In Part 2 of this series, we covered driver recruiting. Now, we move to driver retention.
So, you’ve made a great hire. How do you keep the driver on your team? Just as in recruiting, there is no magic bullet. The answer is a combination of best practices that build driver loyalty.
- Driver Pay & Benefits:
In the past, drivers would leave a company for a few cents more per mile to receive a minimal increase in hourly pay. With new programs like CSA and the hiring process becoming more difficult, most of this has subsided. With today’s driver pay, this is just part of the equation.
Today, drivers are wanting a fair wage. Remember, they have families to feed and bills to pay. A driver’s pay must be competitive with others doing the same job. The pay doesn’t have to be at the top of the pay scale, but should be, at least, in the fifty percentile of the market rate to be successful in retaining the driver.
Having solid driver benefits is also a major factor in retaining drivers. We all know the challenges with the Affordable Care Act and the rising cost of benefits. Here is where wellness programs and prevention plans may help employers save with reduced premiums and less claims.
- Family Atmosphere/The Golden Rule:
Because drivers aren’t physically present at the worksite everyday, they are sometimes overlooked: “Out of sight, Out of mind.” Because of the nature of the job, drivers need to be made aware they are a valued member of the company’s team. This takes extra effort on the part of all levels of management and other departments.
Make sure that drivers are included in all company communications. Ask for their opinions on issues. Listen to their ideas and suggestions and thank them for their input.
The more they feel like a valued member of the team, the less likely they are to seek employment elsewhere.
A company must treat drivers the way they would want to be treated.
Quality, professional drivers will not stay with a company that operates sub-standard equipment or equipment that is not well maintained. The true professional driver will not tolerate equipment that is either likely to breakdown, pose a safety issue, or cause them to receive marks on their rating under CSA!
A company must make sure they have a comprehensive safety and maintenance program. Issues reported on the driver’s vehicle condition report must be addressed immediately. Professional drivers also want to operate clean equipment. Companies must make sure they have a program in place to wash the equipment on a regular basis.
- Home Time/Quality of Life
Have you noticed that there are fewer qualified candidates willing to be out on the road for an extended period of time? Most of this generation is not willing to be over-the-road warriors of the past. The newer drivers want more home time and a better quality of work-life balance. So what is the answer? Any company that can arrange more home time, relays, cross docking, staggered work weeks, etc. will benefit from retention.
- Driver Recognition
A few words go a long way with most drivers, for example, “thank you for doing a good job!” Because drivers are out on their own, they aren’t sure if their efforts are recognized. Companies must assure drivers they are appreciated and their work does not go unnoticed.
There are other ways as well to recognize drivers:
- Driver of the month and year programs
- Safety incentive programs for safe driving, for example, developing programs such as “Road to Rewards”
- Safety bonus programs
There are many ways for a company to acknowledge drivers for a job well done, which increases driver retention and loyalty. There is no one magic bullet in recruiting professional drivers or retaining them. Best practices on a consistent basis is the key.
Next month, I’ll discuss how to avoid losing professional drivers and what causes them to leave.
- Posted by admin
- On July 28, 2014
- 0 Comments