What Drivers Are Talking About: The Top 5 Feedback Trends

In January, WorkHound announced a massive collection of feedback trends from the entire trucking industry, a dissection of more than 16,000 comments from carriers of all kinds. While we work with 50+ carriers to gather and use feedback from their own drivers on the frontline, today we’re sharing a summary of the top five feedback trends across all drivers from 2019.

The WorkHound team analyzes and shares the data we receive on an annual basis. This analysis goes beyond the individual comments on a customer’s dashboard, it’s reflective of truck drivers as a population and what they’re looking for, both personally and professionally. 

This is information the entire industry can benefit from. 

The way we collect feedback makes this data incredibly actionable for those within the industry.

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First, we ask for open-ended feedback, which gives drivers an opportunity to share exactly what they’re experiencing “in the moment” without introducing a bias about a specific topic or area of concern.

Second, we drive action. Doing nothing with feedback creates a toxic work environment — taking action on feedback builds trust and retains more workers. WorkHound clients are tasked with taking immediate, thoughtful action to assure drivers that their feedback and voice matters and that their frustrations haven’t been ignored.

But what do the feedback trends mean for stakeholders in trucking as a whole? Below, we talk about five key topics of feedback we saw in 2019. In our upcoming blogs, we’ll dive a little deeper into each topic and why it matters moving forward.

Feedback Trend 1: Logistics
In an interesting twist, logistics overtook equipment in 2019 as the most frequent topic of feedback from drivers across the board. It regularly accounted for as much as 20 percent of driver feedback in a given month.

This category encompasses everything about the organization of a driver’s work — so feedback relates to things like scheduling, downtime, planning, load specifics, and parking, which became a hot topic last year.

Feedback Trend 2: Equipment
This category continues to be a significant source of driver feedback. It covers everything related to the tools that drivers need to perform their jobs effectively, including maintenance on those tools.

It’s interesting to note that feedback within this category is less likely to be positive and more likely to be urgent — after all, well-functioning equipment is what keeps drivers on the road.

Feedback Trend 3: People
It’s not surprising, but drivers have a lot to say about the people they’re interacting with on a daily basis. That may include other drivers and those in the office.

The bottom line here is that trucking is a people business, and relationships matter. That shows up in the feedback received, both positive when drivers share shoutouts for exceptional staff and negative, when drivers aren’t sure who to turn to after a bad interaction.

Feedback Trend 4: Pay

While it might seem logical that all feedback about pay is related to drivers wanting more money, that’s simply not the case. Compensation is the fourth biggest source of feedback for drivers, and their insights vary a good bit.

Many issues related to pay and compensation can be handled most effectively with good communication. Simply put, driver pay is confusing in all formats. Finding ways to simplify how pay works, including withheld amounts, can go a long way in building transparency. Setting realistic expectations can help drivers know and understand what’s ahead, establishing trust.

Feedback Trend 5: Communication

While this topic of feedback somewhat overlaps with the “people” topic, it’s more specifically related to the actual ability to communicate quickly and effectively with other team members, including getting ahold of the office during after hours or quickly getting questions answered in the heat of the moment.

This is another category, like equipment, where drivers expect urgent action to solve a problem. In fact, in some cases, communication may even be related to an equipment malfunction or issue, overlapping those two feedback categories.

Ready to dig deeper into last year’s trends? Sign up for a free download to learn about the most important issues for drivers in 2019.