simple solution

WorkHound: A Simple and Effective Solution

One of our mantras in decision-making at WorkHound is “speed, simplicity, and focus,” and the result of this vision means quick, effective work and the permission to cut to the chase. Our goal is to encourage customers to do the same. This starts with our product.

WorkHound was established as a way to help trucking companies solve complex problems, we help companies break down those complex issues into something manageable by capturing actionable driver feedback.

It’s that simple.

Feedback Simplified

When you’re looking to solve the familiar trucking industry woe of driver turnover, the most effective strategy we’ve found is to get to the root of the problem. That means asking drivers what they need and want, rather than assuming you already know.

We know from years of research that assumptions about driver needs only lead to unnecessary expenses of both time and money.

That’s what WorkHound solves for. It helps you cut out the extra cost investment by getting you real-time feedback from drivers and other employees.

And the best part? Gathering that feedback requires a minimal time investment on your part. Once implemented, WorkHound helps you keep a finger on the pulse of what your drivers need and want without actually having to actively and continuously solicit that feedback, because that’s WorkHound’s job.

In our experience, most companies need to spend only about three hours a week to keep the feedback cycle working effectively. That boils down to logging into their dashboard daily for around 15 minutes to check on feedback, having a weekly meeting with a WorkHound customer success manager for 15 to 30 minutes to discuss strategies, and then taking action on feedback, such as sending out broadcasts, asking people to reveal and talking with them, and actually putting solutions into place.

We also know that some companies choose to expand this work to optimize effectiveness and that’s great, too. Getting feedback is great, and doing something about it is the cherry on top.

“I love the WorkHound platform,” says Patrick Kelly, Terminal Manager for AFC Transport. “The simplicity helps my day along. The fact that I can go in and hit refresh a couple times a day and I’m able to see when new comments come along is so important.”

What Sets WorkHound Apart

We’ve established that WorkHound helps simplify the process of obtaining driver feedback. But what’s the difference between the WorkHound platform and other feedback programs?

The key is that WorkHound isn’t trying to overhaul your existing processes. Instead, it’s designed to work in correlation with those programs and processes — helping to make them streamlined and successful.

“WorkHound fits seamlessly into the work a company is already doing,” says Katherine Vanderford, Director of Customer Success at WorkHound. “It helps companies identify the highest priorities, and because of that, they’re no longer assuming or guessing. They know exactly what matters to drivers, which allows them to cut through any clutter and instead focus on the big things.”

Every company implements WorkHound in slightly different ways, but most carriers find value in using WorkHound feedback to inform other aspects of their work, from hiring and retention to safety.

“Most of the companies we work with have multiple eyes on the feedback, so it allows them to simply integrate it into their regular meetings,” Vanderford says. “So, for example, members of the safety team would have access to feedback related to safety and use it to guide the discussion. Companies also use feedback to praise the good work their people are doing, because they have actual information about it.”

It all boils down to simplifying the process of obtaining and reviewing feedback.

For Jackie Giefer, Director of Operations at Bay & Bay Transportation, that was a difference-maker.

“We’d looked at other software that seemed incredibly time-consuming and laborious, whereas this seemed very straightforward,” Giefer says. “And we’ve learned it is just that — it’s a very simple tool to use, but it offers a lot in the way of retention."

Ready to see how WorkHound works for your business? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

what your drivers aren't telling you

What Your Drivers Aren’t Telling You

These days, there’s a lot of talk about “work culture” and how to retain your best employees, especially when there aren’t enough drivers available to fill your open lanes. At the root of a solid work culture that benefits both employers and employees is one key factor: communication. So, do you know exactly what your drivers aren't telling you about your company?

If you’re not using some type of feedback program that encourages honesty, odds are that you don’t know your drivers as well as you think you do. 

Through our work with trucking companies across the country, we’ve built up quite a database of feedback from drivers. And there’s a lot in there that surprises the companies we work with, even those companies that feel they have a good understanding of driver needs and wants.

When It Comes to Feedback, Trust Is Key

Research about driver feedback is the heart of our work — and it’s quite clear from our understanding that drivers share more once you gain their trust. The feedback mechanism you use is part of building that trust, and research shows that anonymity is a crucial element of a successful feedback program.

“One of the reasons that drivers are more comfortable sharing through WorkHound is that they know it’s anonymous,” says Max Farrell, CEO & Co-Founder of WorkHound. “Anonymity is important because they can share exactly what’s on their mind without a fear of retaliation. We work hard to make sure feedback is acknowledged so that carriers can earn driver trust.” 

