feedback culture

Adjusting to the Feedback Culture: The User’s Guide You Need

Your trucking carrier has decided to take the leap in 2022, moving from soliciting feedback in biannual surveys to operating a continuous program to improve your company's feedback culture. But now what?

Congratulations! You’ve taken step 1. Understanding that your drivers need a consistent mechanism for providing their insights and concerns is a key part of changing your overall culture as a business.

But it’s also natural to wonder how to get it done. The good news is, following some basic steps will help you get on solid footing when it comes to building and maintaining a feedback culture.

To help answer your questions and get you on the path to success, we polled the team here at WorkHound to gather our best suggestions. 

4 Tips for Building a Winning Feedback Culture

With any type of change, whether it’s in business or life in general, there’s some level of friction involved. After all, we get comfortable with the status quo, so making changes can be challenging. 

Establishing a feedback program is no exception. You’re revolutionizing the way that your drivers will communicate feedback and then utilizing their insights to inform your strategy. While that’s definitely a positive, it’s still important to prepare your team as the culture changes. 

Start here:

1. Focus on Quick Wins

Obviously, you want your company’s feedback program to be a success in the long run. You want to gather insights into your drivers’ wants and needs that will help your company both hire and retain drivers in the future. That’s the big picture.

But as you’re getting started, it’s important to also focus on smaller things.

“The first thing that we talk about with new customers is earning trust and that can happen through quick wins,” says Melissa Harrison, Account Manager at WorkHound. “This is about looking for the first efforts that drivers give in sharing their feedback and looking for ways to positively reinforce their feedback right away. That demonstrates to drivers that you are taking their feedback seriously and intend to act on it, and ultimately result in more feedback.”

2. Remember That Consistency Is Key

This one may sound trite, but it’s absolutely true. In order to go from simply establishing a feedback program to actually investing in a feedback culture, you have to make a habit out of checking in and acting on feedback. For the customers who see the most success, this is about making a daily routine out of checking the WorkHound dashboard. 

“Consistency is key,” Harrison says. “Every WorkHound customer has a dedicated customer success manager responsible for ensuring that the company sees results. Customers who see the most success are dedicating time to weekly meetings with our team and investing their efforts in driving change on behalf of workers.”

3. Get Buy-in Across the Board

If your C-suite wasn’t directly involved in the decision to move forward with a feedback program, it’s important to bring them into the fold quickly. Having the buy-in of executive leadership is essential for being able to turn feedback into meaningful action on a large scale.

“Our team does a great job educating companies, including making sure you have buy-in from the top down,” Harrison says. “Having their commitment will empower everyone who reviews feedback to make the changes necessary to truly have an impact. This helps build confidence in your workers that their feedback is being taken seriously.”

Don’t stop with buy-in from the executive level, though. The companies that have the most success with feedback programs are those that truly “dive in” to building a feedback culture at every level of the business. An all-hands-on-deck approach, you might say.

“Get as many people involved in the feedback as possible,” Harrison says. “The companies that don’t do well are those that require one or two people to read and handle the feedback in a silo. Our customers who’ve experienced the most success have developed a cross-functional team of folks who can help oversee that feedback is acted on in their individual departments.”

4. View Feedback as a Gift

It’s true: Not every piece of feedback will be positive. But it’s also true that every piece of feedback can be a positive for your company.

“Feedback is often viewed as either a gift or as a curse,” Harrison says. “You can view feedback in either way, but if you’re only expecting that it will be bad, you will miss out on real and meaningful opportunities to repair relationships with drivers. Viewing all feedback, good or bad, as a gift is a way to make an impact not only for your company but on the industry as a whole.”

When you partner with WorkHound to create a feedback program for your drivers, you gain a full team of people invested in making your program a success. Want to learn about a trucking company that is mastering its feedback program? Learn all about the companies who are experiencing WorkHound retention success here.


thanksgiving truck

24 Thank You Notes from Professional Drivers

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for the 70,000+ drivers and their employers who entrust anonymous communications with WorkHound. Today we’re excited to share the “thank you" notes.

While it’s the good, the bad, AND the ugly that impacts the nationwide driver shortage, skyrocketing turnover, and supply chain disruptions, today we’re sharing the top highlights of the good.

