10 Ways to Improve Driver Retention
Turnover rates in the trucking industry are between 80% and 120% per year. In other words, the average trucking company has to replace its entire driver force every year.
Well-managed commercial vehicle fleets help businesses keep up with their competition and realize their potential. The fleet’s drivers are vital resources needed to meet deadlines, transport assets, and inventory, and keep customers satisfied.
It’s not feasible for companies to hire and train new drivers every year. So, what are the best ways to retain your current drivers and improve morale? Reducing churn is a major challenge for fleet managers, but doing so successfully can have a major impact on the bottom line.
This has led to the hasty hiring of unqualified drivers who often under-perform, leading to losses. If you’re in charge of managing a team of drivers, you know how tough it can be to find reliable, skilled staff members. Rather than recruiting new drivers, however, you should focus on keeping the excellent drivers you already have. The following are just a few things you can do to improve your driver retention rate and motivate your existing team.
Improve Working Conditions
Consider implementing a competitive pay scale to encourage some healthy competition among your drivers and inspire them to perform better. Even minor improvements and adjustments can go a long way toward boosting driver morale.
Make Sure Drivers Are Getting Paid on Time
This may seem like an obvious point, but many fleets fall behind in paying their employees regularly. This puts both drivers and customers at risk of late fees or no-show jobs. Drivers who are not paid regularly may feel trapped in bad situations because they cannot afford to leave without payment in full, especially if they have bills to pay or dependents at home.
Fleets should have a system in place to ensure drivers are paid on time. This may include having multiple payment options, including direct deposit. It also means that when payroll is delayed, drivers are notified as soon as possible so they can make alternate arrangements if necessary.
Consider Raising Pay
When drivers are paid well, they are more likely to stay with a company. A good pay scale will help retain drivers by providing them with enough incentive to stick around.
In this competitive market, it pays to know what rates other companies are offering. Drivers will naturally look around to see if they can get better pay.
Businesses can apply these driver retention strategies to fleets with high or medium-duty trucks, vans and specialty construction equipment. Doing so will benefit their vehicles and drivers and create a positive work place.
Improve Insurance Coverage
Maximum levels of vehicle and driver insurance are prudent. For commercial fleets, basic vehicle and driver liability plans are insufficient. Any successful fleet operation must protect its drivers in the event of accidents, collisions, and natural disasters.
State laws govern Workers’ Comp premiums, liabilities, and payouts. As these vary, drivers will feel more secure and motivated when they know their Workers’ Comp is padded by employer investment in prime insurance coverage.
When drivers feel safe and secure, they’re more likely to stay with your company. It’s important to emphasize the importance of insurance and safety training during onboarding.
Keep Fleet Vehicles Maintained
Employees will enjoy working around shiny, polished, and noise-free vehicles that they can be proud of. Clean and attractive vehicles not only boost employee morale, they give customers and partners trust in a business’ attention to detail.
Noisy exhausts, rust, and corrosion on the vehicle exterior signal age and poor maintenance of its interior mechanics. No vehicle and driver look good pulling up to businesses or customers with such apparent signs of neglect.
Fleet vehicles should be well-maintained and in good working order. A vehicle that’s not maintained properly can break down at any time, which puts both the driver and other motorists at risk. Regular maintenance also helps extend the life of a vehicle, which means less wear and tear on it over time. This translates to lower costs for businesses in the long run.
Stressed, tired drivers are more likely to be unfriendly to customers and unsafe around fellow motorists. Long drives and tough arrival deadlines can put a lot of stress on drivers. Alert and rested drivers do better under this pressure than those who are overworked and fatigued. Even when demand is high, ban or limit driver overtime. Make and stick to drive schedules. Maintain a comfortable, on-site quiet room for drivers to nap in. If necessary, hire more drivers during peak seasons.
We all know that stress is a major contributor to poor health. Reducing stress in the workplace is not only good for drivers’ health, it also helps them perform better on the road and keeps customers happy. Happy, healthy drivers are more likely to stay with a company, which means less turnover and more stability for your business.
Keep Up With Technology
Businesses should upgrade their fleet for the latest technology considerations. While it is against the law to practice any form of distracted driving, drivers should take breaks to rest, refresh, and check on family and personal matters. From casual conversation to arrival confirmations, drivers must communicate often. Help them do so safely with device-friendly consoles, dashboard mounts, and hands free phones.
Give Drivers a Voice
Employees who have a voice in the workplace are more likely to stay. They feel empowered and valued, which can boost morale and productivity. In addition to giving drivers a chance to contribute, this also gives them a stake in the company’s success.
While it may seem like a small detail, the voice of the fleet’s drivers is important to their overall experience with the company.
Create a Culture of Accountability
A company’s culture is what makes it unique and memorable. It sets expectations for employees and customers alike. A fleet’s culture should be one that values safety, accountability, and efficiency. This can be accomplished through training sessions, company-wide events, or employee recognition programs. These small things go a long way in creating a positive company culture.
When demand for a fleet’s services is high, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to keep up with maintenance schedules. A fleet should be prepared to handle all types of situations, including slow periods when drivers are idle.
This means having the right vehicles and equipment on hand at all times. It also means being able to quickly hire or release drivers as needed. A flexible fleet management system allows for this flexibility while still maintaining accountability for both internal and external expectations.
If you’d like to learn more about how GPS Trackit can help to improve safety, increase productivity and reduce costs for your business, speak with one of our knowledgeable Fleet Advisors at 866-320-5810 or get a quick Custom Quote.
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