What Drivers Have to Say About Training & Why It Matters

When it comes to driver feedback, training always seems to come up. Year after year, drivers offer their thoughts on the onboarding and training they receive, some of it good — most of it not. 

This topic of feedback offers some interesting details for trucking carriers and the industry at large. Drivers who offer critical feedback related to training are 50% more likely to leave a company than those who don’t. But there’s a flipside to that: Getting feedback related to training allows companies to intervene and make changes that can keep drivers satisfied.

What are drivers saying about training? And what can your company do to make changes based on that feedback? Read on as we dive into the topic.

5 Facts About Training-Related Feedback

While training isn’t at the top of the list when it comes to topics of feedback (that’s equipment, in case you’re wondering), it does rank in the top 10. More important than that, though, is that feedback related to training is often a critical indicator of whether a driver will pursue employment elsewhere.

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Here’s what we know about training as a feedback topic:

  1. Nearly 2,000 drivers sent in feedback about training in 2021. That number makes up more than 3% of total feedback. 
  1. Only 28.5% of feedback related to training was positive. Even more significantly, nearly 50% of drivers who sent in training-related feedback are no longer with their employer.
  1. Messages related to training averaged 361 characters. This is noteworthy because longer texts tend to be negative in nature. 
  1. Large companies get more feedback about training. But interestingly enough, training-related feedback is more likely to be negative at small and medium-sized companies than at larger carriers.
  1. Negative training feedback often relates to pay or communication. Drivers want to know that they’re being compensated for time spent training, and they want clear, concise communication during training.

Using Driver Feedback to Improve Training

Taken by themselves, these training-related feedback trends can feel bleak. But they actually put companies in the driver’s seat — meaning you have an outline for improving onboarding and training to better meet driver needs.

Wondering what steps you can take? Start here:

  • Prioritize onboarding. Studies have shown that most employees choose whether to stick with a business or not during the first six months of employment. Consider it the “make-or-break” time period. Invest time and energy in creating an onboarding program that thoroughly equips drivers for working with your business.
  • Compensate drivers for training time. Whether they feel like they’ve been properly trained or not, drivers want their valuable time to be fairly compensated. Drivers specifically cite a need for fair orientation pay and compensation for ride-along training.
  • If you’re a small company, think big. What do we mean by that? Well, larger companies tend to fare better when it comes to training-related feedback. That’s likely because they have a systemized approach to training and invest in training technologies and techniques. When you can, put aside money for bolstering your company’s training processes, and consider having trainers conduct training sessions, rather than current drivers.
  • Make training communication clear and easy to follow. Miscommunication, particularly during onboarding, can quickly muddy a driver’s viewpoint of your company. Onboarding, and training more generally, needs to be inclusive of clear and concise messaging. This will include both oral and written messaging, which needs to be regularly reviewed for clarity and detail.
  • Highlight new processes and technologies. Any changes, particularly when they involve technology, create an opportunity for confusion. When a new technology is introduced, ensure you offer thorough and comprehensive training about how it works and how it will be used. In addition to in-person resources (like a demo or a PowerPoint presentation), also provide drivers with resources they can use when out on their own. Always consider the different ways that people learn and include tools that are adaptive to each learning style.
  • Create an ongoing channel for communication. Beyond offering training sessions, it’s also important to incorporate specific notes about how drivers can obtain more information or ask questions, as necessary, including through tools like WorkHound.

Your drivers are your best resource for details about how to improve your company’s processes and procedures. Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help you gather their feedback.