negative feedback

Negative Feedback Is the First Step Toward Positive Change

If your trucking company has never had a feedback program, the thought of implementing one might feel intimidating or maybe even a little anxiety-provoking. After all, no one wants to be the recipient of criticism or other negative feedback.

But when it comes to a feedback program like WorkHound, there are a lot more positives than negatives to dwell on.

That’s true for two reasons: For one, the trucking carriers we work with really do receive quite a bit of positive feedback. In particular, praise for the work another employee is doing or for the quick resolution of a problem is common.

The other positive aspect? Even the negative feedback typically yields positive results in the end. 

Evolving Is a Necessity
When businesses are resistant to feedback, there’s often an underlying cause: a resistance to change. 

“Many trucking companies get stuck in the status quo, but it goes even deeper than that,” says Max Farrell, CEO & Co-Founder at WorkHound. “The status quo leads us to believe that nothing is ever going to change in a positive way. And ultimately, companies that don’t commit to change end up going extinct, like Kodak and Blockbuster in other industries. Being resistant to change is at the heart of being afraid of negative feedback.”

It’s true that negative feedback often reveals a need for some level of change within an organization. Your drivers are your company’s most valuable asset, and when you’re asking for their insights, they’re providing you with unfiltered and honest feedback about what they need and want.

Those needs and wants may not always align with what your carrier is currently doing, which presents you with two options: Either you make changes to improve driver satisfaction or you potentially lose valuable employees.

Evolving your company’s processes and procedures to better match what drivers currently desire is an important part of finding success as a business. It costs much more in the long run to replace drivers who leave than to implement changes to fix hiccups in your current system.

Asking your drivers for their feedback, good and bad, and taking meaningful action based on that feedback can help your company “keep up with the Joneses” — or really, to stay ahead of them when it comes to hiring and retention.

Taking Off Your Blinders
When you’re operating a business, it’s definitely easier to follow the mantra that “no news is good news,” but that’s not usually the case. If your drivers aren’t sharing their thoughts with you, they’re likely sharing those thoughts somewhere else. 

“Companies are often afraid of exposing the skeletons in the closet,” Farrell says. “They think, ‘If we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist.’ But not talking about it doesn’t make it go away; it usually makes it worse. What happens in those cases is that negative feedback ends up on social media, on truckers’ websites, or in the truckers’ lounge. And it’s also important to remember that bad feedback doesn’t equal bad drivers.”

Giving your drivers a tool to share their thoughts with you easily and conveniently puts you in the driver’s seat. Instead of hearing their complaints through the grapevine, you’re hearing them directly from the drivers. This allows you to respond in real-time and potentially prevent turnover.

“Companies that embrace negative feedback as actionable or at least fixable benefit from not assuming,” Farrell says. “They’re not guessing about what their drivers need. They understand the need for change, and they recognize that the responsibility of opening that line of communication is on their shoulders.”

That mindset is powerful, and it’s helped trucking carriers across the country find success in reducing turnover and improving driver satisfaction.

“Sometimes feedback results in confirming suspicions, and sometimes it results in innovations and revelations,” Farrell says. “An attitude of curiosity and openness to feedback is what results in the most success for our customers.”

Think a feedback program could be a beneficial part of your driver retention strategy? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

How to Amplify the Silent Majority

Let’s just assume you’ve been on a “Zoom” call in the last year (who hasn’t?). Odds are, the answer is yes — so you’re likely familiar with what we like to call “conference call chaos.”

When multiple people are on a conference call, there’s a lot of time spent accidentally talking over one another — and in some cases, louder folks tend to make up the majority of the conversation. Those who aren’t quite as bold may not be able to get a word in edgewise. 

Now consider this: This same concept can be applied to how you gather input from professional drivers and employees at your trucking company, unless you're using a technique that amplifies the silent majority.

There are many different ways of seeking feedback from your drivers and other team members. But depending on how you’re asking for feedback and the way you gather it, louder voices may overshadow the quieter ones. 

Feedback from only the loudest voices leads to an incomplete picture of how your drivers are doing and what they want and need. You may hear from some drivers, but you aren’t getting the whole story.

This is where a feedback mechanism like WorkHound can be invaluable.

“Offering an anonymous feedback tool can help companies understand what drivers want and need — and not just from the loudest voices who will speak up,” says Max Farrell, CEO & Co-Founder at WorkHound. “We want companies to hear from the ‘silent majority.’ This is the group of drivers who, because of their disengagement from other feedback platforms, is at the highest risk of leaving. Anonymous feedback enhances equity and helps drivers feel heard and seen.”

