With the average cost to replace or add a single driver sitting at $8,234—and reaching as high as $20,729—fleets need to look for ways to reduce turnover while adding much needed capacity in all aspects of their operations. Fortunately, for many fleets, the onboarding process is an area where simple improvements can lead to large retention gains.
By using a well-executed onboarding process as a means to instill safety-first values in new drivers, fleets can improve their safety culture and, in doing so, reduce their turnover.
Safety-First Values Reduce Turnover
An onboarding process that doesn’t instill safety-first values or filter out drivers who are averse to them will produce drivers that exhibit at-risk behaviors and turn off experienced drivers who value safety.
Over the long term, this will lead to an increase in both voluntary and involuntary turnover. Why does this happen? For two main reasons:
- Voluntary Turnover
Every driver is concerned about their own safety, so if they feel their fleet does not take their health and well-being seriously, they will leave for a fleet that does. Additionally, strong safety cultures often go hand in hand with consistent driver engagement, so working to improve fleet safety culture has additional benefits in reducing voluntary turnover.
- Involuntary Turnover
When a fleet doesn’t instill safety-first values into their drivers, the risk of a crash majorly increases, which will often necessitate terminating the involved driver. While a fleet’s safety procedures can help prevent crashes, to a certain extent, fleets need their drivers to see the personal value of those procedures for them to be effective. When drivers don’t value safety, involuntary turnover is the inevitable result.
How to Instill Safety-First Values During Onboarding
The fleets that are most successful at impressing safety-first values upon their new drivers have a consistent message about their fleet’s safety culture that is:
All members of a fleet, from their recruiters to their managers, trainers, and executives, need to deliver the same, unified message to drivers and potential hires.
02. Well Communicated
Every member of their fleet understands the message they should convey to drivers, throughout their full tenure.
03. Aligned with Their Culture
The message they push accurately reflects the experience a driver will have on the job and is true to their fleet’s culture.
Only after fleets devise a unified, aligned, and well-communicated message about their safety culture will they see the retention and safety benefits of an effective onboarding program.
The Best Tool for Onboarding Drivers
While it may seem difficult to build an onboarding program that impresses the importance of safety upon your drivers, fortunately, there’s a tool that can help.
The Idelic Safety Suite® is the trucking industry’s leading driver management platform, helping fleets consolidate all of their third-party systems into a single platform, share data between departments, and reinvent their training and onboarding programs.
Instill safety-first values into every member of your fleet with Safety Suite. By empowering managers with the tools needed to create high-frequency onboarding plans with templated discussion points, Safety Suite helps fleets rejuvenate their safety culture and ensure safety is everyone’s job, all the time.