Everyone knows landing an accident free journey man driver onto your authority is hard enough. What's more is that it's also hard to get a pulse on which current drivers are engaged and which might be looking for greener pastures.
With the cost of hiring a driver continuing to rise, keeping the drivers you do have is a clear cost savings approach but it is also the right thing to do. There's a lot that can be learned from employee engagement best practices in other industries. But for now now, there are a few signals to keep an eye on.
Dispatchers talk with drivers all the time and hear lot's of complaints. The complaints range in topics but that doesn't mean an insight cannot be picked up here. Depending on the driver the amount of complaints may change as well but you can still determine happiness by monitoring the amount overtime. For example, if on average a driver complains 30 times a week but for the last 2 weeks they've complained 50 times a week, that's a significant increase worth investigating. As you start looking at this count over time, you may even start to see average complaint amounts across all drivers in your fleet to determine a new Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for your operations.
Most trucking companies offering a signing bonus require a certain amount of time to pass before paying out. It is commonly known that the high turnover rates in the industry are as a result of frequent job hopping to chase signing bonuses. Don't seed the ground and assume that it will happen. Before and after the signing bonus is paid out, reengage drivers about your company's unique value propositions. Why did they come to work for you in the first place? It certainly was not only for a sign-on bonus. Listen to drivers and learn if promises made weren't delivered upon. If so, deliver on them before it is too late. The cost to be the company they want to work for is far less than going back to market looking for a replacement driver. And remember, to tell your company story online with a website. We have provide some helpful ways to leverage technology in 2019 to develop good driver recruiting habits.
Life happens and when major changes occur, employment relationships are the first to be impacted. If a driver's family unit expands or unfortunately contracts, this is some seriously important information. Clearly there are short run implications but in the long-run these kinds of events may force entire employment and/or career changes to occur. Instead of looking at these life changes as challenges, turn them into opportunities. If your company goes above and beyond during these moments, that could turn a potentially unhappy driver into a real evangelist for your company.
Depending on your role within a trucking company alters the options you have at your disposal but the above 3 signals can easily be implemented with some driver conversations and a simple spreadsheet. (Here's a FREE WORKBOOK to start tracking!)
It's unreasonable to think that your drivers will stay with you forever. But if you can spot some signals of unhappiness or dissatisfaction ahead of time will give you a fighting chance to not only keep that driver but flip challenges into opportunities.
What signals do you track as a leading indicator that a driver is getting antsy? Let us know in the comment section below!