Heroes of the Hound: Stevens Trucking

WorkHound Customer Q&A

It may seem like everywhere you turn these days, you see a reference to workplace culture. It can sometimes seem like simply a buzzword. But when it’s built out correctly within a workplace, a strong company culture can be a difference-maker.

That’s the case for Stevens Trucking. Established in 1979 in Oklahoma, the company, which specializes in oilfield and dry freight, now operates more than 1,500 trailers and more than 300 tractors across the 48 contiguous states.

What’s allowed Stevens Trucking to survive — and thrive — for more than 40 years? According to Cole Stevens, VP of Sales for Stevens Trucking, the company’s culture of trust has a lot to do with it.

Read on to learn more in our latest Heroes of the Hound feature.

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WorkHound: Why did you choose WorkHound to help achieve your retention and growth goals?

Stevens: Ultimately, we wanted a “boots on the ground” presence. With the mobility of asset trucking, it’s hard to be in multiple places at the same time the way that our drivers are scattered across the country.

We wanted a very mobile, anonymous feedback loop that would give us a way to communicate with our drivers but also for them to feel comfortable enough to give us their honest opinions, whether those are positive or negative. That’s why we chose to go with WorkHound.

WorkHound: You’ve talked about the importance of having a trusting culture in place. How does Stevens Trucking define that type of culture?

Stevens: We want our employees to feel a personal touch. My father, who’s the president of the company, always told us growing up that “you can come to me with everything.” He was very good about not overreacting to circumstances when he was raising us as children.

And this company is almost like having another child for our family. We try to integrate that mindset into our entire business. That’s why it was so important to have the anonymity of WorkHound. We want our people to give us a reveal, to give us an opportunity to fix something on an individual basis.

Even when employees provide you negative feedback, you want to respond and thank them and work toward solutions. That develops a lot of trust.

WorkHound: It’s every carrier’s responsibility to help heal the industry’s image. How do you address the lack of trust and prior-company baggage a new driver might have?

Stevens: Dad meets every person who comes through our company. He tries to reiterate to drivers at multiple times that if you’re not successful, we can’t be successful.

We try to do a good job of communicating at all times — of over-communicating, really. Drivers don’t always have the insight about what’s going on behind the scenes that can impact their roles. This gives us a chance to address that.

We want to communicate with drivers about things we can control and even things we can’t so that they can better understand what’s going on. Otherwise they can get frustrated and simply leave.

WorkHound: What is Stevens Trucking doing to improve the driver experience with partners and customers?

Stevens: We get a lot of feedback through WorkHound, and we try to be very open about that. We’ll take customer feedback directly to our drivers, but we also do the same with driver feedback.

I’ve legitimately printed off feedback from a driver and taken it to a customer and gotten something resolved very quickly. In a capacity crunch with a driver shortage, drivers take things incredibly seriously. It’s important for us, as a carrier, to use bargaining power with customers about what a healthy relationship looks like.

Having a written record of feedback to be able to show our customers is huge.

Stevens Trucking is part of a community of carriers that utilize continuous and anonymous driver feedback to help understand areas of priority and praise for their essential workforce. Want to put this into action for your company? Reach out to WorkHound today to talk with an expert.