We talk a lot about recruiting drivers (it is our business, after all!). But for companies, actually keeping those drivers might provide a more potent issue.
Obviously, it costs a lot to recruit new drivers. But that’s nothing compared to the cost of training them and getting them ready for the open road. Going through this cycle over and over again can drain profits tremendously, so investing in the drivers you already have makes a ton of sense.
But how do you do it? What incentives can you offer that will keep drivers around? Luckily, one of the best things you can do is also the cheapest.
It’s (Mostly) Not About The Money
It can be easy to look at high turnover and assume the problem is pay. And maybe it is. Drivers will often claim that as a primary reason to find new employment. But even with such blatant, first-hand evidence, the truth is not so simple.
Countless studies have shown that while drivers do often lean on pay as a reason to leave their companies, their answers become more nuanced and specific when probed further. Issues like home time, benefits, and company culture begin to emerge with more potent intensity.
This indicates pay as something of a knee-jerk answer that can mask a deeper problem. Drivers may not even be aware of the real reason they are leaving a company because it’s just so easy to blame lower compensation when something more complicated causes their dissatisfaction.
Give ‘Em A Call
Maybe you can’t change your pay. Maybe you can’t add more enticing benefits or home time. But you are uniquely in charge of your company culture.
One easy way to make a driver feel cared for is to simply give them a call. It sounds wild, but a brief check-in with each individual driver on a timed, regular basis (say, once a month) can do wonders.
Think about it. Most drivers only speak to management when something is wrong. Calling just for a wellness check-in not only surprises drivers but disarms them as well. This creates an opportunity to bond drivers to your company, which builds loyalty and can suppress temptations to jump ship.
But that’s not all a wellness call is good for.
Talking to drivers, you’re bound to hear a lot about their issues on the road. Trucking isn’t an easy job, after all. Drivers confront annoyances and strife on a daily basis.
But not every issue they face is an axiomatic downside of the trucking profession. You may hear about a problem you can control. A driver may even suggest a solution along with their complaint. This is the good stuff! Now you have an opportunity to make your drivers’ lives easier.
Not only should you implement a solution, you should also reach out to the driver who brought it up and let them know what steps have been taken to ameliorate their problem. Don’t leave it open-ended. Let them know you took them seriously. You listened. And then you acted.
There is no magic bullet that can erase the retention issue. But with these simple suggestions, you can go a long way toward building stronger relationships between your company and its drivers. And if you’d like to learn more about how to recruit them in the first place, you know where to find us!