As you know from our latest webinar on praise feedback, we're big fans of feel-good because it can also teach us about what's going right for the work of our partners at trucking companies, but it also lets us know where it's appropriate to double-down.

There are literally truckloads beyond these messages, but each of these “thank you notes” was copied directly from the WorkHound dashboard. But today we collected a handful of our favorite messages from drivers over the last year.

In the spirit of thanksgiving, we're excited to share 24 thank you notes, anonyously shared by drivers in 2021:

  1. I have had horrible luck with my truck and a temp truck breaking down with the sensor problem. Everyone has bent over backwards to try and help and be supportive. Thanks everyone!”
  2. “I'd like to sing high praises to my dispatcher. Without a doubt, the best in 28 years of truck driving. He's smart, considerate, and the opposite of lazy. When I need a number or a strapping chart or whatever, he's on it in seconds, not 20 min. Thank you for him!”
  3. I like the 24/7 support you provide and also I felt safe working with because when you say safety is important, you really mean it and I like that. Please keep up the good work. Thank you”
  4. You guys have been a big help. I can recall at least twice wanting to just quit. You are making a difference.”
  5. "I feel like things have improved greatly since we started using WorkHound. I constantly see positive changes. I appreciate you taking the time to help when I have questions."
  6. "Communication is an essential tool. I communicated my concerns and I’m elated that I did. They are ensuring my success as a professional driver. Great team work. I love this company."
  7. "I would like to give a special thanks to WorkHound, Robby, and Michael. I had a mileage discrepancy last week and if it wasn't for WorkHound I would have ignored it and not have said anything. After I posted it on WorkHound, Robby and Mike fixed the problem promptly and got me paid for the miles. Thanks!!"
  8. "I continue to see improvement in many areas since we got with WorkHound. I am treated better. The attitude and tone of voice I am spoken to continues to improve.... things keep moving more towards a team attitude instead of a more aggressive pushy attitude. I am very impressed and happy with the changes I continue to see happening."
  9. "It’s been a rough trip. What would have been a quick California and back in 6 days has turned into a nightmare. From being delayed at a customer, to that causing me to be late for my delivery, then rescheduling for 2 days later, to now being broke down and in a hotel. Thankfully dispatch and the shop has been helpful and not causing more stress. I love being able to use WorkHound to communicate things."
  10. "This platform is giving drivers a chance to be heard. I feel that management is listening. I sense real progress being made. Thank you and Merry Christmas."
  11. "I was very ecstatic to see my idea for the hooks in the bathroom was implemented. I have gone ahead and purchased a bathroom scale that I’ll be leaving behind next time I’m at the yard. Thank you for taking the time to listen to us drivers even if it was a small task."
  12. "I am still a big fan of WorkHound. I think it makes a difference."
  13. "I’m impressed my company cares enough to use WorkHound to get input from employees and responds to the feedback." 
  14. "I appreciate y’all having a way to communicate what we drivers need."
  15. "I think WorkHound has made a difference in attitude at my company. I think it increases communication and helps get things done. I started seeing a difference in the attitude of those above me about 2 weeks before I got the first WorkHound message. I have continued to see gradual positive changes since then. I am enjoying working at this company more and more."
  16. "I wanna give thanks to WorkHound for getting the employees here to give feedback. I really don’t know anyone from the company but I would personally like to talk to someone if you have the time."
  17. "I really think WorkHound is good for our company."
  18. "Love the WorkHound idea. I’m sure it helps. I’ll be happy voicing my opinion with my name on it… You guys are great, a few bumps, but seem to pull through. Maybe you have a few other drivers like me that like the “daytime” hours? Would love to work in the office during the day."
  19. "The sun is shining, it’s warm. I have a stable job with a great company. Having WorkHound shows me that my company truly cares about these drivers and they are striving to fix any problems we have. Life is good." 
  20. "I am glad there is a WorkHound meeting to address issues. It feels good to know someone other than my awesome boss is paying attention to my issues. He can’t fix everything even though he tries."
  21. "I have been treated much better since we started WorkHound. I don’t have to fight and argue to get home. If I have a doctor's appointment and I schedule it for a day or so after I get home to make sure there is no conflict I no longer have trouble getting home for my doctor's appointment and getting run me in a day or two late and hour or two before my doc appointment. No problems now. So I am healthier. I have lost weight. I feel better. The lack of stress from now not arguing is wonderful. I have been enjoying my job so much more."
  22. "I just love the people who I have a privilege to work with. This is another thing I love about this company. Asking us what we think and how we feel. In 25 years of driving, I have never been appreciated so much. Thank you!"
  23. "The transparency of the leadership and having the WorkHound call absolutely defines how far we’ve come as an organization. Becoming a company where Senior Director level leadership shows transparency and proves they listen and read employee feedback, and engaging in change for the people. This is what will keep me at my company for as long as they’ll have me.
  24. "The feedback has been great on here."