In most cases, once a company partners with WorkHound, drivers begin sharing direct and honest feedback pretty promptly.

“Some drivers are just bursting at the seams to have an outlet to begin sharing what they’re seeing,” Farrell says. “For most drivers, though, it takes a few weeks of repetition and seeing how companies respond before they start to truly open up. We’re generally getting solid feedback from a good number of drivers shortly after onboarding.”

Learning About People & Safety

Because drivers don’t feel the need to filter their thoughts and concerns when sharing feedback through WorkHound, trucking carriers are often surprised by the feedback they receive. It’s not that it’s shocking — it’s more that the feedback pertains to topics they wouldn’t have gotten feedback about if anonymity weren’t in play.

There are two main categories of feedback that are typically surprising for companies: People and safety.

“The ‘People’ theme tends to be surprising,” Farrell says. “In a lot of company cultures, since things are flying at us at a fast pace, we might not stop to acknowledge the people around us. Drivers often give a shout-out to people who are helping them in some way. On the flipside, they sometimes will share ways that other employees are making their work more challenging.”

Feedback about other employees becomes even more serious when the feedback shared also relates to gaps in safety processes.

“There’s often a tense relationship between drivers and technical staff in many cases for various reasons,” Farrell says. “Safety practices have a lot of power over drivers, so drivers are often hesitant to share questions or concerns about safety. They’ll use WorkHound to document those experiences since they don’t feel comfortable sharing it in another way.”

There’s a positive side to allowing for that type of feedback — it enables companies to take information about potential safety hazards and look into them, preventing lapses before they become more serious.

Other Things You’ll See

It’s important to note that not all driver feedback is about critical topics. Drivers often use WorkHound as a way to share their thoughts, even when those thoughts aren’t directly related to ways to improve their work. 

We get a lot of selfies, photos of the landscape on the road, and plenty of positives about their days — and we love the unfiltered glimpse into the driver experience. It’s providing drivers a way of communicating with the outside world while they’re on the road, which we know can be lonely at times.

And sometimes there’s the feedback that results in almost immediate, super-efficient action on the part of the company. That was the case when one driver shared feedback that they were having a hard time finding good vegan food options on the road (yes, a vegan truck driver!). The company reached out to them and installed a second fridge in his truck, helping to support their dietary needs.

We have so many more examples like these, but the best feedback research is digging into topics shared by your drivers. We’d be happy to help you start the conversation. 

Ready to see how WorkHound works for your business? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

how workhound works

The Evidence that WorkHound Works

We’re firm believers in the importance of offering employees a meaningful way to provide feedback. But a key part of that is knowing that what’s measured gets managed, and so we’ve worked hard to establish data to provide evidence that WorkHound works.

In order for a feedback mechanism or program to be effective and worth investing in, it needs to be useful in the work you do. In other words, it needs to work for you, rather than against you!

We believe in the way WorkHound works — and that’s why we love to hear trucking carriers share their own success stories about WorkHound in action for their businesses. 

Looking through all the feedback we’ve received, there are four key ways that provide evidence for WorkHound success. Read on to learn more.

More Feedback

When you’re incorporating a feedback program as part of your overall workplace culture, you want it to actually gather feedback. 

WorkHound offers drivers and other employees a simple way to provide their concerns and questions anonymously, and because of that, it is well-utilized from day one. But over time, as employees understand the impact of their feedback — and that your company is committed to gaining trust and confidence through it — they’re even more willing to share their insights.

“More feedback is one key way we know the program is working,” says Katherine Vanderford, Director of Customer Success at WorkHound. “Sometimes we see in the first days of orientation or onboarding, that drivers might be a little skeptical. So, they might dip their toes in the water and share something, and once that’s acknowledged, then trust is built and drivers begin sharing much more.”

Over time, companies are likely to see a larger number of employees sharing, as well as an increase in employees who share their thoughts more than once, allowing them to dig deeper into their honest needs.

Filter-Free Feedback

Beyond gathering more feedback, the quality of that feedback also changes as drivers recognize the value of how WorkHound works as a feedback program. Even if an employee was skeptical at first, anonymity allows for thoughts and concerns to be shared in a more direct and honest way.

That’s one of the many benefits of offering employees anonymity when sharing feedback. Whether or not retaliation is a reality, drivers assume it’s possible because of previous experiences. In this format, drivers know they can share their unfiltered and honest thoughts about how to retain them.

This yields a more actionable product for retention and HR leaders at trucking companies. Without a confident understanding of driver wants and needs, actions to retain them are based largely on assumptions. When drivers are sharing their honest, detailed thoughts, you can take action based on data and the true reality of their situation.

