The 90-day mark is a critical juncture in the lifespan of a truck driver. Days One through Ninety mark the highest probability of a driver turning over and leaving your fleet. It’s a startling reality that the trucking industry as a whole deals with day in and day out- but there’s a simple solution: say what you mean, and mean what you say.
The primary culprit of driver turnover is mismanaged expectations. When drivers are sold on one thing during the recruitment process, only to discover a different reality when joining, it’s easy to see why there’s frustration and distrust. At the early stages of driver recruitment, you have the opportunity to begin fostering a relationship of trust and laying the foundation for long-term satisfaction. Your recruiters should be upfront and honest about:
- Operational Expectations: Average miles per week, home time, pay + bonus structure, routes/lanes, in-cab technology, additional responsibilities (loading/unloading, etc.)
- Cultural Expectations: Organizational structure, safety coaching and professional development, benefits package, vacation policy, recognition initiatives, social media presence, engagement and involvement from executives.
During Orientation and Onboarding, it’s important to validate the discussions that have happened with your incoming drivers.
Recruiting & Hiring Standards
Your standards for recruiting and hiring at your fleet should be established, well documented, and understood cross-departmentally throughout the organization. They should reflect specific criteria of what is and is not acceptable from a driver’s background that would allow you to hire them or prohibit them from operating a vehicle as a part of your fleet. Drivers that stick around with your fleet long-term have certain attributes in common, and your Training and Operations departments can help your Recruiters to understand what those are and who has seen success. Make sure you aren’t tempted to lower your hiring standards or take exceptions- you’ll only end up with unsafe drivers with misaligned expectations who end up churning.
How can Safety Suite help?
While it can’t write your standards and clarify your expectations, Safety Suite can centralize your data and documentation for all your employees to reference- after all, disparate systems foster disparate departments. Operations will benefit from robust reporting capabilities, allowing them to see who your safest/most tenured drivers are, and report back to Recruiting so they can be on the lookout for drivers with similar backgrounds. You’ll be able to stay engaged and connected with your drivers, easily recognizing good behavior with driver awards and setting the tone for a great fleet culture.