Thank you for being part of the WorkHound community and taking the time to raise driver voices for the betterment of your business and the trucking industry.

We're facing the wildest time the supply chain has ever experienced, and we're grateful to see that we're all in this together with you. If you're looking for additional ways to boost a positive retention culture at your company, check out the WorkHound Burnout Guide to learn how to take care of your drivers when the going gets tough.


supply chain challenges

Are National Supply Chain Challenges Affecting Driver Retention?

Everywhere you turn these days, it seems like supply chain challenges are in the news. As the country continues to emerge from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s plagued by infrastructure issues and shipping problems.

Professional drivers are an essential cog in the shipping process, delivering essentials to homes and businesses across the country. How are they affected by these ongoing supply chain challenges?

It’s an interesting question — with a somewhat complex answer. Today, we’re exploring what we’ve learned through our own research, as well as what we’ve seen as we help our customers navigate hiring and retention challenges.

4 Facts About the State of Supply Chain Challenges & Trucking

The United States’ current supply chain issues are being largely driven by two key factors: increased consumer demand and an across-the-board need to restock inventory after the initial onset of the pandemic. From our perspective, this means it’s critical for carriers to understand that: 

1. It most directly impacts port drivers. 

Those outside the trucking industry are likely unfamiliar with the different types of professional drivers, but there’s a key distinction between freight drivers and port drivers. Port drivers are drivers who are specifically trained to pick up and drop off shipments at port stations like rail yards and shipping ports.

Because these ports are a point of emphasis — and chaos — right now, port drivers are under an intense amount of pressure, which can drive increased numbers of drivers leaving carriers or leaving the industry altogether.

2. All parts of the supply chain are linked.

While port drivers may be most directly affected, ultimately, logistics issues affect the entire trucking industry. That’s because a missed connection at any point in the shipping process disrupts the entire flow.

“The entire shipping process can be relatively volatile,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “When that first link in the chain is broken, for example, the freight that they’re expecting doesn’t make it to the port, and the entire chain is disrupted. The port driver can’t move it from the port to the warehouse, and then the product isn’t at the warehouse for the freight driver to pick up.”

3. Volatility in the shipping process causes turnover.

When the shipping process is disrupted, like in the scenario mentioned above, it puts increased pressure on drivers, who are already under a good deal of stress. Even in “normal” circumstances, professional truck drivers frequently experience burnout caused by a combination of factors, including intense work-related stress, loneliness while on the road, a lack of interaction with others, and mental health issues. That’s compounded by a persistent shortage of drivers.

“The current logistics challenges can cause drivers to feel like they’re being tugged from every angle,” Love says. “They feel a loss of control over their work/life situation. Anytime there’s too much work and not enough people, you feel like you’re simply a pawn in the situation. That’s how drivers feel.”

That can cause drivers to look elsewhere for jobs that use and value their skills while promoting better well-being.

“Drivers can look into other positions, like driving a bus and being home every night,” Love says. “They can be construction workers or work at the Amazon fulfillment facility or driver for Lyft or Uber. Drivers look to contribute their abilities to other outlets\ that allow them to have more control again.”

4. Carriers can take steps to ease some of the burdens.

With the entire supply chain in disarray and the trucking industry under increased pressure, it’s incumbent on trucking companies to do all they can to support drivers. The actions taken today to show drivers they’re valued and to help them overcome challenges will have a direct impact on hiring and retention now and in the future.