A Positive Reputation

How do we know WorkHound works? Well, we’ve built up quite a reputation. (Thankfully, it’s a good one!)

Because we’ve been around for a while — and a need for a proactive driver retention solution in the trucking industry — we’re finding that drivers enjoy using WorkHound and they’re willing to share that with others.

“WorkHound has a positive reputation amongst drivers,” said Vanderford. “And carriers tend to include WorkHound in their driver job descriptions as an attractive way to promote their workplace culture.”

Improved Metrics

We have a lot of anecdotal evidence that WorkHound works, but there’s data to back it up, too. 

With consistent use of WorkHound, trucking carriers see positive improvements in the metrics displayed on their dashboards. This includes a larger number of drivers willing to reveal their identities when requested, a higher retention number 30 days after the reveal, and an improved satisfaction score.

Over time, those numbers continue to climb. The true impact is felt as drivers gain comfort with having a feedback tool and a company they can truly trust.

“We hear from drivers who say they had never felt comfortable sharing any feedback prior to using WorkHound,” Vanderford says. “They would simply sit quietly in their truck and go home, but now they can share their thoughts and concerns.”

Maybe the best proof that WorkHound works is the feedback from drivers themselves — true “word of mouth” demonstrating its effectiveness. 

“Drivers talk no matter what — they’re leaving that feedback somewhere,” Vanderford says. “And drivers have shared in their WorkHound feedback that they’ve talked amongst themselves about how grateful they are for WorkHound, and that’s something we’re really proud of.”

Ready to see how WorkHound works for your business? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

pandemic trucking industry

Driving Change: The Pandemic’s Effects on the Trucking Industry

As we all reflect on the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the trucking industry are in-focus at WorkHound. 

While many of the effects were challenging, some of the pandemic’s effects on the trucking industry have been positive — and that’s especially true for communication. During 2020 and the first part of 2021, the trucking industry has taken significant strides forward in several areas with a direct impact on drivers. 

With an eye on keeping drivers safe, companies within the trucking industry have sped up the implementation of processes, programs, and technologies that improve the driver experience, both for now and in the future. 

A Leap Forward in Communication

The pandemic has impacted virtually every industry. While we’ve been reminded over and over again that trucking is the essential backbone of our country, this also means that the industry has been forced to search high and low to find drivers to cover all the excess capacity.

To keep trucks on the road, companies have had to double-down on retention strategies, forcing them to pivot and make changes to their communication strategies, in addition to other overnight changes in the way their business operated.

“The pandemic has affected trucking in a lot of different ways,” says Max Farrell, CEO & Co-Founder at WorkHound. “In general, trucking is a dispersed industry. While most office environments became remote overnight, trucking had a head start. But where a lot of trucking companies needed an adjustment was learning how to manage their office staffs remotely and this forced them to adopt new communication styles.”

Communication between drivers and the in-house team is a point of emphasis — and an area of significant feedback — even in non-pandemic times. Its significance was magnified over the past year.

“While in-office communication had already-existing challenges, companies were required to overhaul a new solution to keep workers connected in order to keep business moving effectively,” Farrell says. “It wasn’t even a decision of whether or not they had to adapt, they just did it. What has traditionally been a very slow-to-adapt industry had to really quickly get up-to-speed and adopt technologies that allow them to stay in contact with drivers, customers, and staff.”

An Increased Emphasis on Driver Needs

Driver needs didn’t change much during the pandemic, but with the significance of the driver shortage and a limited pipeline of new drivers, their needs have been simply magnified. Much of the feedback drivers shared during the pandemic related to topics that are always top-of-mind. Take home time, for example:

“Home time has always been a priority for drivers,” Farrell says. “But since we began seeing feedback related to the pandemic, home time is an urgent and dire need. Drivers want to be with their family members when they’re needed, and they want to be home when they’re sick. Home time was the most urgent, critical need of 2020.”

Prioritizing time off the road for drivers — and communicating with drivers about how to claim that time — was a way for companies to get ahead of potential problems. And with the ability for drivers to make quick career-changing decisions, home time was of the utmost importance in benefit considerations in 2020.  

Feedback related to compensation was also common during the pandemic, and for good reason.

“Hazard pay came up last year quite a bit,” Farrell says. “We saw companies develop programs that ensured drivers were compensated for the risk they were taking, or additional forms of compensation even when they weren’t able to be on the road.”

