This is the first part of a series dealing with Driver Recruitment and Retention.
Approximately 21 percent of commercial truck drivers are 55 to 65 years old, according to industry figures. Fewer than 8 percent, though, are 25 to 29. The average age of a commercial truck driver in the U.S. is 48, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The average age of drivers has increased two years for males and three years for females as tenure has declined to less than two years, according to a report released recently.
The report also found that on average, a carrier will go through a fleet-wide turnover every 18 to 24 months.
The driver pool also continues to lack females, with males accounting for 92%, according to the report.
With these statistics in mind, it is imperative that the trucking industry not only find new ways to attract new blood into the industry but retain the drivers already working in the industry.
Everyone agrees that driver pay will need to rise. According to driver surveys, pay is not the primary reason drivers leave or stay with a company.
- Drivers want to feel like a respected member of the family.
Exceptional benefits go a long way toward building a company culture in which employees feel secure, loyal, and yes, maybe even loved — or at least valued and respected. It’s no secret that some of the most fiercely loyal employees in the trucking world work for and run family-owned carriers, particularly those small enough that the drivers know the family members by name.
- Drivers want to be able to provide for their families.
Drivers need to feel that their families are provided for, even when they are thousands of miles from home. Good benefits make that possible, and employers can leverage the peace of mind afforded by great benefits toward better retention rates. Everyone wins — carriers get truck drivers who value commitment and safety, and drivers get security for the people who matter most to them.
- Drivers talk to each other about the company — the good and the bad.
When you get any group of Drivers together, they are going to talk about the biggest thing they have in common: their employer.
A hearty consensus among employees that their mutual employer is the bane of their workday existence is pretty much the last thing an employer wants to hear. That sort of company culture is notoriously anti-retention because it essentially gives employees — particularly drivers — permission to quit and find out if the grass really is greener on the other side of the highway.
Motor carriers can shift employees’ conversation in a more positive direction by the simple application of exceptional, family-friendly employee benefits. Driver churn isn’t easy to reverse, but the one thing that can do it is the kind of benefits drivers can brag about when those working for other carriers drag out their horror stories.
Great driver benefits not only can change the direction of the employee conversation, but eventually even produce personal testimonials about compassionate and affordable medical care and growing retirement accounts. As the culture improves, employees will find fewer reasons to grouse about the company and leave. What’s more, when talking with their peers outside your company, they’ll be the best recruiters you’ve ever had, delivering powerful word-of-mouth testimonials to your benefits package.
• Drivers want to know they’re valued members of your team; the proof being the quality of benefits you offer.
There is a more subtle factor at work here as well: Conscientious, careful, safety-minded drivers care deeply about benefits, particularly for their family members, and those are precisely the people trucking companies want sitting behind the wheel of their biggest rigs.
So there’s the equation: Exceptional benefits are a key building block for a solid company culture, and that culture is, in turn, a huge factor in retention. An enviable, solid benefits package is an important tool for recruiting drivers signing on for the long haul in terms of both distance and long-term retention.
• Drivers want to be recognized for their efforts.
Recognition of a job well done goes a long way to building driver loyalty. It can be as simple as thank you for a good job, all the way to a reward for safety, attendance and customer service. Any kind of reward for good job performance is a positive in keeping the driver loyal to your company.
- Posted by admin
- On May 27, 2014
- 0 Comments