We like to give our readers tips on the best ways to recruit truck drivers - but what happens after you recruit and hire them? Once drivers join your fleet, it's important to not forget the retention part. If you don't take steps to retain truck drivers, it could worsen your turnover rates. You're already trying to fill trucks, so you definitely don't want to lose the ones you've worked hard to fill.
Take a look at these 3 driver retention tips!
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means to Me
You know the words.
One of the biggest steps you can take to retain drivers is to show them respect. This means treating drivers more than steering-wheel holders. They need to feel as appreciated, valued employees and more than "just a number." It's not all about the pay - it's also about your carrier showing you care (see what we did there?)
Ask them what they need and want, and listen to their needs. Using social media and surveys are a great way to do this. Ask your Facebook fans what you can do to improve their truck driving experience. Send out a survey with questions and let them elaborate where necessary. Listen to their answers, and thank them for their feedback.
Drivers have a name. Pay your respect and you will be rewarded with loyalty.
Communication is key in truck driver retention. It's important for fleet managers and dispatchers to have a one-on-one relationship with their drivers. This is especially crucial for newbies that may feel intimated to ask questions. Let them know to feel free to ask questions. Make them feel comfortable and welcome.
The issue resolution process is important. What do they do if they're dissatisfied with the answer they got from their fleet manager? What do they do if they're not happy with the condition of their equipment? If a driver has an issue and they feel they're not being treated fairly, or not being heard, that's a fast track for disengagement.
If a driver has a problem, it may not always be something you can take care of, but make sure he or she gets to the right person and that it's taken care of one way or the other.
Requests from Drivers
Drivers will have particular requests, whether it's in their job or personal life. For example, they may have something important to them which involves their family, children, personal needs, home time, religious commitments, or certain geographic areas they want to run (or not run). Does your operations department know and understand these needs? Do they comply with them? Be sure to do what you can to help them out.
Show Your Appreciation
There's a reason National Truck Driver Appreciation Week exists. Truck drivers work hard and commit to tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs. They're on the road for long periods of time, delivering our goods safely, securely and on time. Despite increasingly congested highways and demanding logistics schedules, their commitment is second-to-none. Without drivers, America would come to a halt.
Here are a few ideas to show your appreciation:
- Hold a driver-only contest on social media to give away prizes.
- Provide free lunch at terminals.
- Reinforce rewards of working for your carrier to motivate them.
- - Mention key achievements made by individual truck drivers. For example, announce Million Milers and reward them. This will also cheer on other drivers, and encourage them to stick with your company.
Sometimes it's the little things that count!
Remember: it doesn't stop at recruitment. Driver recruitment and retention should be coupled together. It allows you to build a stable driver base, and ultimately you will be recruiting more drivers through positive word-of-mouth. Happy drivers = loyal drivers.
The Hightower Agency is one of the best driver recruitment agencies. With over 25 years in the industry, we offer a wide variety of effective and affordable driver recruiting advertising solutions. Contact us today to get started!