Wrapping Up 2022 & Looking Ahead to 2023

2022 saw a continuation of some workforce trends we saw take hold in late 2020 and throughout 2021. That’s true not only in trucking, but across the board in most other industries as well.

In trucking, over the course of the year, companies were full speed ahead, taking advantage of the freight market that we’ve had. With talks of economic shifts, companies are becoming more thoughtful about how they go forward into 2023. 

One of the muscle memories that a lot of companies have gotten better at is figuring out how we take care of our people. We have seen trends shift from treating people like a number to realizing that taking care of people is a really good business strategy.

That trend is happening across the board. Workers have gotten selective about what kind of company they want to work with, and companies have stepped up the ways in which they take care of their people. People want consistency, they want stability, and they want to be valued by a company. 

Value can be shown in a number of different ways. Pay and benefits, certainly. But people are also looking to be seen as people. They’re considering questions such as, “What is the culture of the company? What is my growth opportunity inside this organization?” and not just, “What are you going to pay me?” People are realizing that while pay is important, it’s not the only component to consider in choosing to work with a company.


Taking Steps to Do More, Faster
This year also saw WorkHound take leaps and bounds forward. A Series A investment in March served as an affirmation of the work the company does and the direction it is moving in.

We were also recognized on the Inc. 5000 list as part of the fastest-growing companies in the country. We are proud to have been able to grow at a fast pace with a lean approach and operating structure. 

As we have continued to build out our team in 2022, we’ve been able to do more, faster. We’ve been able to find new ways to serve our customers. That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. We’re a feedback company, and we always want to listen to the feedback of our customers and find ways to deliver more value to them.


Growing While Keeping the Same Mission
We remain focused on amplifying the voices of workers across North America. Everyone on our team is very mission-focused, and each day, we set out to help people love the work they do. That requires a passion for gathering those voices and helping companies drill into what they need to do to help workers. As a company grows, sometimes you lose that passion, but that’s not been the case for us. 

We are always looking for people with hustle and heart. A lot of companies are looking for people who are culture fits, but we are looking for people who are culture adds. We want people who are committed to not only doing the work, but to make the work better. 

There are always opportunities we can improve as a company. As new team members joined our team this year, they have found ways to improve that we couldn’t see ourselves. 

And in many cases, new team members have joined us in one role only to see their role evolve as they identified opportunities and needs. It has been so fulfilling to watch people join the company in one role and then create an entirely new position because they found different ways to help.


Looking Ahead to 2023
It’s been awesome to add new customers as partners and grow those relationships, but what’s been really exciting is having companies come to us to ask for help with additional members of their workforce: office staff, technicians, and warehouse workers. It takes a lot of work to make the supply chain work, and we know we can reach out and help workers of any kind find their voice. That’s part of our focus in 2023.

Our core product is creating a real-time feedback loop. We know that whether you’re a professional driver or a warehouse worker, you want to be heard. And for companies, it’s easier to keep the people you have than to try and fill a leaky bucket.

One of the questions we had to ask ourselves this year is, “What is our zone of genius?” We know that getting feedback is easy. But we are really good at helping companies thrive by understanding and taking action on the feedback they’re receiving. Getting feedback is good, but doing something about it is better, and telling people about it is the cherry on top. 

We’re looking to roll out new ways to understand feedback, with advanced analytics, and new ways to respond to feedback, which will be really exciting in regard to the employee landscape.


A Final Word
There are certainly conversations happening around the state of the economy, and companies need to be asking, “How do we come out of this a better version of ourselves?”

It’s important to remember that a strong company culture outlasts economic cycles. Find ways to take care of your people. Listening to the voices of your workforce is essential. An engaged workforce is good for digging out ways to improve that you may not otherwise see. 

Companies that find success in the next year will be focused on making incremental improvements during a challenging time. And we’ll be here to help them do that.

happy holidays

Wrapping Up 2021 & Looking Ahead to 2022

Max Farrell, Co-Founder and CEO

A lot of the same challenges from 2020 continued in 2021 for the world. We’re still in a pandemic. The supply chain has more friction points than any of us can remember in recent history. But the world is still moving forward — the economy is moving fast and people expect goods right away.

All of these things happening at once make for some challenging times. In trucking, the most common conversations are simply about the workforce. This is the hardest hiring market the industry has ever been a part of. There are lots of freight opportunities, but finding the folks to fill those jobs has been a really big challenge.

The innovative companies have become more human and are realizing that taking care of people will be the differentiator. In the past, a lot of companies would say, “This is the job, take it or leave it.” But now, the workforce is saying, “OK, we’ll leave it.”

Companies are changing the types of jobs that they offer, based on what people want. Smart companies are saying “we’re going to go find customers that allow us to build a job based on how people want to work.” How people want to work is evolving.

The positive side is that more companies are approaching things from a culture of curiosity. Instead of saying “We know what people want” or simply not caring, innovative companies are truly diving into what people are wanting, wishing, and feeling, and looking into how they can change to align with those needs.

