*image courtesy of REAL Women In Trucking
Regardless of industry, every business owner has very likely dealt with employee recruitment and retention challenges. And, when it comes to trucking, there’s certainly no shortage of those issues. Research by Trucker News and Overdrive asked truckers why they think fleets have a difficult time finding and keeping good drivers.
Respondents cited “lack of respect” and “low pay” as the top two reasons. To get even more specific, when drivers were asked to describe what respect meant to them, 83 percent of respondents said, “Being treated as though what I do is of value to the company I work for.” That seems fair.
Having said that, recruitment and retention is a layered issue that stems right from the top of an organization and filters down into company culture. A carrier that holds respect as a value is great, but unless your drivers -- or, any employee for that matter, can feel that respect, it doesn’t matter. Carriers must practice what they preach.
Going Above And Beyond
Respect and good pay is one thing, but what about going beyond that? We’ve seen some carriers outfit their terminals with comfortable lounge areas with books and magazines and others who have fully stocked fridges with cold drinks and healthy snacks. We’re not saying you have to build a new lounge area and invest in a communal dining spot with endless complimentary food and drink. What we are trying to point out is that employees can tell when their employer values them and lets them know that their comfort and happiness is a priority.
Everyone On Board
Like we mentioned above, respect is an organizational characteristic where everyone knows to respectful of one another. Why? Because they value everyone’s individual contribution to the organization. Employee engagement is and always will be a hot topic no matter what industry you’re in.
And, if you still doubt the impact that respect can have on a driver’s motivation to stay with a carrier, consider this statistic from the study: 71 percent of drivers said they would rather work for a fleet that paid less, but where they felt respected. One respondent even went so far as to say, “Being appreciated may not pay the bills, but it makes it easier to get up and come to work every day when someone understands what you do.”