Innovative Ways to Train 

Along with prioritizing drivers for the essential work they do, trucking companies have also evolved how they train drivers. Reduced in-person contact results in a reduced risk of COVID-19 transmission, allowing drivers to train effectively and get on the road quickly without the potential delays caused by illness.

That has led many companies to research and implement technologies that allow them to efficiently train employees remotely.

“We’ve seen carriers take extra precautions to prevent contact between drivers or office staff, including virtual onboarding and virtual training,” Farrell says. “Innovations from this time that support remote communications, training, and logistics, will be around for the long haul.” 

What’s Ahead

For drivers, along with many of the rest of us, the COVID-19 vaccination is a topic of interest. Because categories for vaccination priority are determined on a state-by-state basis, when drivers can be vaccinated varies a great deal from person-to-person.

Naturally, drivers have many questions about vaccination. Effective communication can play a key role in helping drivers access vaccines quickly when first and second doses become available to them.

“Drivers want to know about the logistics of how getting vaccinated will work as it relates to their job,” Farrell says. “This concern is along the same lines of when they have a doctor’s appointment, except here, every driver has the same need at roughly the same time.”

For the sake of drivers, it’s important to map out the specifics of how drivers should obtain the necessary time off to get vaccinated, and share that information as early as possible.

“We have some carriers that are proactively communicating with drivers about what to do when they choose to get their vaccine,” Farrell says. “It’s all about creating a plan and then communicating with drivers about how to ask off for the time. Your company may even go further — some HR departments are communicating with drivers about how to apply and even where to look for vaccine appointments.”

Specific communications like this will show your drivers that you want to be as transparent as possible and that you view their safety and health as your top priority. We’ve seen time and time again that showing genuine concern and empathy for your drivers goes a long way in improving company loyalty and reducing turnover.

In that regard, the pandemic’s effects on the trucking industry have magnified already-existing challenges in a way that brings the power of a drivers' viewpoint to the forefront. 

Ready to tackle communication challenges head-on? Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

anonymous driver feedback

You Don’t Need to Know Who Said It to Solve It

All feedback has value. But there’s a tremendous upside to anonymous driver feedback — both for the employees providing the feedback and the companies that receive it.

Despite those benefits, though, there’s still some resistance related to feedback that can’t be tied back to a specific employee. We get many questions from trucking companies about whether anonymous feedback will keep them from taking the necessary action to retain employees and reduce turnover.

To that question, we say: why? 

How Anonymity Benefits Drivers

For drivers who join your company after years in the industry, many have developed apprehensions related to sharing their thoughts and questions. This lack of trust develops for many reasons, including past experience with companies that were less than forthright or maybe they truly have received retaliation for feedback in the past.

Offering drivers an anonymous way to share their insights shows them your company is different from the get-go.

“A channel for anonymous driver feedback helps boost driver confidence,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “By the nature of complex relationships between drivers and their frontline of communication, there are a lot of assumptions about how both sides see each other. Offering an anonymous mechanism creates a safe space for drivers to express exactly what is concerning them or why they’re considering leaving their company.” 

At the root of those assumptions is an innate bias, one that can be overcome by receiving and acting on “nameless” feedback.

“It’s just the nature of the business that drivers don’t always feel comfortable being 100% honest in offering feedback or criticism,” Love says. “Part of that is because of the industry itself and their experiences with other companies. If a driver has a concern about a front office bias, that driver isn’t going to be comfortable attaching their name to feedback”

Ultimately, anonymous driver feedback means biases are avoided, action is taken, and trust is built.

How Anonymity Benefits Companies

While there’s an understandable hesitation to anonymity, companies we work with quickly see that there are many positives from it. The most obvious? Honest, unfiltered feedback.

“Carriers are still able to make real change happen despite not knowing who is behind the feedback,” Love says. “The bottom line is that the feedback can’t be coming from anywhere else — it has to be coming from the drivers, AND it already exists even if you aren’t asking for it. By admitting that the feedback is real...that perception is reality...they’re helping make real change happen.”

Meaningful, honest feedback is a shortcut. It helps companies avoid assumptions, which ultimately helps them avoid excess time and money lost. In an industry that’s known for high turnover, feedback from drivers s a gift. 

“Sometimes drivers just need to have their problem fixed,” Love says. “They don’t want to have a long, drawn-out conversation about it. They’re telling us the problem, and they’re looking for a solution. Drivers are communicating their feedback to give you an opportunity to fix it. They’re giving you a second chance.” 

While we’ve mentioned bias in the context of helping drivers overcome it, implicit bias permeates many businesses, trucking companies included. Allowing for anonymous feedback gives companies a chance to overcome that bias, while also still enacting solutions that solve driver (and company) problems.

