Driver Retention Tips
Good truck drivers are hard to find. Between MVR and PSP scores finding a good driver that will stay with you for the long term is very difficult. Now, when we say long term we mean a year or more. Statistics say that if you can keep them at least a year they will probably stay with you for a while.
You can search online to find lots of tips, probably that is how you ended up here in the first place. We are going to go into some of the most common driver retention tips but to really know what is going on in your fleet you need to survey your existing drivers and drivers that leave your company. That is the only way to know for sure what is going on in your fleet.
All fleets are different and different things can be important to drivers or you may have issues that affect your company in particular that do not affect other companies. You need to determine what your company’s strengths and weaknesses are.
Assuming you want to get a jump start on driver retention while you are doing surveys for you company we are going to give you some common issues.
Drivers are like all employees they want to feel like they are part of the family or team. If you make extra efforts to include your drivers in your team they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging and like they make a difference.
Being treated like a number is one of the major complaints drivers have when they leave a company.
Be polite and helpful to your drivers. Let them know they matter and their opinions are importation. Being included is a huge morale booster when it comes to driver retention.
Pay is another reason drivers change companies. Many times the issue isn’t that they are not making enough money, sometimes it is just that they don’t understand how they are paid or they were misled during the recruitment process.
Be honest with your drivers about what they can make with your company and make sure they understand how and what they are being paid. Many times because the dispatcher and settlements person understands the settlements they assume the drivers do. That is not always the case.
Home time is more important to some drivers that it is to others. The key here is to make sure that the driver understands how long they will normally be out during the orientation and recruitment process.
The second thing to remember is sometimes drivers need to be home for family events or emergencies. Dispatchers should do their best to accommodate their driver’s needs. In many ways this goes back to the Family category above. Listen to the drivers and let them know that their needs are important to the company and you will work with them as much as possible.
Really communication should be number one since it can help identify problems and expectations of both the company and the driver. It is also very important when it comes to treating the drivers like family. Yes, not all families communicate that well but we will assume here that communication is good.
Communication can include one on one communication between drivers and employees or it can be surveys, group chats or whatever leads to increased communication.
These are just a few issues when it comes to driver retention. Really, the key is to be honest and treat your drivers like they matter.
Dispatchers in particular are always in a hurry but they need to remember, when they talk to a driver they move on to the next call and typically forget about the conversation. A driver hangs up and drives 500 miles thinking about that last conversation with the dispatcher.