training new drivers are expensive and time-consuming for fleets. In addition, a revolving door of drivers can lead to inconsistent service and customer satisfaction, a lack of product knowledge that negatively impacts the company’s reputation, and lost productivity due to unplanned absences.
The best way to show your drivers that you value their contributions is by rewarding them with opportunities for growth, mentorship, and advancement. This shows them that you are invested in their success, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and a sense of belonging among your team.
Nonmonetary rewards, such as paid vacations and other trips, are great for top performers. In addition, implementing regular 1-on-1 meetings with your top performers can help to keep them feeling valued and supported. It’s also essential to provide steady salary increases consistent with their performance.
Create a Strong Company Culture
Developing a company culture that means something to your drivers is vital. When employees feel pride in their work, it gives them purpose and the motivation to give their best daily.
But it takes more than just offering competitive compensation. A strong culture requires consistent effort from the corporate office, field managers, and drivers.
This is important because research shows that employees often assess the corporate culture more than their direct bosses. It’s reported that over half of a driver’s culture evaluation comes from their assessment of the top leadership team, and only about one-third of their rating is based on their management style.
Creating a company culture that prioritizes family-oriented policies, supports a healthy work-life balance, and promotes safety will positively impact your driver retention rates. Having a clear understanding of your company’s overarching goals and values provides clarity for everyone involved.
Give Your Drivers a Voice
Providing meaningful incentives to your drivers will go a long way in keeping them engaged with the company. This can be accomplished by implementing safety-based incentive programs that recognize and reward drivers for their hard work and dedication. It also helps to show drivers that the company is invested in them as people.
Ultimately, it all comes down to having a clear line of communication with your drivers. Regularly seeking feedback and incorporating their suggestions into your fleet operations is the best way to keep them happy. Taking the time to address driver issues promptly will build loyalty and reduce turnover. So if you can cut down on the number of drivers leaving your fleet, you will have more money to invest in other retention strategies like a competitive benefits package or even better pay rates.