Sometimes working as a truck driver at a freight transportation company can have you feeling as if you are stuck at a train or bus station in Great America, Santa Clara. With faces passing you by, busy on their daily commute, a feeling of rush and yet also loneliness and longing to be understood or even noticed or seen. This is why it is of utmost importance to keep your fleet’s drivers happy as clams, and wanting to continue coming back to work.
In this post, we look at top ten tips on how you can achieve ultimate truck driver retainment and happiness in the workplace. We cannot stress the importance of keeping your workforce happy if they feel as if they are getting the raw end of the deal, they might just up and leave the company. Let’s see how you can avoid this.
Keep your dispatching speedy and organized
One of the main reasons why truck drivers leave their jobs is due to the fact of inefficient dispatch methods and prolonged waiting times, times they are not paid for. Make sure everyone involved in the dispatch process are on board and willing to go the extra mile in order to get your driver back on the road where he is able to make the money he intended to.
Make sure payment is on par with industry rates
Whether you pay per mile or per hour, you should be dedicated to giving your truck drivers what they are worth. Even though the industry rate is very high, it is estimated that a whopping 20% or truck drivers leave their jobs due to not making enough money. If you want to keep your truck driver happy, explore different ways of making it worthwhile for him/her to spend a lot of time away from home. Perhaps you could even offer employee benefits such as health insurance.
When possible, ensure your drivers get enough time at home
A lot of drivers leave their current jobs due to the fact that they are not at home enough, or that time at home is too unpredictable and too infrequent. Even though this is a difficult subject as the transportation of cargo is not a predictable industry, try to come up with solutions that will suit both the company’s needs and that of the drivers.
Make sure work relations are not causing stress
Some drivers leave due to unhealthy work relationships, especially with supervisors and fleet managers. Even though personalities clash and there is not much you can do about it, you can perhaps try to match the driver with another fleet manager who he/she can get along with.
Ensure that all drivers are treated with respect and show them appreciation
Another cause for resignations at major freight transportation companies are due to the fact that truck drivers do not feel appreciated in their job. The nature of their job is lonely, and they may feel left out of the company culture and anything that happens back at headquarters. Try to get the drivers involved in some activities, ask for their feedback, and have events when you are able to.
Communication is one of the most important factors in any workplace. If there is no communication, there might as well be no workforce. Can you imagine the chaos when an important project’s details are not communicated properly to the parties involved? The same goes for the freight transportation industry. Truck drivers who feel left out in the dark about any company developments are bound to be unhappy and look at other job opportunities. Try to work out a program that will work for drivers and all other employees where two-way communication is encouraged.
Ensure maintenance is taken care of on your watch
No truck driver who is already unhappy in his place of work is going to be impressed with flaky maintenance schedules that require them to spend time waiting for a truck to be ready before being dispatched. Make sure you are able to take care of any equipment and maintenance issues while your driver is spending some time at home with his family, ensuring that the truck is ready for the next load when he gets to work.
Ensure working conditions are conducive to success
Some truck drivers leave their positions because they feel that the company did not allow them to or enable them to do the work they were supposed to. This goes for both drivers and owner-operators alike. Be sure you supply the opportunity for advancement and equip them with the tools to succeed, and you should have a happy truck driver.
Ensure there is space for growth and that it is encouraged
Any truck driver or owner-operator will agree that a company that does not promote growth within the freight transportation company is not a place they would want to work for. Drivers who feel that they are unable to climb the ladder and expand their knowledge are more than likely going to leave. To avoid this, ensure you have programs and policies in place that cultivates a culture of growth and advancement within the company, where the receptionist is able to become a fleet manager if she attends courses endorsed by the company.
Give benefits they will want to work for
Even when the pay and hours might not be the best, a truck driver who is able to get health insurance or paid tuition at certain training programs or any such benefits is more often than not going to be loyal to the freight transportation company. If you are able to provide these opportunities and benefits to your employees, make sure you have such programs in place to ensure your workforce is taken care of. Remember, your workforce is your biggest asset, and without them, your company is an empty building.
Having healthy work relations with your truck drivers remains key to ensure that they are happy. If you have this kind of open relationship with them, they will not feel awkward to openly discuss their queries and qualms with you. If you enjoyed the article, be sure to read this insightful post on how to hire and keep truck drivers. We trust that you have found this piece interesting and that you will be able to employ an empowered and a happy workforce, always.