“When drivers are able to provide feedback, then a dialogue begins and it helps companies and drivers overcome cancel culture for one another,” Love adds.

Anonymous Feedback Used for Good

The very act of offering an outlet for anonymous driver feedback can pay off in driver trust over time. Take this example from a WorkHound partner. 

Using a one-time notification, where the company can respond to a driver’s comment through the WorkHound dashboard while keeping the driver anonymous, the company was able to get to the root of a problem and find a solution.

“A driver at the company left a somewhat scathing review,” Love says. “The user at the company direct-messaged the driver using a one-time notification and provided his phone number so the driver could call him back. He did call him, and they had a good, long conversation. This helped turn the situation around, and in that conversation, the driver even referred another driver to the company.”

Anonymous feedback doesn’t equal a lack of results. Ready to implement a better way of communicating with your drivers? Sign up for a free demo to learn how we can help!


Heroes of the Hound: TransLand - David McCormack

WorkHound Customer Q&A: TransLand, David McCormack - Director of Operations

In the past year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the trucking industry has seen tremendous challenges — and shown incredible resiliency as the world has learned that drivers are essential.

And communicating effectively with them is even more essential. For TransLand, a premier transportation company based in Strafford, Missouri, this is a lesson the company has long known but that became even more important in 2020.

David McCormack, Director of Operations at TransLand, recently sat down virtually with our WorkHound team to provide some perspective about the importance of meaningful feedback.

WorkHound: What’s the role of WorkHound in your organization? How did you find your way to working with WorkHound?

McCormack: We’ve been at this for a little bit. We had some folks of ours at a convention and ran into the WorkHound rep. When we debriefed after the conference, WorkHound came up.

We were looking for ways to reach out to our drivers, and we wanted to be able to gather feedback. The role of WorkHound is to give our drivers another way of giving us feedback. 

Sometimes they want to share about a specific issue, sometimes it’s just more about how we’re doing. 

The fact that WorkHound is anonymous is a big factor for many drivers. They can put their voice out there and not have it known who they are, which keeps the threat level low.  

David McCormack
David McCormack, Director of Operations, TransLand

WorkHound: During the COVID-19 pandemic, how has driver feedback helped you maintain a positive company culture

McCormack: Having driver feedback really allowed us to know what drivers needed and what they were experiencing.

Last year when all this started, we got together as a company and said we didn’t want to have 40 or 50 trucks empty out here. So we decided that in the second quarter, we’d gather up information about drivers who had been here for a year, average out their pay over that time period, and pay them no less than that average amount, even if they were driving less. There was also an amount they were incentivized for anything above that.

It really was nice to say a) we want you to keep driving because you’re essential and b) you don’t have to worry about pay, because this is the amount you’re going to get during this quarter. 

WorkHound: What would you say has been the biggest benefit of partnering with WorkHound to gather employee feedback

McCormack: There’s a couple things. When we get our weekly report, I’m eager to see what negatives we get. I want to attack those first. It gives us an opportunity to see those things.

We can also get a good gauge on the metrics — on what our satisfaction level is. It’s nice to see us up there in the high 7’s. During the pandemic, a lot of times, we were in the 8’s. It’s pretty cool, and once you get into the 7’s, you don’t want to get out of there. We’ve found that the more we reach out, the better.

Our goal is to see 9’s in that satisfaction score. It tells me that there’s something out there that’s right. Without WorkHound, we wouldn’t really ever have weekly metrics like we’re able to look at. 

We have to follow up with drivers. As we follow up, drivers find that we really do care. They know that we are taking action and paying attention to them. It keeps us communicating with our drivers and helps us know the good, the bad, and the ugly.

WorkHound: Are there specific actions or improvements TransLand has taken as a result of driver feedback?

McCormack: There’s a particular model of truck that we have that was really struggling to achieve the miles-per-gallon incentive, which is one of our quarterly incentives. At the end of the fourth quarter, if you were at 7.78 mpg, you were at the first tier — your incentive — and that would pay out. At 8.3, you were at the second tier, which would pay out even more.

We were hearing feedback from drivers, “Hey, my driving habits haven’t changed. I’m in this truck, and I don’t know what it is, but I can’t hit the mpg and I’m not going to get the incentive.”

Based on that feedback, we got the manufacturer involved and asked them to take a look at it. Then we went back and added a couple of new rules for that model truck and that year, adjusting the mpg goal from 7.78 to 7.50. 

If driver behavior didn’t change based on our look at their cruise control and history, we went back and awarded our drivers the incentive. 