Why It’s Important to Hear All the Voices
Diversity and equity are a common conversation topic in the workplace today, but much of the focus is on recruiting practices. One often overlooked component? Listening to — and truly hearing — a diverse group of team members for retention practices.

When we talk about quiet voices above, we don’t always mean softer voices that are harder to hear, though that’s certainly a concern. “Quiet voices” incorporates anyone whose voice has been historically unheard in traditional work settings. That includes those who are often outshouted, including women, those in the LGBTQ+ population, and minority populations.

“We’ve seen companies start committee meetings where drivers can speak up, and while that’s a really great thing, we know that can’t be the only way drivers can give feedback,” Farrell says. “It doesn’t provide an equitable way of providing feedback. Those who sit on a council tend to be the louder voices, and they don’t necessarily have the input needed to share what all drivers are experiencing.”

To truly offer an equitable workplace for your team of drivers, where you’re meeting their needs and wants, you need to hear all of their voices. That’s why it’s essential to offer them a safe place to offer feedback.

The WorkHound Difference
So, what makes a tool like WorkHound effective when it comes to capturing a more accurate and comprehensive viewpoint from your drivers? Anonymity plays a big role.

“Because it’s anonymous, WorkHound offers a level playing field for sharing feedback,” Farrell says. “There are drivers who might be hesitant to speak up in person or around others. This tool can allow those who might not be confident enough to share otherwise to speak up because there’s lower risk. They can be bold because they’re protected by anonymity.”

There’s an added value to that anonymity: Eventually, it encourages those anonymous voices to attach their name to their feedback.

“Once drivers start to speak up, we find that they generally feel more comfortable revealing their identities later on,” Farrell adds. “They use anonymous feedback as an experiment and feel more comfortable speaking up after they’ve tested the waters a little bit.”

Ready to amplify the quiet voices in your company with a feedback program? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

Heroes of the Hound: Storey Trucking Company

WorkHound Customer Q&A

When you visit the homepage on Storey Trucking’s website, the company’s philosophy is immediately front and center. The carrier prides itself on being “The Human Side of Trucking.”

In business since 1966, Storey Trucking has long been committed to the people who make the business run. That’s led to decades of growth, increasing from a two-truck organization to a fleet of more than 100 trucks, and continued progress toward a workforce that’s truly valued and satisfied. That workforce includes a much higher than the average community of female truck drivers at a company, a noteworthy accomplishment that we’ve highlighted in a past blog. 

Beth HamiltonSo what drives the company forward?

Beth Hamilton, Business Development at Storey Trucking, offers some insight in our latest Heroes of the Hound interview.  

WorkHound: How has having a feedback tool like WorkHound helped Storey, particularly during the pandemic?

Hamilton: I think, if anything, what I’ve seen is an increase in connectivity. Even though WorkHound is an anonymous platform, it’s helped us really continue to have more dialogue as a company. 

Almost every time a driver provides us feedback on WorkHound, they reveal themselves and then turn around and call us to tell us what they shared. To me, that speaks volumes to the level of trust they have, not only in the platform, but also in us as a staff — that we’re going to treat that feedback with respect and address it with care.

This is a tool that’s allowed us to have way more transparent conversations with our drivers, which ultimately builds trust.

WorkHound: What makes Storey Trucking so unique? 

Hamilton: Around 35 percent of our drivers are women. We have a lot of team drivers, and a lot of those are husband and wife teams or team partners who come from the same household. 

That speaks volumes to me. We’re able to gain a level of trust with two people who are earning for the same household. 

Our retention rate right now for this year is 70 percent. Put another way, we’re on pace to retain 70 percent of our drivers this year, which is incredible. Our retention numbers, compared to the average with other over-the-road carriers, are quite high. 

WorkHound: What would you say is the reason Storey has such success in the industry?

Hamilton: I think there are several things we’re doing to help move that needle in a positive direction, and a lot of these spawned out of feedback we received through WorkHound.

We have a driver committee that represents every driver and every position we have. There’s a meeting every month, where drivers get to bring us concerns and issues they’re seeing. We’re able to bring staff into those meetings, as well, so we build relationships.

Something else we’re doing: When we onboard drivers now, we have a “goals” segment, where we spend a lot more time interacting with the driver on a personal level. We talk through personal and professional goals, preferred schedules, and a number of other factors. 

We invest a lot of time on the front end to make sure we meet their expectations and that they meet ours.

