Driver Retention, How to Decrease Your Chances of Losing a Driver
10.3.2017 - 6:16 PM Comments: 0
The US trucking industry is reeling under a shortage of truck drivers. The turnover rate in some trucking companies has hit an all-time high of 95%. Making matters worse, hiring a new truck driver can cost as much as $5,000. No matter what you do, some truckers are going to leave you to chase shortage-induced salary hikes every few months. Clearly, there is a crisis situation in this industry at the moment, and there is no effective solution in sight. So, how do you make the best of this situation? For starters, understand why your drivers are leaving you, and what can help them stay. According to one research, only 17% of the drivers left their previous job because of their salaries. Bad routes, bad management policies, work environment, job satisfaction, and so on, where other major contributing factors that forced them to quit. Here’s how you can change all of that, and build a more loyal driver base. Build a Powerful Referral Program Do you know where the best truck drivers are? They are on the roads, driving trucks for other businesses. Do you know who knows them? Your very own drivers. They meet them every day on the roads. They know who is reliable, who is trustworthy, and who will make a great employee for you. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on job sites, and job ads, ask your drivers to refer some excellent drivers to you. To incentivize them, set up a robust referral program. For every driver, they bring onboard, offer them an immediate cash reward. Set up another cash reward for them when the driver they referred completes 90 days with you. For best results in the long term, provide them another cash reward when their referred driver completes a year with you. This way, your drivers will not only find you good truck drivers, but also those who have a reputation of loyalty. More importantly, drivers who come through referrals tend to be more loyal because their socially their reputation among their peers will be at stake, who might not refer them again to someone else. Improve Their Experience Most drivers are hard-working professionals. It is not the work that fatigues them. Instead, it is the apathy of their company’s management towards their problems. A truck breakdown on the highway is a stressful event in itself. The management’s apathy to do something about that, be it upgrading the equipment or conducting a root cause analysis, can put a severe dent in the morals of the employees, who have plenty of options waiting for them in the industry. Many of these problems can be easily resolved by employing the latest technology such as ELDs, GPS tracking, vehicle health monitoring, maintenance scheduling, and so on. Technology can be used to minimize the problems faced by drivers and give them a more satisfying experience working for you. Don’t Burn Bridges Dreams are not always fulfilled. Your driver might have ditched you for a better paying job. While it hurts you, don’t be miffed at them. Be cordial when they tender their resignation, and try and be understanding of their reason. Note their contact details before they leave you. Give them a call 8 to 10 months down the line. You never know how many of them are unhappy with their new job. Many drivers realize pretty soon that money isn’t everything. They may be looking for a way out, and their familiarity with you definitely works in your favor.