This is the right thing to do, and this is the fair thing to do.

TransLand 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. Are you a Director of Operations who also wants to put this into action for your company? Reach out to WorkHound today to talk with an expert.

feedback program

How to Build Trust with a Feedback Program

You’re probably familiar with the “Pandora’s box” fable. Because of it, “Opening up Pandora’s box” has become shorthand for opening up a door and letting in troubles. 

Occasionally we come across the concern that starting up a feedback program for your business can have a similar effect — opening up your trucking company for all sorts of negative feedback and repercussions. 

But the truth is: whether or not you open up the so-called “Pandora’s Box,” the driver feedback already exists. In other words, you can either ignore the feedback and give power to the rumor mill, or you can ask for the feedback directly and use it for good.

By utilizing a continuous feedback program like WorkHound, you’re much more likely to discover a pathway to solutions and a mechanism for building driver trust.

That’s because, ultimately, drivers are looking to know that they’re valued. 

“You hear a lot of conversations about whether drivers are loyal to carriers,” says Cindy Wincek, Sr. Customer Success Manager at WorkHound. “One reason the driver turnover and shortage is so critical, is that the industry isn’t being loyal to drivers.”

Establishing an ongoing process for communicating with drivers is an important step in both building loyalty and in proving your loyalty to your team of drivers. 

“Carriers that are showing loyalty to drivers are committed to giving drivers a voice, and those are the ones that are coming out ahead in the industry,” Wincek says.

Over time, as your drivers understand that you are listening to their voices and taking action on their feedback, trust builds and results in a stronger communication loop in the future. Drivers become more willing over time to share their feedback, and your feedback program becomes more constructive and meaningful.

The Proof Is in the Numbers

Consider the experience of USA Truck, which over time has collected the feedback of more than 1,400 of its drivers, sharing more than 4,000 total comments. 

“What we saw prior to engaging with WorkHound was that we did not have a good understanding of the driver experience,” says Nick Wakefield, Vice President of Human Resources, Driver Recruiting & Retention with USA Truck. “We didn’t know what was causing driver frustration, and our retention was out of control. Since we began working with WorkHound, we’ve gained valuable insight into the driver experience. We’ve truly been able to understand the triggers that were causing turnover, which has helped us lower that rate substantially.”

By working with their drivers to gather feedback and then taking action related to that feedback, USA Truck was able to get the most valuable buy-in — reduced turnover. 

Responding When You’re Not Ready to Take Action

A key part of building trust and buy-in from your employees is letting them know they’re heard. But what happens when you aren’t ready to take action yet? How can you respond to their feedback in a way that emphasizes it's valued, but also acknowledges that the work in that area is ongoing?

“There are a couple of different ways to respond to feedback,” Wincek says. “Simply communicating is the most important part. You can respond with action — that’s the ultimate goal. But you also need to respond with empathy.”

We talked about empathy often, but it’s about truly listening and relating to the thoughts and emotions of the people who are sharing feedback. By providing clear, transparent responses to driver feedback, you can reassure them that their feedback is being taken under advisement, not ignored.

“You can let the drivers know that there’s a reason why you aren’t making a change yet or revise how a policy is communicated so that it’s more clear, or you can share plans for upcoming updates or amendments to policies,” Wincek says. “This tells them, ‘I do see this as a problem, your voice matters, and it will be a part of us eventually finding a solution.’”

Boost your driver buy-in with a feedback program. Sign up for a free demo to learn how we can help!

feedback program

Feedback Program: Can You Set it and Forget it?

In today’s world, important tools in life and work are almost fully automated. But while convenient, automated tools and services offer their own set of problems.

After all, who among us hasn’t selected an option to automatically renew a subscription and then promptly forgot all about it? While that’s a light-hearted example, it’s all too easy to automate a process and then neglect it, which can lead to less-than-optimal results.

That’s especially true for feedback programs. There are definite benefits in providing your drivers the opportunity to offer feedback regularly, but there are even more benefits to staying engaged in the feedback process.

Let’s talk about some of the reasons why you shouldn’t “set it and forget it” when it comes to your company’s feedback program:

  1. Prompt Action Is Essential in Curbing Driver Turnover

This is perhaps the most important reason. Drivers who are unhappy can quickly and easily move from one company to another, giving their existing companies little to no time to respond.

“We know that driver turnover happens really fast,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “That’s why it’s so important for companies to be able to review feedback and react to it just as quickly. Drivers providing feedback gives an opportunity to correct something that’s wrong.”