WorkHound: What is Storey’s vision as we move forward into 2021 and beyond?

Hamilton: In order to answer that, we have to look backward first. We feel extremely fortunate that we’re not sitting right now with empty trucks. 

In this last year and a half, we’ve not only maintained our fleet size, but we’ve also had a net increase in drivers. We’re really proud of that. It’s an indicator to us that we’re doing something right, that we’re using the tools we have access to — WorkHound included — to make that happen.

But the last thing we’re going to do is let our foot off that gas pedal. We’re going to continue to put our focus and emphasis on the people. We’re not in growth mode for the sake of growth. What we consider growth is a better alignment with people and better satisfaction, which leads to better productivity and higher retention rates. 

When we look at growth, it’s not necessarily about growing fleet size. Our growth is going to be internal. Are we going to grow in our relationships with drivers? Are we going to grow in making it a better experience? Are we going to grow in giving anybody who chooses to work with Storey the best work/life balance possible? That’s where our growth initiative is over the next year.

Storey 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.

why truck driver shortage

Why is There a Truck Driver Shortage?

There are a lot of reasons for the driver shortage. Some of it is generational and much of it has to do with unfavorable working conditions for drivers. In this post, we’ll discuss why the driver shortage is happening and what trucking companies can do about it.

3 Major Causes Of The Shortage

1. High Driver Turnover 

With a 92% driver turnover rate for large truckload carriers, trucking continues to see excessive shifts of drivers from company to company and from trucking to other industries. High turnover rates are caused by many underlying issues like low pay, poor work-life balance, inaccurate information and a lack of communication. These issues can be resolved if companies take the appropriate steps to do so, but without this, driver turnover rates continue to soar, leading to the current driver shortage.

2. Truck Driver Lifestyle

Being away from home for too many days and spending long, drawn-out hours on the road is characteristic of the truck driver lifestyle. Adapting to excessively long routes and few breaks leads to a very difficult life on the road. This prevents new, potential drivers from entering the industry, and causes many to leave.

3. Demographics Issues

One of the major factors contributing to the current truck driver shortage is related to age and gender. The majority of truck drivers are over 45-year old males, which is one of the generational issues at work in the trucking industry. The age to obtain a CDL license is 21 years old, but not many in the younger generation opt for a career in trucking due to unfavorable and unattractive working conditions. 

4 Actionable Steps To Help Solve The Shortage

  1. Increase Driver Pay: It’s true that it’s not “all about the money”, and there are many other issues that affect drivers, both preventing potential drivers from entering the industry and forcing your current drivers to seek employment elsewhere. However, increasing your driver’s wages and implementing a fairer pay scale remains one of the steps you can take as a company to address the shortage.
  2. Communicate To Find Out What Your Drivers Need: There’s so much that communication with your drivers can produce. From quickly resolving prevalent issues to building loyalty, taking the time and effort to establish open feedback channels can reap great results.
  3. Target Other Demographics In Recruiting Efforts: Shifting the focus of recruiting efforts to the younger generation is a wise choice for every trucking company to make. It will give you a headstart on understanding the new group of people who would potentially make up the future generation of truckers and shape your company culture and benefits packages to appeal to them.
  4. Invest In A Retention Program: Investing to keep your current employees is an important step to address the shortage, but the benefits of a retention program don’t stop there. Knowing what your current employees need and making changes based on them will attract new drivers, as your current drivers are bound to refer others. 

Let a feedback program become a communication bridge for your company's efforts to understand why the truck driver shortage is happening.  Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

culture of work for truck drivers

The Culture of Work for Truck Drivers Is Changing

As we make our way through the roller coasters of 2020 and 2021, rapid and distinct shifts at work are taking place.

In the past, the amount of time a car sat in the parking lot was often intricately tied to his or her value. Employees and employers alike saw long hours on the job as a badge of pride, a sign that they were dedicated and worthy of respect.

These days, though, we’re more likely to view long hours and blurred work/life boundaries as signs of potential burnout. In recent decades, researchers have gained a greater understanding of the conditions that make us more productive as employees for the bottom line (hint: long hours are not involved) and the things that do not.

And as a whole, younger generations of employees and their employers have used that knowledge to fuel a new culture around work — one where your value is not tied to the hours you’re putting in.

The Culture Shift at Work in Another Industry

To see this shift — and the perils of not evolving alongside it — look no further than the current state of the restaurant industry, particularly in fast food. 

Faced with widespread layoffs last year, employees in that industry have chosen in mass numbers to look for other work as they reenter the workforce. 

