It’s no secret that the trucking industry as a whole struggles with driver turnover. On average, drivers stay with their employers for only one year, and that turnover can cost a motor carrier approximately $8,200 each time a driver leaves, according to a recent study by McQuaig. Obviously, making a fair wage is important to drivers, but it may come as a surprise that not all drivers hop jobs for financial reasons. Even if the grass looks greener working for a competitor, company culture could be the root cause of driver dissatisfaction and turnover.
Managing a remote workforce is a big challenge. While not every trucking company conducts long haul, over-the-road operations, even regional and local motor carriers contend with the challenges of staying connected to drivers they see only sporadically.
According to a Gallup study, “Highly engaged workplaces see up to 67% lower turnover.” Combine the lower turnover percentage with the average cost of truck driver turnover ($8,200), and it is plain to see that building employee engagement into the company culture can reap a significant return on investment.
Here are some low-cost ideas to engage drivers and build company loyalty:
- Provide personal and professional development opportunities. Investing in employee development is a great way to engage employees and show you want to help them succeed. One free option is to distribute safety materials to your staff. Consider articles on money management and time management, which are important, especially to a small business owner like an owner-operator.
- Reward and recognize achievements. Each employee is different when it comes to rewards and recognition. Some employees may not want public recognition, while others relish it. Likewise, monetary rewards can be easily forgotten. Make rewards and recognition more memorable by asking employees what they prefer.
- Solicit employee input. Seek employee input on work-related issues, especially when it comes to safety. Engaging workers and soliciting their ideas demonstrates that you value their opinion, and those actions may bring to light issues that you were not aware of. Provide a safe environment for employees to voice their ideas without repercussions. Afterwards, follow up with an update, even if an idea was not utilized.
CALL TO ACTION
- Solicit input from employees on engagement ideas, and choose three to implement.
- Implement the three employee engagement ideas with a specified completion date.
- Survey employees six months post-implementation to measure.
Source: Great West Casualty Company