How do you keep a driver with your fleet for the long-haul?
The causes of turnover range anywhere from termination, the greener pastures of other fleets, to the unfortunate truth that your fleet isn’t satisfying your drivers. While termination and other fleets’ initiatives are out of your control, satisfying your drivers is an area that you can quickly start to improve upon. Seven of the top reasons your drivers say they are leaving include:
1. “I can be making more.”
Not only are drivers expecting higher pay, but they are looking for more miles as well. Compensation isn’t the only cause of poor driver retention, but attractive pay is necessary in the competitive market today.
A fleet should also consider excellent benefits as a part of their compensation packages. Sign-on bonuses are a great way to entice potential hires.
2. “I’m never home.”
Home time can be unpredictable in this industry but has proven to be more important to drivers than compensation in many cases. Larger carriers tackle turnover with more per-mile pay and increased home time.
When hiring drivers, be aware of their location. It can be challenging to turn down a driver, but if they live far from your lanes, they are less likely to be happy with their routes.
Also, promote open lines of communication with your drivers. If they are unhappy with their away time, they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable expressing that. Keep in mind that some drivers want more time on the road, so communicating and understanding their disposition is essential.
3. “There’s no communication.”
Lack of communication causes nearly 40% of driver turnover. Enabling drivers to feel a part of the company culture with regular contact can help you reduce driver turnover.
Satisfaction surveys and personalized outreach can improve the communication channels with your drivers, help you improve the quality of their work-life, and retain more drivers overall.
You can also analyze your recruiting process and messaging to potential drivers; a smaller pool of candidates with a full understanding of the day-to-day life from their first day is better than hundreds of candidates with a romanticized idea of the job.
4. “My dispatcher isn’t the best.”
A driver is usually in communication with their fleet manager more than any other employee of the company. The relationship a fleet manager has with a driver could make or break that driver’s time with the fleet.
Lack of respect and problems with a supervisor combined cause over 30% of driver turnover, so your fleet should be encouraged to build strong relationships with drivers.
5. “My equipment is subpar.”
A 2017 study of over 12,500 drivers proved that poor equipment quality is one of the leading factors of turnover for female drivers. Drivers want equipment that they can rely on for many reasons, including their safety.
Higher-quality equipment and more frequent maintenance comes with greater expenses, but you can see the return reflected in your turnover.
6. “Safety & operations are a mess.”
Experienced drivers can quickly discern when fleet operations are disorganized. Without disciplined rules around dispatch, route planning, and driver prioritization, drivers can become frustrated.
Safety is also key to driver satisfaction, and if your drivers don’t feel like you have their safety top-of-mind, they will leave.
7. “I’m under-appreciated.”
Simply acknowledging milestones and successes like anniversaries and birthdays can go a long way for a driver. Even calling your best drivers once a month or quarter is another powerful way to let them know they’re doing a great job and remind them that you care.
Reducing driver turnover starts with understanding why your drivers are leaving, and then making efforts to improve these seven reasons and other concerns. For most safety managers, schedules are demanding and the extra efforts can easily slip through the cracks, which is where technology can step in, automate touchpoints to drivers, and address driver needs.
To find out how Safety Teams are using technology to reduce driver turnover, schedule a time to talk to an Idelic Team Member here.
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