By using WorkHound as a feedback program to communicate with drivers, companies are afforded multiple tools that they can use to work through problems with employees. When feedback needs a quick response, companies can intervene using the one-time notification feature or by asking the driver to reveal their identity in order to get a better handle on an individual situation.

  1. Feedback Enables You to Adapt

Keeping a close eye on feedback not only helps companies handle situations with individual drivers, but also allows them to develop strategies for handling issues that may arise with a larger group.

“If companies are looking at feedback regularly, they can work quickly to provide clarity about any issues that may be causing widespread confusion or frustration amongst drivers,” Love says.

And with WorkHound, you can expect to be equipped with the information you need to make informed decisions regarding your drivers’ needs regularly.

“Every customer receives a weekly summary of feedback,” Love says. “That comes in without the company having to do anything and allows them to see the most critical concerns on the dashboard. They’re able to use that information in the decisions they’re making as a company and in deciding what needs to be done to keep drivers happy and safe.”

  1. Drivers Are Always on the Clock

For many businesses, work-related concerns happen between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. While this structure doesn’t make it any easier to handle employee concerns, it does keep them confined to a certain timeframe. 

But as you know, drivers can be on the road at any time of day, any day of the week, throughout the year. Their needs and concerns often pop up quickly, and they’re typically outside of normal “business hours.” That makes actively listening to what drivers need even more important. Simply setting up a feedback program and then looking at the feedback infrequently won’t cut it.

“A successful feedback program shows your drivers that you care about their needs, no matter the topic and no matter the time of day,” Love says. “The more your drivers see you using their feedback to implement positive change, the more trust you’ll build with your entire team.”

Want to see the impact of a driver feedback program for yourself? Sign up for a free demo to learn how we can help!

Driver feedback can make you shine.

Driver Feedback Can Make You Shine

If you’re reading this, thank you, odds are that you’ve got a lot on your plate. As an HR leader or fleet manager, you make your company shine. 

Not to mention, you’re responsible for the challenging and seemingly all-encompassing job of hiring great talent — and then finding a way to retain them in an industry known for high turnover. Is that overwhelming?

Maybe, but it’s also your time to shine. HR leaders that ask for feedback from their workforce become heroes for their companies when they take action on it. Read on to learn how.

Driver Feedback Arms You to Make Informed Decisions

How many decisions do you make in a single day? In a leadership role, you’re responsible for making decisions spanning a full spectrum from quick and small to quite serious.

Since making the wrong decision can have major repercussions, particularly when it comes to hiring and retention, you want to have all the facts on hand and sometimes this slows down getting the decision made.

“Leaders make decisions. So being equipped with the right information and resources is critical,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “Having feedback and data helps support the ability to make decisions quickly and confidently.”

That’s where WorkHound comes into play, providing feedback directly from your driving team, allowing you a real-time glimpse into the daily needs of your frontline.

“The first way it can make HR and other leaders shine is by giving them the tools they need to make better decisions,” Love says. “Assumptions are expensive, so data helps you protect your decision-making abilities. Asking for feedback directly from the drivers allows you to eliminate ‘snap judgements’ or ‘uninformed’ decisions.”

Shining a Light on Positives

People management also comes with the responsibility of being the bearer of bad news. HR managers are often tasked with sharing information about policy changes and details about other unpopular or potentially negative topics. 

But driver feedback is often positive — which, in turn, is a positive opportunity for you. For example, being the one responsible for telling drivers that a policy can’t change feels bad. But letting everyone know that Kelly in the recruiting office is doing a really great job just feels really good.

“Drivers often shout out team members by name in their feedback for doing good work, offering the opportunity for WorkHound users to convey their positive comment,” Love says. “It’s kind of the opposite of ‘don’t shoot the messenger.’ While sometimes it’s necessary to be the one who’s communicating the bad news with the team, being responsible for driver feedback also means you’ll also be sharing the good news and positive comments.”

Knowing Where to Focus Attention

No matter the size of your company, you likely have many drivers and other employees within your purview. You want to do what’s right for each of them, but some needs are bigger than others. Knowing where to prioritize is important. 

For example, it might not be necessary to give attention to all 1000 drivers, when it’s possible only 500 are at-risk. While that’s still a large number, driver feedback helps you understand which ones need the most attention. 

“Ultimately, feedback offers clarity for decision-makers,” Love says. “Customers can use the data they’re getting from drivers to help them understand what drivers need and want, which helps them to retain existing drivers and gain new ones.”

And over time, this can reap benefits, both within your existing role and potentially in future ones. 