What are they looking for? Opportunities that require fewer hours, have better benefits, and value employees for the quality of their work, not the quantity of it.

How the Culture of Trucking Is Changing

Hiring, by nature, goes in cycles. In nearly every industry, companies face shortages and enhanced hiring needs when older generations age out of the workforce and new ones enter it.

The trucking industry is no exception. As we look to fill a massive need for professional drivers over the next decade — with estimates showing more than 1 million hires needed — trucking carriers have to evolve their hiring practices and their cultures to better meet the needs of younger drivers.

This requires hitting a reset button on how work is viewed and how employees are valued, as well as taking a thoughtful look at benefits related to time off the road and more.

“We are seeing companies allow drivers flex time and finding ways to get drivers home, or at least have a better schedule for time off,” says Max Farrell, CEO & Co-Founder at WorkHound. “Many drivers get only a 34-hour reset, which is what’s required. That’s the status quo for drivers of older generations. But in order for the industry to adapt for future generations, they’re going to have to reevaluate how time off works.”

To maintain their physical and mental health and well-being, drivers need meaningful time off.

“There’s an assumption that because the work drivers do is done sitting down, they’re resting,” Farrell says. “But that’s not true. Drivers need a ‘weekend,’ even if it’s not Saturday and Sunday. They need time off between drives, and they also need paid time off.” 

There are a lot of factors that play into the discussion around time off for trucking companies, but it’s an essential conversation to have.

“Paid time off still isn’t common in trucking, but companies are beginning to become more accommodating,” Farrell says. “Drivers historically haven’t had a lot of autonomy in general over their time off, and securing PTO has been fairly convoluted. When drivers don’t get paid time off, they don’t take time off, which creates a culture of diminished productivity and negatively impacts wellness.”

On the flip side, it’s also important for companies to take downtime into consideration. Truck drivers are often forced to take time off the road to handle work-related tasks that they aren’t typically compensated for — but fortunately, that’s changing.

“Companies are making pay changes that accurately compensate for the work that drivers are doing, not just when the wheels are turning,” Farrell says. “There are a lot of previously uncompensated duties that companies are now figuring out how to pay for.”

Opening Up the Lines of Communication

As our view of work evolves and less focus is paid to the “long hours = value” mindset, there’s another important piece of the culture change to keep in mind.

From years of gathering feedback from drivers, we know that they feel valued and respected when they’re given the chance to share their thoughts and concerns with their employers. Trust is built through open conversation — and action taken based on those conversations.

Implementing a feedback program is an important piece of the puzzle that allows drivers to speak up whenever and wherever they need to.

“Trucking as a whole tends to rely on open-door policies to encourage drivers to come in and talk,” Farrell says. “We know that simply doesn’t work. Drivers may never make it to the facility to get to the door.”

That’s where WorkHound comes in, providing the “open door” your drivers need, whether they’re miles away or close to home. It’s a simple solution with big results.

“The most successful companies are now finding new ways to build communication bridges across their organizations,” Farrell says. “At WorkHound, we love helping companies find out what their workers really need and how to adapt to rapidly changing landscapes all across the trucking industry.” 

Let a feedback program become a communication bridge for your company. Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

Making Professional Driver Jobs More Attractive

How to Make Professional Driver Jobs More Attractive

If you had to use one word to describe the state of work in the United States in 2020 and early 2021, what would you say? For us, it would be “change.” 

As the COVID-19 pandemic took over in March 2020 and in the year to follow, we witnessed changes of all sorts in the American workforce. There were unprecedented levels of unemployment (at least in the post-Depression era), a wholesale move from offices and other communal workspaces to remote work in the home, and ultimately, a good number of people looking for a new career path.

The “why” behind looking for new work varies quite a bit. While you have many people who were forced into seeking new employment after a layoff, there were also many other people who took the opportunity to reassess their work and whether it was the right path forward.

As businesses gear back up for post-pandemic life, they’re looking to fill open positions. While hiring and retaining the best of the best for your workforce can already be tough, employees today have more options to exit than ever with plenty of companies hiring quickly in nearly every industry.

That has created a job search experience that’s somewhat similar to the seller’s market we’re seeing in real estate: Potential employees, especially if they’re exceptional prospects, can essentially name their price.

How can you position your employment opportunity ahead of the competition? Read on as we offer up some insights from other industries, along with our thoughts about how to stand out as a trucking company.

A Look at What Other Industries Are Doing

If you do a quick search online for work perks, you’ll be met with a glut of information. Some of the ideas for amenities and benefits are fairly common these days — such as compensation to cover the cost of commutes or catered lunches in the office — while others are a little more “out there.”