“The companies that are coming out ahead are the ones that are putting their people first,” Love says. “That means listening to them to understand their limits. Everyone has been running at 110%, so there will be days that drivers simply need a day off. And they need to be given that day off because it’s either that day or the rest of them.”

Providing drivers with a voice is a key part of the equation. Ultimately, the drivers are the experts and they know how their work can be improved.

“There are leaders who are scratching their heads and throwing things at the wall to see what will stick,” Love says. “But the truth is that we’ve helped a lot of companies find success with retention, and that’s because those carriers have committed to truly listening to their workers.”

Every part of the supply chain is facing increased pressure. Listening to your drivers is step No. 1 when it comes to identifying the burnout that results from these challenging times. To learn more about the key identifiers of burnout, download the Burnout Guide.


make truck driving a great job

The 5 Essentials That Make Truck Driving A Great Job

Today’s business world is an uncertain one— out of the fifteen most wanted jobs in the market today, eight of them didn’t even exist ten years ago. But it’s a bit different when it comes to truck drivers. 

Even though there are around 3 million truck drivers in the U.S., the American Trucking Association estimated that the industry would have to hire more than 1.1 million truck drivers in the next few years. That’s a staggering number. And considering there’s a massive shortage of truck drivers already today, that makes truck driving a stable career path. 

Even though the data above presents truck driving as a stable career with job security, that alone won’t make people flock to become truck drivers— they need more than that to commit to trucking as a  career path. So let’s see what companies need to do to make truck driving a great job. 

What are the benefits of being a truck driver?

A career as a truck driver holds many hidden benefits and the following five are the most impactful ones. So next time you present the jobs of your truck drivers as an attractive career path for your recruiting program, think about including the following five: 

They get paid to see the best man-made and natural beauties of the country

One of the greatest things a person can do as a trucker is exploring the country’s best man-made and natural beauties. As a trucking company, you should use this benefit to brand the truck driving job as an explorer’s job. 

Meeting new people, exploring the country, and seeing new places can all be attractive ways to boost a plethora of new candidates for your company. 

They get to learn while driving

Truck driving has a lot of down-time, where truck drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours a day under HOS regulations. The remaining time, truck drivers can use to explore new environments, see new things, read books about people whose places they are currently visiting, or even learn something new.

The benefits of having long, uninterrupted time on the road means that they can even learn a new skill. Also, they have time to be alone so they can center their thoughts, become mindful, and work on their mental health and well-being. 

Excellent pay

According to Indeed, the average salary of a truck driver is $67,903 a year which is almost double the national median salary. Considering trucking is a stable job with a secure future, this can make the career of a truck driver highly desirable. 

As a trucking company, don’t forget o present these benefits to your talent pool of candidates so they understand the possibilities of their career at your company. Also, make sure to outline professional development opportunities for your drivers so they can look forward to growth within your company. For example, some of our customers have developed specific paths to becoming trainers and recruiters. 

They can become a trainer or a recruiter

Truck driving can be their first career option, but it’s not their last career option. 

Drivers have the option to use their experiences and become trainers for a new generation of truck drivers, teaching them the ins and outs of the business, and being their mentors. 

For most truck drivers, becoming a recruiter means they will need to have a reputable employee experience in order to convince others that trucking is a great opportunity. That leads us to improving the driver’s experience as a prerequisite. 

Improved driver experience

The industry-wide annual turnover rate has an average of over 90%. So trucking companies will need to invest heavily in retention practices in order to save time and money and grow their fleet -- and this is critical if they want their drivers to grow into trainers or recruiters. 

Drivers expect more from trucking companies because these are the experiences they can gain from other careers instead— better logistics, tech to communicate with dispatchers and companies, and a two-way communication channel to collect feedback from them so they can have a better working experience. All of this information can be found in our 2021 mid-year report where we talked with more than 10,000 truckers to find out what’s important to drivers. 

Positioning truck driving as a societal need

Did you know that around 70% of all items consumed in the U.S. are being transported on the road? Truck drivers are the essential workers that ensure that the nation functions properly— food, gas, and healthcare supplies are just some of the things that truck drivers bring across the country so that everything can work as intended. 

