Solve Driver Turnover By Teaching Your Team Problem Solving 

Posted by Scott Rea on July 11, 2017 in the category Retention, Training
Classic orange semi truck with a refrigerator on a multilane highway road ahead of a convoy of trucks with trailers moving in the right lane highway on a background of green trees and bushes. Movement on the modern highway assures transportation of various goods on these trucks.

By now, this blog has taught you that to solve driver turnover takes practice, effort and time. One answer isn’t going to cut it for every trucking company. You need to find solutions that work best for you and the people in your company. That said, there are some tools that benefit everyone who uses them. Problem-solving skills are one of those tools.

A major complaint of the driver who leaves is that issues don’t get solved or that there wasn’t adequate support in place to help them fix those issues. That can be a real problem. Without proper help, how can a driver be expected to keep working for you? Life happens, and mistakes are a part of life. You need a strong support system with an open line of communication for your drivers, as well as anyone who works with them from mechanics to dispatchers.

Let’s say you have a newer driver who has been on the road for a few months but still isn’t especially experienced. A loading issue comes up where they would be too heavy due to an order error. The whole order is expected to be at the destination at the assigned time anyway. What is the driver going to do, especially if a manager or you can’t be reached? It’s times like these that problem-solving skills are so important. Usually, a person just gets ticked off. Maybe that driver sits there and continues to try and call or drives off with half of the load all angry. That won’t happen if you have your whole team learn to problem solve.

Companies in all fields use problem-solving seminars to help eliminate day to day issues. While many of these types of programs lean towards the corporate world, there are those that are more universally practical. Problem-solving programs can assist your drivers by giving them some simple thinking strategies to fix issues they come across in their jobs that might otherwise interfere with their work.

Problem-solving programs all basically do the same thing. They teach employees how to identify problems and think through them with patience, often with input from co-workers and supervisors. This is exactly what you want in your trucking company.

Your company is a team, so have them act like it. Basic problem-solving forces workers to communicate with each other to fix things. If it’s done right, it’s practically impossible for a driver or anyone else to feel isolated or ignored with a difficulty. Plus, you have the added bonus of teaching them all good, professional teamwork.

This kind of training is critical to trucking, where issues appear all over the place and usually when a driver is alone out on the road someplace. That’s why it’s especially important that dispatchers and managers have this kind of training as well. These are your main go-betweens in your company; they hold a great deal of influence over how well drivers can do their jobs.

Drivers should be able to reach out to a dispatcher for some help when he or she can’t solve a problem on their own. If both that driver and their dispatcher have gone through the same training together and learn to practice it out in the real world, you have the beginnings of a seamless process to fix any problem trucking throws at them.

It’s simple. If your team knows how to fix problems and understands how to work through an issue together, those problems become minor inconveniences instead of recurring aggravations. And those problems won’t make people go look for a new job at the company down the road. You will instead have a team that supports its drivers and works as a strong, connected system. Teach your team problem-solving skills. It will prevent driver turnover among your truckers. 

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