If your small business is struggling to staff your fleet, you will want to look for ways of boosting driver satisfaction, so you are not constantly searching for new drivers. When employees are more satisfied, they will not be as likely to leave, and you’ll save money.
Using Telematics and Fleet Management
GPS and telematics are very useful when it comes to tracking vehicles, but it can be tempting to use them as a tool to keep an eye on them at all times. While you should monitor behavior to an extent, don’t just watch for mistakes. You should also watch for positive behavior so you can reward it. It’s also possible to use telematics to create a more efficient route.
Consider implementing a driver incentive program. You can offer bonuses or recognition when drivers show they have mastered their skills. Good drivers will want to keep improving their skills while struggling ones will have something to work toward. Using fleet management platforms can also reduce overall operating costs, especially in today’s economy. You can learn more about the inefficient habits that cost the most with this information about reducing fleet costs. That way, you’ll have more cash for driver incentive programs.
Emphasize Regular Communication for Driver Satisfaction
Respect and strong communication can improve driver morale, so listen to them to show you respect their thoughts and opinions. They are an excellent information source when you are making decisions, whether you need to hire new people to spread the workload or add new vehicles to the fleet. Talking to them often and offering chances for feedback will help you make better business decisions. Plus, it shows you also listen to them.
Consider Offering Health Programs
You might be familiar with truck driving’s reputation of being an unhealthy profession, as drivers spend much of their day sitting without being able to get up and move around. Of course, drivers know they are getting into a job that can put a strain on their bodies, and they will likely not fault your company if they are unhealthy. Still, they may appreciate knowing your company cares and is making an effort to reduce risks. Plus, helping them stay healthy can reduce their need of using sick days, which can save your company money.
There are many ways you can engage drivers with incentives so they can meet their goals. Perhaps you will start offering healthy snack options. Or you might allow for wellness days, provide gym memberships, or offer an onsite fitness center. While these things can add up, improving employee satisfaction and retention rates can be worthwhile, preventing you from needing to find a new hire.
Maintain Vehicles Well for Increased Driver Satisfaction
Truckers will be frustrated if their vehicle is constantly breaking down, especially if they are on route when this happens. If you don’t prioritize regular maintenance, vehicles become more likely to break down. This can hinder drivers, increasing unplanned delays. And an unreliable truck is also at a higher risk of causing an accident, which can harm your employees or others on the road. It’s also a good idea to regularly replace vehicles so you can continually bring in new assets and get rid of old ones. Brand new trucks can improve your drivers’ work environment, since they will do the job better while offering a higher level of comfort.
Professional Development Opportunities
Offering professional development opportunities, such as leadership training or certifications, shows you care about helping employees grow in their positions. Or you might offer extra endorsements once drivers hit certain milestones. Employees will see that you care and are loyal, wanting to invest in their future. For many, trucking is not just a job, but it is a career. On the other hand, some only work as a trucker for a few years before moving on to other career goals. No matter how great your company is to work at, many truckers are going to move on at some point.
Still, offering extra certifications or endorsements can help motivate them to extend that time longer. Maybe you will allow more senior drivers to make specialized runs, or you might allow them to swap runs or regions. Other drivers might want to become trainers while some may want to become business owners themselves. You may be able to offer these positions or at least training to guide them there. Investing in these opportunities allows you to show you are loyal, and drivers may stick with your company longer. Consider having conversations with your employees about their professional aspirations.
Focus on Organization
If your routes are not organized well, employees will spend too much time in traffic or traveling on roads that might not be ideal for trucks. This can be frustrating for those behind the wheel, and if they are constantly frustrated by the routes, it can build up over time. Some employees might end up overburdened with different routes while others have too much downtime. Using a planning tool can help you optimize and organize each route. It makes employees more satisfied while improving operations. That way, each employee is on the road for an equal amount of time, and this prevents tension between coworkers. It also ensures each route is completed on time and consistently.
Offer a Great Work-Life Balance to Maintain Driver Satisfaction
Don’t get so caught up trying to improve the customer experience that you forget the need to have an excellent employee experience process in place as well. While compensation is often one of the main factor’s drivers consider when searching for a job, it is certainly not the only thing. Many are also looking for a good work-life balance that allows them to pursue other interests outside their positions. Offering a good collection of benefits can encourage drivers to stick around. Perhaps you will optimize the schedule, so each employee has enough time at home. Work with each one to determine if they would rather spend more time on the road or if others would rather have shorter periods. Providing the balance drivers need to be successful will help them feel more fulfilled, reducing the risk of burnout. That also keeps them more motivated in their daily work.