Growing a fleet involves one key part: drivers. However, the process of finding drivers is getting increasingly more difficult.
Providing exceptional service is a priority of every company. To maintain excellency, qualified drivers are needed. Good drivers contribute directly to a company’s customer service perception. However, with an industry-wide driver shortage throughout the country, driver-related issues are ever increasing. According to the National Private Truck Council 2020 survey, a third of all customer complaints are related to drivers. Customer issues only increase with lower driver retention rates, causing companies to waste resources on retraining, hiring and more.
Want to increase retention? Below are a few tips to optimize both driver and customer satisfaction.
1. Pre-Employment Screening
Hiring the right person for the job is the first step in ensuring a high retention rate. Many fleet managers are partnering with their Human Resources department to brainstorm criteria such as driver position competencies, allowing for a more thorough interview process.
Tip: Determine the main focal point of the interview before it even starts. Try focusing on either driver qualifications, previous knowledge, or specific skills and abilities.
How do your compensation benefits compare to others? To maintain a strong driver pool, it is critical to learn what the current market pay and other performance incentives are being offered by competitors. Some have developed multi-faceted pay structures depending on the route, active pay and more. Being aware of these competitive offers will help you stay current and competitive.
Home life balance is important in every field. Because drivers spend most of their time on the road, the more flexibility a fleet manager can offer, the longer a driver is likely to stay.
Tip: Spacing out long trips with a break in between is suggested.
4. Employee Benefits Packages
Accepting a job can be a life altering decision, something many people make with their families in mind. Offering a generous benefits package with things like dental, medical, paid holidays, retirement programs, disability and more shows a level of long-term commitment and employee appreciation. These can make the difference between finding and keeping a highly qualified driver and missing out on one.
5. Rewards, Recognition and Incentives
Driving incentives are becoming common in the industry. Offering rewards geared around targets and performance allows for drivers to feel valued and respected. This promotes a culture of positive reinforcement, which incentivizes increased production. Multiple fleet managers are looking into compensation methods that link performance and productivity for long-term results.
Possible incentives items to include:
- Safety on the road
- On-time performances
- Maintaining fuel economy
- Overall productivity
Tip: Everyone likes to be recognized for good work. Here are a few ways to appreciate your employees:
- Driver appreciation week
- Driver of the month/year recognition
- Service anniversaries
- Annual recognition for drivers without an accident