For years now, the trucking industry has seen a decrease in the available pool of drivers. The reason for the shortage is multiple. Older drivers are leaving faster than new drivers are being recruited in the industry. Also, COVID-19 has contributed even more problems affecting driver retention rates.
If you’re a business owner whose services depend on drivers, this trend can be devastating. Training new drivers and recruiting them is a lot more complicated than retaining your current trained drivers.
How To Improve Driver Retention Rates:
We’ve combined seven pro-tips to improve your driver retention during this pandemic.
Minimize Daily Paperwork Burden:
Every driver wants an efficient and productive workday. If you have a company policy of filling daily paper-based inspections, you’re burdening them with extra work. Instead, you can switch to digital reporting and reviews. This will improve your driver satisfaction and retention.
Make the forms more efficient by customizing exact vehicle protocols to make the process faster. In this way, you will get real-time updates, and drivers will have more time to focus on their schedule and duties on the road.
Appreciate Your Drivers:
Lack of appreciation is the most often the primary reason for employee separation. Drivers are no exception to this. There are various steps you can take to improve this situation:
- Develop a monthly award program to acknowledge the outstanding performance of drivers based on their performance metrics.
- Engage in conversations every once in a while.
- Inquire about their feedback at meetings and how you can help make their jobs easier.
Fleet owners often say that having open communication with their drivers has improved their practices and retention rates. Also, listening to your drivers sends a positive message that they’re valued in your company.
Driver Perks And Benefits:
If you can provide perks and benefits to your drivers, this can increase their satisfaction and hence truck driver retention. Companies offer drivers health, dental, vision, and 401K coverage. If you can’t afford this, you can look for other benefits.
Provide A Professional Development Program:
Some drivers want to stay on the road. Then some drivers are looking for management opportunities. If you offer a professional development program, your drivers will be more engaged in your company.
You can also start regular training sessions to build driver confidence and skill. This will also increase the safety of your business.
Develop A Driver Referral Program:
If you keep your drivers happy, they will be your best recruiters. Also, you can make a driver referral program that offers a bonus on the referral of a safe driver. You can also create flyers or cards that drivers can hand out while they’re on the road.
Protection Against False Claims Of Liability:
Whenever an accident happens, commercial vehicles are easy targets. Research shows that 80% of claims against drivers are false. Drivers are hesitant to use video telematics, but they are their most excellent companions in such situations. These videos provide evidence against the false claims and exonerate the commercial drivers.
Provide Safe, Well-Maintained Equipment:
If you consider the cost of driver turnover, keeping your fleet in a well-maintained state is very important. Drivers take pride in their ride, even more, when it offers them safety and comfort.
As fleet owners, you can enroll in a reliable fleet maintenance program. This helps resolve engine issues and other components, making the truck more efficient and safe. Hence, drivers can be more productive too.
Q1- How do the driver retention rates affect the trucking industry?
A U.S.-based survey reveals that more than 30% of drivers quit during the first three months on the job. Also, about 50% leave within the first year. These are some alarming statistics that highlight the importance of driver retention.
Q2- How does driver retention affect fleet owners?
The productivity of business owners and fleet managers depends on truck driver retention. A shortage of drivers can negatively affect their whole operation.
Truck Driver retention is an essential aspect for the fleet owner and the trucking industry. These tips can help fleet operators increase their retention rates and subsequently enhance their productivity.