Our name, Idelic, is an offshoot of the word idyllic, and our desire to help create a happy, peaceful environment on the roadways. A picturesque scene where everyone sharing the road – families and drivers in the trucking industry alike – can get from point A to point B safely.
How Do We Reach This Utopia? It Starts With Driver Performance Management
Recently, our Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Hayden Cardiff, had the chance to join Whip Around’s Tim and Trent on their Fleet Champions Spotify podcast to discuss not only our origins but also how we’re helping fleets shape their Driver Performance Management programs with a holistic, integrative mindset.
“There isn’t a driver shortage, there’s a shortage of good companies to work for.”
It’s the crux of a problem afflicting the trucking industry today. There’s a tremendous amount of responsibility on driver managers and back-office teams, which can make it difficult to express the genuine care they have for their drivers at the levels that they’d like to. With dozens of drivers and quick turnover rates, it can certainly be a challenge to remember the reasons a driver joined the fleet, their expectations, and details about them on a personal level.
Small details about a driver’s personal life are critical pieces of engagement that make all the difference in the world. These details help create and foster a genuine relationship with each driver, helping to make them feel connected to the culture and community of their fleet. They’re the foundations that provide support when drivers reach a point where they may be at-risk of an accident or leaving for another fleet. Ultimately, having a personal relationship built ahead of time shows the driver that you are coming from a place of care, a place where you’re looking out for them and wanting to help them get home safe to their family each night.
Attracting better talent reaches far beyond offering competitive starting wages. A good place to start is by taking a look in the mirror and assuming the role of a new hire – how would you like to be onboarded and trained?
Orientation vs. Onboarding and Integrating
The average 2-5 days of driver orientation that exists within the industry does not help to properly place expectations. Some of the most successful fleets have a minimum 6-month onboarding plan, but ideally, have a 9-12 month plan that fully integrates a driver into the fleet.
Achieving this level of integration requires consistent touchpoints – at least once a week, if not several days a week – where you aren’t just talking shop or operational details. These interactions should be driver-centric: What brought you to our fleet? What got you excited to come here? What are your expectations for mileage and take-home pay? Routes? How is your family, your pets, who do you root for, and what are your interests when you’re not driving? Document it all, and follow up on it!
Focusing on building relationships and remembering that drivers are humans too will help create this level of engagement and personal care that will allow the good word to get around and bring in fresh talent. You’re creating a brand for your fleet that recruits great drivers and improves retention.
Holistic Programs: The Tools You Need to Do It All!
Strong fleets come in every shape and size. When it comes to a powerful Driver Performance Management process – coaching, driver engagement, risk identification – creating a holistic program is very transferable. Drivers that are integrated into holistic, proactive plans feel the impact of better engagement, consistent touchpoints, safety coaching, and mentorship and support from their dispatchers, driver managers, safety managers, and executives. The predictive analytics within Safety Suite® can help you to understand which drivers in your fleet are at risk, and why. You can then apply a proven, multi-step, multi-week professional development plan – which leverages the best practices of some of the most regulated fleets in the country – where people in different areas of the team are repeating the same consistent message.
Building a Driver Performance Management program may feel like a daunting task, but the Idelic Safety Suite® can help your fleet consolidate all of your third-party systems into a single platform, share data between departments, and rigorously follow proven training and onboarding programs.
With increased visibility into the onboarding process comes increased accountability, rejuvenating your safety culture, and improving retention by as much as 43%.
If you’d like to learn more about how your fleet can integrate a Driver Performance Management program with Safety Suite, take a deeper dive, and get on the road to helping create an ‘Idelic’ roadway!