Top Fleet Tips for Driver Retention – Fleet owners are increasingly finding themselves facing an ever-increasing shortage of new drivers. That means if they want to attract the best and most talented drivers in the industry, they will have to come up with a more attractive and appealing work environment. But with the trucking industry coming up short 51,000 drivers in terms of its recruitment needs last year alone, this is becoming a challenge.
The American Trucking Association says this is the highest shortage on record, growing even more recently due in part to a boost in freight volumes and the retirement of older, more seasoned drivers who are leaving the workforce in droves.
Thus, it’s no secret that fleets are taking a second look at their human resources strategies to see what changes they can adopt. The results were documented in the 2018 Best Fleets to Drive For program, produced by CarriersEdge in partnership with Truckload Carriers Association.
This is the only annual program that identifies the best workplaces in the North American trucking industry. Fleets are evaluated according to many different performance criteria in order to come up with the companies that boast the greatest success in driver retention and motivation, according to Fuels Market News.
The survey responses, interviews and questionnaires revealed that when fleets utilize an onboarding approach to welcome new drivers, on top of post-orientation support, they become more likely to be coveted places to work for drivers. Onboarding differs from the typical HR practice whereby information such as policies and procedures is relayed to drivers via a one- or two-day orientation as well as post-orientation activities. Those activities can include:
- Formal coaching
- Scheduled phone calls with senior managers and executives
- Direct meetings with senior managers and executives
Approximately 70 percent of the finalists for the 2018 Best Fleets to Drive For award offer some type of post-orientation support for drivers, as well as comprehensive coaching and outreach programs. Executives and upper management have been known to call drivers, talk with them and encourage feedback about their experiences.
Many times, those same executives attend town hall meetings and round-table discussions taking place in offices or even home offices, allowing drivers the chance to talk about issues that impact them. These issues can range from loading delays at shippers’ terminals to company objectives. If drivers can’t make the in-person meeting, they can watch the proceedings on YouTube or Facebook Live.
Research has found that when fleets take these constructive approaches, they fare much better in post-orientation support efforts. The goal for companies who wants to become one of the industry’s highest-rated workplaces? It’s to better integrate new drivers into their operations, making them feel a more valuable connection to the company in which they’re joining. With these increased efforts, drivers will better understand what is expected of them and why, helping to engage them in the corporate culture. Plus, they’ll be more likely to get help when they have an issue rather than simply quitting and getting a job somewhere else.