This is a perfect opportunity to brand truck driving as an essential job in the U.S. and explain to people that the truck drivers were the ones that ensured that the supermarket had food, that the pharmacy had drugs, and that the filling stations had gas during the pandemic. So companies should tell candidates that being a truck driver isn’t only great when it comes to excellent pay and a promising career; it’s also the cornerstone of a functioning nation. 

Conclusion

Being a truck driver is an exciting career path. As we’ve established the need for more drivers in the future, it’s a safe path to reliable employment, but that alone won’t make employees flock to truck driving. 

Companies will need to invest in better logistics, tech, and communication with their drivers. And if you’re unsure how to do all of those things, you should talk to one of our driver retention experts at WorKound.


drivers workhound

Do Drivers Really Want to Use WorkHound?

When you’re considering a feedback program like WorkHound, it’s only natural to wonder whether it’s a tool that your drivers will actually want to use. After all, that’s a key part of making buying decisions about services and programs for your business. You need to know the value of the product.

This is a question we come across frequently — and it’s also one we can answer definitively. The answer is YES! Drivers who have access to WorkHound use it, and drivers within the industry who know about WorkHound wish they could.

How We Know What Drivers Want
Here at WorkHound, we have a pretty good handle on what drivers need and want. After all, gathering driver feedback is what we do! So, how do we know drivers like engaging with WorkHound as a way to share feedback? 

That information comes directly from the source. From gathering and analyzing driver feedback, we know that the vast majority of drivers want a feedback tool that allows them to remain anonymous

Around 90 percent of drivers indicate that anonymity is an important reason they’re willing to share feedback. There’s also data at the other end of the spectrum: Only 1 percent of drivers are willing to pre-emptively self-reveal, or share their feedback with their name attached.

We’ve also learned more about why drivers want to use WorkHound from our trends reports, which we put together regularly based on feedback across the industry. In fact, the recently released Mid-Year Driver Feedback Trends report unpacked some important information about at-risk drivers in particular.

These at-risk drivers are the ones who most value a tool like WorkHound — they’re looking for a way to communicate with the on-site team and leadership. Communication issues are common (and potentially disastrous) in dissatisfied workers, who are most likely to quit. 

The good news is that even the drivers at the highest risk of turnover are often willing to engage with their companies — if given a tool to do so. That’s why WorkHound is invaluable: because poor communication and disrespectful interactions with other employees can lead to irreparable damage to a relationship.

Why Drivers Want to Use WorkHound
We touched on this above, but it’s worth discussing in-depth. Strong communication is an essential part of a driver/trucking carrier relationship, but trust has to be built before drivers truly feel comfortable sharing.

Offering them an anonymous way to share their thoughts and concerns is a way of breaking through that barrier. They can share unfiltered, honest feedback, and once their company responds or takes action, trust is developed.

“The heart of it is that drivers want to be anonymous,” says Max Farrell, Co-Founder and CEO at WorkHound. “There’s a real concern in the industry about experiencing repercussions because they give feedback. Many of them probably have real experiences to back up that fear. Because of that, drivers are less likely to want to share their real-time concerns in a way that requires revealing their identity. Drivers are more likely to just quit than let a company know what they can improve.”

Even the act of providing WorkHound as an anonymous way to offer feedback is a step toward building the trust needed to fuel driver retention. In the long run, drivers want to feel their opinions are valued and used in shaping the company’s future.

“Drivers can build confidence in a company, and that builds trust over time,” Farrell says. “There are drivers who might give a positive rating, but then they also share things that need to improve. We know that drivers can be at risk and still want to be a part of the solution if companies will let them.”

How Trucking Carriers Are Promoting WorkHound
An added benefit of partnering with WorkHound? It can become a recruiting tool! 

“Many companies now include WorkHound in their job descriptions,” Farrell says. “It shows that they are actively seeking ways to make the working environment better for their drivers.”

Drivers are looking for employers that treat them as respected and valued members of the team — part of the “brain trust,” so to speak. Implementing a feedback program is a key way of demonstrating that to prospective employees.

Is it time to give your drivers what they want? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!


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!