In the tech space, for example, you’ll find a lot of ideas that are way outside the box, such as onsite acupuncture or nap pods built into the office (at the time of this blog’s publication, WorkHound employees haven't requested acupuncture or nap pods as an employee perk. They are, however, big fans of a strong culture of transparency and trust). 

We’ve also found companies in a wide range of industries trying other strategies to make their job openings more appealing — in some cases, changing up job titles to make them sound more fun and exciting or powerful.

But as interesting as these ideas may be, are they really an effective way to capture the attention of potential employees? And specifically, would they actually work in trucking?

“Adding fancy amenities has become far more commonplace over the past few years, particularly in industries outside trucking,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “That’s nice, but at the end of the day, we know that professional drivers -- and employees of other industries, for that matter -- want to be respected for their abilities and their contributions.”

What Trucking Carriers Can Do

It’s no secret that the trucking industry is facing a driver shortage, and in good part, that’s due to older drivers aging out of the industry. We also saw a number of drivers who previously planned to stay in the industry reconsidering their options in 2020, and many of them have chosen to leave the workforce.

A pre-pandemic report from the American Trucking Associations found that the trucking industry will need to hire 1.1 million new drivers in the next 10 years, with 54 percent of that number being tied to retirements. That means that not only are trucking companies looking to hire — they’re looking to attract the attention of a new generation of drivers, who have different needs and wants.

“The trucking industry is having to rapidly change because of market demands and because work is evolving,” Love says. “The status quo is a death sentence. If companies don’t look for new ways to innovate, new ways to capture a younger generation of drivers, they’ll fall behind.”

So — how do you capture that younger audience? As your company looks to hire and retain truck drivers, one key way to entice new drivers is to put them in the driver’s seat of their careers.

“Some of how companies sell truck-driving to potential employees is aesthetics,” Love says. “You can say ‘you’re getting paid to travel, you have autonomy over your career,’ etc. But these messages have to be honest. Drivers are also looking for flexibility. Home time is one thing, but what drivers are typically communicating is a desire for general flexibility for life outside of the truck, which can look different for each individual.”

Strike the right note with potential hires by offering up benefits related to home time, paid time off, companions while on the road, and other specifics that give younger drivers the work/life balance they’re looking for.

There’s also a bigger-picture way of reaching the younger generation of employees: offering up honest insight about the potential impact they can have on the lives of others.

“We’ve seen a lot more companies, particularly in the last year, that are empowering drivers to know that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves,” Love says. “They want drivers to know they’re doing something really valuable for themselves, their communities, and ultimately, our country. Knowing you have the ability to make an impact can make a big difference in a person’s job satisfaction.”

Lastly, we know that drivers want to be retained. Starting a new job is a tough personal transition, so if your company has an excellent retention reputation and you intend to keep a new recruit for the long haul, let it be known. If your retention reputation could use some work, we know where to start.

Ready to put a feedback tool to work for your company? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

fort transfer truck

Fort Transfer Improves Retention with Full-Fleet Communications

Recently, Casey Lehman, Director of Recruiting and Retention at Fort Transfer, had a call with a driver who he never hears from, and lately, this seems to be an ongoing trend. 

Since engaging drivers through WorkHound starting in January 2021, more drivers are getting in touch and it’s allowing the team at Fort Transfer to experience fewer surprises. According to Lehman, they haven't seen as many snap judgment “I-quit-right-now” moments. Instead, proactive communication has allowed them to get out in front of issues.

“I'm excited about the simplicity of asking how things are going through WorkHound,” said Lehman. “The way it works is really easy and the drivers have responded well to it.”

Fort Transfer serves crop protection customers and operates one of the largest indoor liquid bulk storage facilities in the Midwest with a capacity of 2.6 million gallons. This means that Fort Transfer drivers are required to have Tank and HAZMAT endorsements in addition to a Class “A” CDL, narrowing an already tight talent market for qualified drivers. These days, a positive response is more important than ever.

Because of the real-time feedback provided by drivers, Fort Transfer has made strategic changes to increase retention, which has allowed them to grow their fleet with 19 more drivers already this year. 

This has been a quick and valuable turnaround after ending 2020 with turnover as high as it's ever been. In 2021, Lehman says their goal is to return to normal, but he’s projecting a rate 20% better than that.

“In the second half of last year, all of our ‘warts’ were being exposed,” said Lehman. “Our turnover was unacceptable and there were a lot of different factors for that. But the biggest change we’ve made has been adding WorkHound to our program.” 

