Mark your calendars: The OTA Annual Conference, held by the Ohio Trucking Association and the Ohio Association of Movers, is taking place September 16-17 in Cleveland. Presented by Pilot Flying J, this two day event focuses on the economic, business, and workforce trends that impact the transportation and professional moving industries. Conference attendees will experience cutting-edge programming, industry vendors, networking opportunities, and much more.
The conference’s programming will range from workplace diversity to trucking metrics. And of course, Avatar Fleet will be there pounding the retention drum just like we always are. Join Avatar Fleet President Scott Rea for his presentation on “Driver Retention Re-Invention.” He’ll share industry best-practices, eye-opening insights on why drivers quit, and actions you can implement immediately to keep your best drivers.
Why Does Driver Retention Matter?
Seriously, why should you care about driver retention? What’s in it for you to focus on retention when the entire industry faces 100% turnover? Not to mention you have a mile-long to-do list and it’s all due yesterday. The truth is, improving retention is one of the most worthwhile investments you can make.
We’re in the middle of a driver problem. If you’re like every other company in the industry, you’re in a zero-sum game where you constantly swap drivers with the other carrier down the street. You have a revolving door where drivers quit as often as they’re hired. Long story short, you’re plugging leaks instead of getting to the root of the problem.
It’s worthwhile to address driver retention because turnover hampers growth. If your turnover is as high as the rest of the industry’s is, you’re throwing away money recruiting and hiring drivers who quit the next day. It costs most carriers more than $5,000 to hire just one driver. Not only that, it’s a grossly inefficient use of your time. Imagine what you could do without the financial burden and time-suck of repeatedly replacing drivers. The benefits of improved retention should be clear, but then why does the entire industry suck at retaining drivers? Is it even possible to improve retention?
It IS Possible to Improve Driver Retention
We mentioned that drivers constantly quit one company to go work for another. The irony is, they don’t quit to work for better pay, better treatment, or even better hometime. They take virtually the same job. And, they don’t leave a company for the reasons you might think.
There’s tons of reasons that drivers quit, but most of them come down to how drivers are treated. They don’t only quit over pay and hometime discrepancies; drivers quit because they aren’t shown respect or appreciation. Since drivers are quitting you to work for virtually the same company, small changes in how you treat your drivers will go a long way toward improving retention. Yes, the entire industry faces the same problem, but it’s for that very reason that you can gain so much from addressing it.
Start Improving Your Driver Retention Today
In “Driver Retention Re-Invention,” Scott Rea will share specific, actionable strategies you can take to improve your driver retention. Most of them come down to treating your drivers like people. Here’s something you can start today, weeks before you even set foot into the OTA Conference: get to know your drivers. Learn their names. Greet them every day. Show them you care. Putting in a little extra work to build a personal rapport with your drivers can have powerful results on your retention.