Perspective: Value Feedback to Aid Driver Retention

The following piece was written by WorkHound Co-Founder and CEO, Max Farrell and has been published by Transport Topics in the December 21, 2020 print edition.

In a year where so much has changed, 2020 has shown some small glimmers of hope regarding driver turnover. According to American Trucking Associations, driver turnover hit a low of about 82% when freight slowed, but that’s still tough for business when the cost to replace a driver averages between $5,000-$8,000.

Companies leading in loyalty have learned that one of the first steps in effecting change in turnover is finding out why it’s happening in the first place. Changing policies and procedures because you think they’ll make a difference is sort of like a doctor prescribing a medication before they’ve ever seen the patient. Assumptions are expensive: You’ve got to ask drivers what’s going on before making decisions about how to keep them.

And it’s not enough to ask for feedback once or twice. Feedback has to be collected routinely to properly understand driver priorities. What worked last year might not work this year, and 2020 has proven why it’s so important to stay agile.

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Even when everything felt stagnant and unchanging, drivers had the ability — and with considerable immediacy — to find a new job as soon as they experienced frustrations with an existing employer.

But data also shows us that turnover happens as a result of the straw that breaks the camel’s back, rather than a surprising turn of events.

To be clear, what we now know is this: Turnover for truck drivers, like other careers, is a slow burn, rather than a spontaneous combustion. It’s a buildup of events, rather than an impulsive decision.

So, what can we do to change turnover rates?

Read the full perspective piece via Transport Topics, here.