Fort Transfer uses WorkHound to gain feedback in the moment, but it also uses the service to talk about the “Driver of the Month,” recognition of other employees, birthdays, and anniversaries. And because not every driver is on social media, it’s provided a positive boost to morale to see the acknowledgment of good news. 

Following the acquisition of Fort Transfer by Kenan Advantage Group in November 2020, Lehman and his team are using WorkHound to understand questions and misconceptions that need to be addressed among their driver community. For example, the affiliation has inspired ongoing changes at a Fort Transfer facility. While driving trust and transparency through the transition, they're channeling driver questions to Fort Transfer's executive leaders and responding with answers while also addressing the rumor mill head-on.

They’ve also utilized WorkHound communications to announce changes made in response to driver concerns. When drivers in the lease program were forced to shut down because of a snowstorm, Fort Transfer worked with drivers via WorkHound to help them navigate lease forgiveness while compensation slowed down. 

These changes were announced via their WorkHound broadcast message, which is read by 72% of Fort Transfer drivers on average. This speaks to the latest surprises for Lehman, that he’s in touch with drivers he doesn’t regularly hear from and that even those in the silent majority are taking the time to look for WorkHound communications. 

But although Fort Transfer has experienced positive progress over the first six months, it’s still early days. And Lehman believes the best is yet to come as they look forward to hitting their goal to stabilize turnover and grow in the future. 

“This isn't about waving a magic wand,” said Lehman. “It's little things, like listening and working with the drivers every day a little more. WorkHound gives us a guide on how to get out of our own way.”

If you're looking to improve driver engagement with your full fleet, get in touch. The WorkHound team of retention experts is enthusiastic to help you take control.

instant driver feedback

When Instant Driver Feedback Saves the Day — and What Would Happen Without It

When we talk about instant driver feedback, we most often talk about the benefits of gathering feedback from professional drivers, both for trucking carriers and for the drivers themselves. But have you ever stopped to consider the reverse — what would happen if some pieces of critical feedback weren’t shared?

Today, we’re discussing a few of our most common topics of feedback — along with what might happen if you weren’t made aware of problems as drivers are experiencing them.

Urgent Driver Feedback: Pay Confusion 

It probably goes without saying that issues related to pay are common concerns brought up through WorkHound. In particular, we often hear comments essentially saying, “I didn’t get paid what I was supposed to.”

This type of feedback may be the result of any number of factors, from sheer confusion about how pay is structured to a lack of communication about pay, or even problems that disrupt a driver’s schedule.

What Would Happen if You Didn't Find Out? 

If you never heard from drivers about their frustrations and concerns related to pay, what would happen? Turnover and retention would become significant problems.

“When it comes to pay, drivers equate being paid appropriately and as they expected with respect,” says Max Farrell, CEO & Co-Founder at WorkHound. “If drivers feel disrespected or overlooked when it comes to their pay, it’s much easier for a recruiter from another company to poach them.”

How Do Carriers Who Use WorkHound Respond? 

When a driver uses WorkHound to share frustration about pay, it can be considered a cry for help. That driver is giving the company an opportunity to fix the situation — to make the pay structure clearer or to ensure the driver is getting the pay he or she is expecting.

When companies using WorkHound receive this type of feedback, they typically respond in multiple ways: The first is to reach out individually to a driver and ask the driver to reveal his or her identity so that they can discuss specific concerns. Beyond that, many companies also take instant driver feedback related to pay into a “bigger picture” consideration. This may involve making expectations and processes related to pay clearer during the hiring process and during onboarding and training.

Urgent Driver Feedback: Equipment Maintenance Needs 

Equipment is another common area of frustration for drivers, but perhaps not for the reason you might think. While drivers want to have safe equipment, their primary focus is surrounding what it takes to stay on the road.

Drivers also share concerns related to equipment that’s old or in need of repair, as well as having the tools and resources they need, such as PPE when necessary during the pandemic.

What Would Happen if You Didn't Find Out?

This depends on the nature of the feedback. If drivers are sharing concerns that their equipment is in need of repair, that’s a potential safety hazard. But when drivers are sharing frustrations that they’ll be forced off the road, the real pain point circles back to pay.

“We often see this type of feedback come in when drivers are experiencing downtime during vehicle maintenance or repair work,” Farrell says. “These situations make it much easier for recruiters from other carriers to take advantage of drivers, and in some extreme cases, drivers may even abandon their truck on the side of the road to go drive for another carrier.”

