You can’t understand a driver’s experience working for your company if you don’t ask them. You have drivers that come to work everyday and enjoy working for you - if you could, you'd clone these drivers.
There's no secret sauce to solving your driver problem but these drivers hold some answers. In surveys taken by Truckers News and Overdrive Magazine, drivers were asked why fleets are having trouble finding drivers today. Chances are, the results of the survey would probably be similar to any internal survey you would conduct.
The key here will be understanding “the why” behind these categories.
Here are the categories reported on why drivers think that Fleets are having trouble finding drivers today:
- They don’t pay enough 78.6%
- They don’t respect drivers 67.6%
- They don’t get enough time at home 62.0%
- They don’t support their drivers 59.1%
- They don’t treat drivers like part of the team 50.6%
- They don’t offer enough miles/loads 37.3%
- There’s no career path 32.6%
- They don’t provide good trucks/equipment 19.7%
The lowest common denominator to these issues is that they measure your competency of being an effective trucking company.
Read our observations covering the top issues we see from taking thousands of stay interviews with drivers over the years and turning them into actionable tasks.
Don't Pay Well/Don’t Offer Enough Miles & Loads
Insufficient pay stems more from consistency than dollar amount. Swings in drivers' paychecks stem from items outside their control: Mistakes, traffic, weather, etc. Detention and layover pay are examples of mechanisms created to smooth out the bumps but rarely make up for true amount of lost opportunity.
You have driver scorecards and ELDs to measure and track driver performance in more detail than most office jobs - any reason that drivers can’t be on a salary with a bonus structure besides your ops team?
This starts with your business model. Consistent home-time needs to be a key factor in how you bid lanes. Regardless of the amount of home-time, the top priority needs to be a consistent promise you can keep. Drivers understand that things happen in transportation. You need to remember that things happen when you make your promises. Broken promises are the first reason a driver quits.
Respect & Support: Treat Drivers Like Part of the Team and Create a Career Path
Respect, support and feeling like their part of a team start with how you set expectations. Every driver and driver manager should sign a job expectations document that clearly defines the performance requirements and duties of the job for both sides. This document shows a driver how you plan to support him or her to achieve their job duties. It shows them that you're on the team together to hit your goals.
When drivers hit their goals, clearly define the reward: Bonus, pay increase, safety incentives, ability to become a trainer, sit on the driver’s council, etc. A driver needs a dispatcher and a dispatcher needs a driver. Treating a driver as an equal and being part of the team is what they mean when they look for respect. Defining your expectations and showing the career path for hitting the goals provides you a productive driver who’s motivated to get the job done properly.
Conduct Stay Interviews
Surveys allow you to dip your toe in the water and uncover why drivers would join and stay with your company. Conduct stay interviews to get deeper answers. You’ll get great ammunition for your driver marketing/advertisement and good insight on what you need to change. Please only ask these questions if you’re serious about change. It’s worse to ask the questions and then do nothing. If you’re not committed to constant improvement, don’t ask the questions and keep putting your head in the sand like an ostrich.
Once you have conducted your stay interviews and committed to not being an ostrich, be sure to read about 75 retention strategies to show drivers that you listened and are committed to improving their jobs.