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5 Effective Driver Retention Strategies You Should Know About

Two men shaking hands in front of a truck

As a trucking company, it’s vital to have an excellent retention rate. Not only is it difficult to find great drivers, but it’s even more difficult to keep those great drivers within your company. It certainly doesn’t help that the average driver turnover rate is in the range of 70-90%.

There are a number of different reasons why truck driver turnover rates are so high nowadays. The pool of drivers available to take on a job is dwindling, as well, the COVID-19 outbreak has also affected how many drivers are able to work.

Your fleet might be currently struggling to find quality drivers. In this guide, we’ll break down five extremely effective strategies for keeping your best drivers on board.

1. Focus on safety first.

Safety culture is so important when it comes to managing an excellent fleet. Your safety practices should be engaging for your drivers during their routes.

You can do this by really shining a light on the fact that your drivers’ actions are important. Create protocols that focus on safety as the highest priority. Really hone in on compliance practices and training instead of just paying the constant fines that pop up.

When you’re able to bridge the gap between the behavior of your drivers and your brand’s presence, you’re telling your drivers that they are more than just a human behind a wheel. Try to implement regular safety meetings with your driving staff and invest in third-party training services that specialize specifically in traffic and truck driving.

2. Listen to your drivers.

Far too many companies don’t really take the time to look into driver feedback. This is another factor that leads to high turnover rates. It’s simple, really-- when working staff don’t feel listened to or like they matter, they tend to move on to a company that can actually provide that.

It’s also a bad idea to ignore driver feedback from a business perspective. If there are issues with your company’s fleet protocols and processes, it can affect so much more than just the experience of your drivers.

Create clear channels for communication between your drivers and management. Doing so will make it easier for them to share feedback and offer unique ideas, especially during the training period.

3. Kick your onboarding programs up a notch.

Employees that stay with companies long-term tend to connect with the company’s mission and values. It’s no different for fleets and drivers. One way to help your drivers connect with your brand is to rejuvenate your onboarding processes to make it easier for new drivers to access information about your unique values and policies.

This is a period of building and nurturing new relationships with your drivers. Ask your new crew about their goals as drivers and where they would like to see their career head. Offer opportunities for growth.

4. Reward excellence when possible.

Many truck drivers initially start their career because the pay is nice. However, over time, it can become hard to stick with a company that offers no opportunity for growth. Rewarding excellence among your drivers can make your company one worth sticking with.

Acknowledge driver performance by establishing milestones and incentives. This will create an atmosphere of motivation and help your drivers set goals for themselves.

This can be done in a few different ways. To start, offer rewards for safe miles driven and positive reviews from your clients and customers. You could also implement a reward program for consecutive accident-free days.

Ongoing training is also important, so it may be a good idea to incentivize ongoing training seminars as well. You can offer rewards in the form of commissions, extra pay, and other perks.

5. Invest in good transportation management software.

Technology can be very helpful when it comes to improving driver retention. Transportation Management Software that has a good overall user experience makes it so much easier for your drivers to connect with the back office and your clients as well as increasing their productivity to do their everyday job.

If you’re considering investing in new transportation management software, make sure that the product you choose is highly intuitive and simple to use while providing a frictionless user experience. The last thing you want is your staff spending too much time learning how to use the software which could result in lower productivity that can negatively impact the communication between your head office and drivers. This could be a differentiator and play a key role to your overall retention strategy.

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