How Do Carriers Who Use WorkHound Respond? 

When drivers share feedback related to equipment, companies have to respond fast. The action that carriers take has to encompass two distinct concerns: First, vehicle maintenance or repair and, second, compensation for time spent off the road.

Companies approach these concerns in different ways, but it’s always a good idea to implement tools and programs that make scheduling maintenance seamless for drivers. From a compensation perspective, it’s also worth considering benefits that allow for pay when downtime is required.

Urgent Driver Feedback: Problems With People

People problems aren’t specific to trucking, but they are pervasive within the industry. Many drivers have past experience with carriers where their expertise and professional skills weren’t valued. Even when they are respected at their current company, they may be dealing with residual effects from the past.

“We get a good deal of feedback from drivers about negative interactions they’ve had with office personnel, such as dispatchers or accounting,” Farrell says. “Specifically, the subtext is that a company might perceive the office workers as being ‘higher-ranking,’ which devalues the role that drivers play.”

What Would Happen if You Didn't Find Out? 

There’s a saying that “people don’t quit companies, they quit people.” That’s absolutely true, and frustrations related to fellow employees push many drivers to seek alternative employment. 

“When drivers don’t feel like they can sit down and have an honest conversation or don’t feel supported by their current company, they can buddy up pretty easily with a nice recruiter,” Farrell says. “If they don’t share this feedback with your company, it’s likely they will share it with their peers or other companies.”

How Do Carriers Who Use WorkHound Respond? 

When it comes to “people problems,” companies implement a variety of strategies. The most effective strategies implement efforts that begin during onboarding — demonstrating and building a mutual level of respect and trust between drivers and others within the organization.

It’s also important to build a company culture where feedback is welcomed and acted upon. In individual situations that arise, drivers may be asked to reveal their identity to share more details about problems. This allows carriers to develop specific strategies and practices to help overcome a problem internally.

What All This Feedback Has in Common

If you’ve read this far, one thing is probably clear: When you don’t give drivers a way to share feedback, driver turnover is often the ultimate result.

While it may seem like soliciting feedback from drivers opens a company up to negatives, the opposite is actually true. Not asking for or receiving feedback is when the truly negative situations begin to unfold.

Ready to let feedback save the day for your company? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

How the Driver Shortage

How the Driver Shortage Affects Consumers & How Companies Can Limit the Impact

If you’ve turned on the news recently or picked up a newspaper, you’ve probably heard about the shortage of truck drivers. Why is it big news these days?

Well, most specifically, you probably heard about the truck driver shortage in conjunction with the recent ransomware attack on and shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. Most of us only had a peripheral knowledge of this pipeline prior to the shutdown, but it’s responsible for carrying 100 million gallons of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel per day to locations across the East Coast. By some estimates, that’s almost 50 percent of the fuel used on this side of the country.

When it shut down, its disruption drew a lot of attention. Consumers worried about when and how to get the gas they needed for their cars, and airlines worried about getting jet fuel to fly their planes across the country and around the world. 

Gas stations were left wondering how to get the gasoline they needed to keep the pumps going until the pipeline was turned back on — and that’s where truck drivers entered the conversation. 

Instead of having convenient access points where gas could be obtained and transported from, truck drivers now needed to travel further to get to the gas in the first place. And on top of that, there simply aren’t enough drivers to go around.

That left gas stations without gasoline and frustrated consumers dealing with empty tanks and higher gas prices. 

Now consider this: That’s only one example of how a truck driver shortage compounds problems with supply and affects consumers. Today, we’re exploring the impact of the shortage in even more depth.

The Consumer Impact of a Driver Shortage

It’s a harsh truth, but most people have little understanding or concern about a big-picture concept like a driver shortage until it impacts their lives in some way.

Many Americans simply don’t consider the role truck drivers play in keeping America running. While that changed some during the pandemic, as the light was shined on the essential role truck drivers play, there’s still not a great understanding of just how important drivers are.

So: Just how important are they? Without truck drivers, this scenario would unfold:

  • Within 24 hours, mail and package delivery would come to a halt.
  • Within two to three days, fresh food would begin to disappear from grocery stores and restaurants. Banks would begin to run out of cash. Toilet paper and other dry goods would be nowhere to be found.
  • Within a week, a lack of fuel would keep cars off the road, including first responders.

Whew! That’s a lot to think about, right?! Nearly 70 percent of all freight moved across the United States is done by truck, so when there aren’t enough drivers, things stop moving — and everyone is impacted. 

