Every owner-operator wants to be able to attract and retain drivers who not only want to stay with your company long-term, but also see fit to take it upon themselves to go the extra mile to ensure your company succeeds. This kind of employee engagement truly is priceless.
An employee who is fully involved in and enthusiastic about his or her work is considered to be “engaged.” In essence, engaged employees are ones that care about the future of the company and are willing to work harder to help the organization succeed. Research also indicates that engagement may be better at reducing driver turnover than monetary incentives and bonus programs.
Here are some tips from the management team at Thunder Funding on how you can create an engaged driver workforce at your company:
Pay Attention To Your Recruitment Process
Not surprisingly, driver engagement and retention starts during the recruiting process. Once drivers are hired, the onboarding and training process is absolutely critical. Management’s job is to ensure the orientation experience reflects professionalism, driver appreciation and, of course, highlights the importance of respect and honesty within the organization. A large part of driver turnover happens in the first few months so be sure to set clear expectations for your staff right from the start.
It can be pretty isolating when you’re in the cab of a truck for days on end (at minimum), with the only communication with the office coming in through impersonal computer messages. Needless to say, it can be pretty challenging for drivers to feel engaged in these instances. Consider scheduling in weekly calls with your drivers while they’re on the road to see how they’re doing. Some trucking companies also send out simple newsletters that briefly highlight organization updates like new hires, financial successes, and the like. Why? Because it’s nice to be kept in the loop even when you’re out on the road.
Room For Advancement
Part of being engaged and feeling like you’re in the right organization is knowing there exist potential opportunities to improve yourself and “move up in the ranks.”
For example, some trucking companies make it known to their drivers that, as they gain seniority, they can become privy to more desirable routes or get more flexibility in choosing which loads to haul. On the flipside, advancement could come in the form of paid mentoring opportunities to help train new drivers, and even supervisory and management roles.
It’s up to you to choose which tactics you’ll employ to drive engagement. Just remember that the effort can pay off huge dividends in the end. A happy driver spreads the word that they’re enjoying their work and being a part of your company. When your employees become advocates of your organization, you know you’re doing something right.
Be sure to check out our blog for more trucking industry news and trends from the team at Thunder Funding!