Driver retention is as important to fleet companies as server retention is to the restaurant industry. Without capable and efficient freight movers, products are unable to make it successfully to the consumers, halting all transactions. Retaining drivers shouldn’t be a difficult task, but if the employee pool is dwindling then it may be time to evaluate the company turn-over rate and determine the possible cause. If the reasons are not black and white then engaging in some effective, high quality retention strategies may change the pattern in both the short and long terms.
Sometimes the best retention strategy is to start at square one by making the right hiring choices. Finding drivers who love what they do, have a history of being safe and efficient and who add value to the team is the key to finding employees who are going to be the ones that stick around for the long term. If a hire-on does not meet the above criteria, not only will they not last in the industry, they probably won’t be providing the organization many benefits anyway. Fleet management products and applications can greatly ease the hiring or assessment processes and even increase overall profitability.
Another strategy for driver retention is to allow them to have time-off at home or with their families. Fulfilling the promises that are guaranteed to the staff will prevent them from feeling overworked and will eliminate family deprivation issues. If a driver is promised time at home every 3 weeks then they will be promising that to their spouse and children in turn. If the promises are not fulfilled, the frustration from the family will only further increase the dissatisfaction of the driver. When forced to choose between family and work, the former will usually win out, leaving the freight company the task of having to replace drivers.
Offer Competitive Pay
Possibly the most obvious technique toward keeping the drivers on staff for a long period of time would be to offer competitive pay. Compensating the drivers fairly and providing bonuses or incentives for efficiency and productivity will lead your staff toward overall satisfaction and will certainly improve work ethic. Awarding seniority with small pay raises will also encourage newer drives to stick with the position for the future incentives. Paid wait times and a new hire signing bonus can improve driver retention.
Make Their Job Efficient
Drivers generally want to get to their destination and back as quickly as possible, so help them make their jobs easier. There are various technologies out there that can assist with GPS tracking, route management or hours of service regulations that will help take the load off the driver and make it easier for them to get from point A to point B without any hassle. By providing your drivers with less paperwork and faster routes, you’re alleviating some of the biggest stresses they can face on the job.
If all of the above tactics are employed with no result, then sometimes the overall most important key to determining unhappiness is to ask the drivers firsthand. This can be done by offering frequent surveys in order to acknowledge dissatisfaction causes and keep everyone content overall. If a freight company acquires habits of making wise hiring decisions, fulfilling time-at-home promises, providing competitive pay rates with incentives and, in general, respecting the sacrifices and work ethics of this extremely important asset, then retention of drivers will become unavoidable.