Trucking can be an exhilarating job. Drivers traverse across the country, enjoying quiet highways and scenic views. Of course, it can also be an incredibly taxing job, with long hours and weeks spent away from home. The latter aspect of the trucker experience may be part of the reason why truck driver retention is such as challenge. As supply chain issues worsen, and the labor shortage wages on, fewer professionals are choosing a career in commercial truck driving — and sticking with it. There are a few strategies you can employ if you’re wondering how to make your trucking company stand out, attract the best candidates, and achieve better truck driver retention. Read on to learn how you can build a successful team of committed and professional truck drivers.
Learn From the Best
If your trucking company is having difficulty recruiting and retaining quality staff, it’s a good idea to take cues from some of your competitors. Every year, the Best Fleets to Drive For® program recognizes trucking companies that are at the top of the field in employee treatment and satisfaction. The awards are typically accompanied by an interview with company management wherein they explain the strategy behind their success. You can start your improvement efforts by doing some research and taking some tips from these industry leaders. Pay attention to any information they provide about the perks they offer to their truckers.
Listen to Employee Feedback
Listening to industry leaders is a good start, but you’ll also need to listen to feedback from your existing employees. Are they unsatisfied with their work schedule? Struggling to make ends meet on their current pay schedule? Issues like these are major red flags that a trucker is considering resigning, but too often, they’re overlooked by managers who merely see them as complaints. Instead of dismissing the concerns of your fleet drivers, take the time to listen to everything they have to say and formulate meaningful solutions to their problems. Of course, you should also seek out positive feedback too—ask your truckers what is working for them and what they’d like to see more of.
Offer Better Wages
Low pay is one of the most common reasons for resignation cited across nearly every industry. The trucking sector is no exception. Drivers are often unsatisfied with the wages they earn in exchange for the sacrifices they make. If you really need to improve retention, adjust your budget to offer wages that no trucker will want to give up. Indeed, there’s a direct correlation between driver satisfaction and driver pay, so if you want to improve truck driver retention, a pay raise is likely the easiest and most effective way to do so. If you can’t afford an immediate increase in driver’s pay, offer a gradual plan of wage increases that incentivizes drivers to stick around.
Provide Better Benefits
Pay isn’t the only issue of compensation that drivers may have an issue with. Drivers also want to see better benefits packages when they’re signing on to a new trucking company. The bare minimum of medical insurance is no longer enough to attract and retain talent. Instead, you need to offer a thoughtful compensation package — one that includes coverage for dental care and mental health care, for example. A generous benefits package is one of the best ways to stand out from other employers and attract trucking talent that’s invested in a long-term career.
Put People Above Profits
It may sound cliché, but it’s true — you need to put people above profits. Too many trucking companies are losing valuable talent because they cut corners, encourage unsafe driving practices, and simply don’t value the members of their fleet. Don’t make this mistake. In the current economy, customers may be easier to replace than truckers. You should always prioritize your truckers’ health and wellbeing above client demands. Ensure that drivers take their breaks, have reasonable driving timelines, and receive the support they need. This is important to driver satisfaction, but it’s important to safety, too. Neglecting self-care may increase the risk of accidents and truck insurance claims.
Show Appreciation to Truckers
It’s a simple truth that everybody wants to feel appreciated. Nobody likes to feel overlooked — especially in an industry that’s as demanding as commercial trucking. A good driver will make many sacrifices while they’re on the road, and it’s important that you acknowledge their efforts. Simple things like a “thank you” text or an appreciation party can demonstrate how much you care about your fleet. You can even designate a day of the week “appreciation day” and offer food and beverages to celebrate. A trucker who truly feels valued is less likely to leave than one who feels that their employer doesn’t recognize or appreciate them.
Anticipate Adapting to Future Needs
These tips are just a few ways to mitigate the staffing shortage and low retention rates currently plaguing the trucking industry. As the economy changes, though, so will the industry — and so will your truck drivers’ needs. More than anything, it’s important to anticipate these changes and remain flexible enough to accommodate whatever your fleet may need in the future. This means listening to feedback from your drivers, working to offer the best compensation packages, and expressing sincere appreciation at every available opportunity. In addition to these strategies, flexibility is your best asset, and looking towards the future is the best way to stay prepared. With these tips, you can attract the best talent and build a winning team.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!