“It can help managers scale their efforts — as retention leaders, they’re responsible for hundreds or thousands of drivers,” Love adds. “This helps them understand which drivers are the most at-risk and where they should really focus their efforts.”

Hear It From a Manager

Brad Sowa, Director of Recruiting at Roadrunner Freight, is familiar with the benefits of WorkHound. In his role with Roadrunner, he’s been tasked with helping overhaul company culture and drive down turnover.

“What WorkHound provides us is a point of feedback, rather than generalizations,” Sowa says. “With direct feedback and communication from our independent contractors, we can take the information they’re sharing and take action to correct things — not just with that driver specifically, but globally across the entire company.”

Having that ability to communicate is part of what fueled Roadrunner’s success in 2020, as they decreased turnover from over 140% in 2019 to 75% by mid-2020.

“For us, feedback drives action,” Sowa says. 

Want to see the impact of a driver feedback program for yourself? Sign up for a free demo to learn how we can help!

engaged drivers

A Positive Correlation: High Communication = Highly Engaged Drivers

Hey there: New Year, New You! While most of us agree to and then forget personal resolutions within weeks of the start of the year, setting meaningful goals for your business is still a worthwhile endeavor.

When you’re thinking about ways your company can improve in 2021, employee engagement is where you should start. For most companies, regardless of industry, a fully engaged workforce isn’t common, and this ultimately leads to an unhappy workforce looking for change. 

While that may seem like a grim scenario, there’s good news. You can positively impact your team’s engagement by taking steps to improve your communication. Employee engagement can also help you cut out the guesswork in deciding what to prioritize next. Read on as we take a deeper dive into the topic.

Why Engagement Matters

The value of engagement is pretty simple: Engaged drivers perform better. This is particularly true within the trucking industry — drivers who are engaged with a trucking company are less likely to seek employment elsewhere. This reduces constant churn and boosts retention.

But it’s also bigger than that.

Engaged drivers can be your brand’s best advocate, promoting your business to other drivers (and peers in general) as a positive place to work — and to do business with.

With all that said, though, it’s eye-opening to look at the current state of employee engagement in the American workforce. A number of studies have found that very few employees feel engaged in their work — in fact, a Dale Carnegie Training research study found that only 30% of employees report being engaged.

And how do engaged drivers perform differently than those who have become disengaged? A Gallup Survey found that companies with highly engaged workforces are 21% more productive than other businesses. That’s a big difference, and one that can have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.

How Meaningful Communication Boosts Engagement

When surveyed about engagement, many employees cite poor communication within a business as a reason they are disengaged. Communication difficulties aren’t exclusive to the trucking industry, but with the nature of truck driving, it is innately more challenging to have an open and continual dialogue with drivers.

Taking a thoughtful look at how your business communicates is an important step toward improving engagement. Building a feedback mechanism can help promote two-way communication between drivers and the rest of the team.

“Putting a feedback mechanism in place improves engagement because it gives drivers a clear understanding about the path to communicate,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “Just based on where drivers sit in their jobs, getting in touch with someone in the office can be difficult. Offering a communication channel can help clarify where their feedback needs to go because it’s all collected in one location. Then the company can funnel that to different channels as needed.”

There’s an added benefit to using a tool that allows for anonymous feedback — it enhances driver trust.

“Since one of the reasons drivers don’t communicate is a fear of retaliation, having an anonymous feedback mechanism builds confidence in drivers and gives them the freedom to share exactly what’s on their mind,” Love says. “So they’re more likely to do it more often.”

The WorkHound Difference

Effective workplace communication requires a multifaceted approach. But having WorkHound as one tool in the toolbox can make a tangible difference in enhancing driver engagement.

“WorkHound reaches drivers directly where they are,” Love says. “It isn't actionable to say ‘come to me when you have a need.’ This instead brings the company directly to the workers. They have a communication channel in their pockets.”

Being able to quickly text concerns, questions or praise puts drivers in the literal driver’s seat of communication.

“Rather than asking drivers to meet a business halfway, this tool is meeting drivers where they are,” Love says. “It allows companies to reach out and have a personal touchpoint with their drivers at least once a week. While that may not sound like much, it can really make a significant difference.”

Looking to use WorkHound to engage with your driver team? How you use the tool is the most important factor.

“We call this the feedback loop — requesting feedback, receiving feedback, and responding to feedback,” Love says. “Showing drivers that their voices are being heard and used to inspire positive change builds trust and encourages continued engagement and loyalty.”

Ready to use meaningful communication to enhance driver engagement? Sign up for a free demo to learn how we can help.