To drive this even closer to home: How many times in the last year have you experienced shipping challenges with an item you ordered to be delivered to your home? 

How Trucking Carriers Can Help

The trucking industry has long been known as an industry plagued by rapid turnover. That trend accelerated during the pandemic, as hard conditions and overall stress led many drivers to reconsider their work and whether they wanted to pursue a different career.

With that said, though, trucking companies can improve retention and lessen the potential impact of a shortage on consumers. And with the high cost of turnover, it benefits carriers to focus in these areas.

First and foremost, treat your drivers as truly essential, and give them an outlet to share feedback and concerns. Partnering with WorkHound to offer a continuous feedback mechanism is a great way to accomplish this goal. By allowing your drivers the opportunity to quickly provide insights and ask questions, you’re giving them an easily accessible outlet to gain much-needed assistance, even from afar.

The next step? Turn that feedback into action. This translates into mutual trust and respect. In the long run, that’s how turnover is minimized and it’s why drivers stick around. Simple, right?

Drivers are vitally important — not only to your company, but to our country and our world as a whole. They merit respect from every level of your organization, at every point during their employment.

At WorkHound, helping carriers keep high-quality drivers happy is our specialty. We’d love the chance to see how we might help your company minimize turnover and contribute toward improving the industry-wide driver shortage. 

Looking to gain insights into what your drivers need and want? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

Make your Driver's day

How to Make your Driver's Day: Things We Know Drivers Love

When leaders at many businesses think about feedback from their employees, their minds naturally leap to the negative. But the reality is, when you open a continuous feedback loop and empower your employees to share their thoughts and needs, you’re also going to hear a lot of positive feedback about how to make your driver's day.

Over the years, we’ve seen thousands of pieces of feedback, and we regularly analyze what drivers are saying from a “big picture” perspective, allowing us to get a good gauge of drivers across the industry and their needs.

And if we’re honest, there’s a lot to love! We see some very positive feedback from drivers, particularly as they engage with WorkHound as a tool and learn to trust their companies.

So, how can you make your driver's day? Read on as we offer you some perspective!

The Positive Side of Things

If you’ve looked at our trends reports at any time, you’ve probably seen that we talk a good bit about whether feedback in a certain category skews positively. From the data we gather, we know that drivers have a lot of good things to say about topics in certain categories.

“We receive great positive feedback about people,” says Katherine Vanderford, Director of Customer Success at WorkHound. “When a member of the company really saves the day or makes something really easy for a driver, they are really quick to call that out. Shoutouts to anyone who helps a driver out are really common.”

In addition to receiving positive feedback related to people, there’s also a good bit of positivity shared when a company itself steps up

“Adjacent to people doing good things, we also get positive feedback when expectations are met for your drivers,” Vanderford says. “When drivers are promised something and that expectation was met or the company went above and beyond to make your driver's day, they are always willing to give the company credit.”

Exceeded expectations are a common theme for feedback right now, actually. The busy spring season has drivers asking for — and receiving — home time with family.

“We’re hearing a lot of feedback lately about drivers who want to get home for graduations or open houses to end the school year,” Vanderford says. “When a driver asks for that time and then the company makes sure that they get it, it means a lot to the driver. That’s because in the industry as a whole, drivers historically haven’t often been able to make it to those types of life events. The companies who make good on their promises really stand out to drivers.”

What Drivers Love

Beyond these overarching categories that tend to elicit positive feedback, there are also some specific programs or benefits that enhance driver happiness. Compensatory pay programs, for one.

“Pay programs that compensate drivers for non-driving time really improve driver loyalty,” Vanderford says. “When drivers are stuck with a customer, held up for truck maintenance, or if they have to do training, a lot of companies don’t compensate drivers for that time, despite being required parts of the job. Paying drivers for that time and understanding that their time is valuable is important.”

Additionally, drivers shine (and offer up praise) when they’re treated with respect.

“The things that drivers appreciate are very foundational,” Vanderford says. “It’s about having healthcare coverage that’s consistent and reliable that also allows them to take care of their loved ones. It’s about having reliable and consistent work. It’s about having access to retirement benefits, which are relatively uncommon in trucking.” 

Ultimately, every driver has unique and distinct needs — different things that make him or her happy. But being treated as essential is an important step in the right direction.

“At the end of the day, drivers like being treated as the professionals they are,” Vanderford says. “It’s not about their job title or uniform; it’s about how your company culture behaves toward them. It’s about supporting and embracing drivers and their professional careers.”

Ready to find out what your drivers love? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!