The “Culture of Curiosity” Driving WorkHound’s Success

WorkHound is seeing record growth — and it’s because more companies are embracing that “culture of curiosity” mindset.

We hit a really good stride at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. If you backtracked to the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of pressure. 

But we entered 2021 having strong confidence that momentum is happening, both for our customers and for the company. We've been hiring across every team. We’ve grown our customer base. We now have more than 70,000 drivers on the platform.

We’re really proud of that, but in continuing to make sure we’re a people-first company ourselves, we adapt to what our employees need. We now offer every other Friday off for our team. It’s been rewarding to get more done in less time because we’re all driven and focused on the right things.

As the company grows, people continue to step up and are taking on more responsibility in the business, creating value in ways we never expected. There are now jobs inside WorkHound that we never imagined would exist, but they exist now because people have carved out a space and a true role. Showing our people a growth path is really important to me.

Shining a Light on Those Who Make WorkHound Tick

What I love about our team is that they’re here for the right reasons. We’re all aligned with a shared mission of helping people love the work they do and helping companies become a better version of themselves.

I really credit Katherine Vanderford on our team for leading the charge in hiring this year. She’s found people who genuinely want to be here solving problems for our customers, rather than people simply looking for another job.

The profile of people we know work best are people who come in not only to do the work, but who are committed to doing the work better. I’m incredibly grateful for that.

Our team is very collaborative. We work hard to make sure people don’t feel like they’re operating in an echo chamber. It’s a bit more challenging since we’re now all remote — but we’ve thrived in this environment. We have chats and rituals that help keep us focused and in tune with each other. 

We are fortunate that we have people on the team who operate with hustle and heart. They’re committed to doing the work, but also to taking care of the people around them, which makes for a really good combination.

Looking Ahead to 2022

The end of this year has made it really clear that we’re entering a new phase of the company. We’ve been a lean and scrappy team up until this point. We’ve made tremendous progress and have a strong network of customers and partners.

Now we’re becoming a bigger version of ourselves. Our core product is focused on creating a real-time feedback loop. But we know that anyone out there can gather feedback. The hard stuff is digesting that information and doing something about it. Where we excel is diving into that info and helping companies act on it.

In 2022, that’s where our focus will be. We want to help companies truly understand the feedback they’re being given so that they can build better relationships with their workforce, ultimately building better companies and more retained workforces. 

A Final Word

The end of the year is a time for reflection. Speaking for myself and my co-founder Andrew, we’re filled with gratitude. Our team rode with us through hard times, and we’re in a much better position as a company.

Our customers, who we consider partners, have helped us become a better company and bring a better product to market through their thoughtful engagement with our team.

For me, this is a fun place to come to work every day, and it’s because of the people we work with and the partners we get to help every day. For all of that, I’m truly thankful as we wind down the year.

retention resolution

Wrapping Up 2020 & Our Retention Resolution for 2021

Max Farrell, Co-Founder and CEO

If there’s one thing that held true in this year of uncertainty, it’s that frontline workforces innovated, adapted, and persevered. 

We paid close attention to trucking, where most of our customers operate. At the beginning of the pandemic, there were signs of a recession. Historically, when the economy is headed into a downturn, trucking is one of the first industries affected.

But in this particular year, trucking shined as an essential service, and the entire country got to see the work they’re doing. If you bought it, a truck brought it, so the trucking industry had a great year, economically, and drivers are once again being seen as the knights of our roadways. 

The other piece that has been really impressive is the industry’s ability to change and adapt more than ever before. Trucking has often previously been seen as behind the times, but this year, it caught up. 

The industry had to evolve the way paperwork was processed and digitize the experience. Many motor carriers went remote for education and training. The trucking industry evolved very quickly as a requirement and that was inspiring to witness.

This year, we also saw trucking embrace empathy for drivers in ways we have not seen historically. Companies rolled up their sleeves, and they emphasized being a driver’s co-pilot. They ramped up communication frequency and the desire for regular feedback from their drivers to show the agility of their workforce. 

Shining a Light on the WorkHound Team

Our team has been incredibly resilient during this time. In March, we shifted from being in an office to becoming 100% remote. We’ve become more and more efficient each month. 

We’ve found ways to stay connected even though we are apart. We have done team activities like hot sauce tasting challenges or virtual talent shows, even a virtual holiday party. Getting creative has brought our team together and allowed us to truly connect outside of just the work we do. 

There’s no question that this year has been heavy on all of us, and every single person out there has faced some setback. Our team has rallied around each other, and we’ve been really transparent about the fact that it’s okay to be human at work. The power of WorkHound’s culture shined through our team this year, and it’s become clear that everyone plays a role in retention.

We were able to grow in the middle of a pandemic. We developed some incredible case studies, where our clients saw reductions in employee turnover by 30% or more, and it’s really rewarding to show a quantitative impact like that.

Despite this year of great uncertainty, our engineering team has been able to roll out more features this year alone than we have historically because we have a high-impact vision that’s focused on meeting our customers’ needs faster. 

This year was also certainly a big year in raising awareness in the fight against systemic racism. Our team has launched internal diversity and inclusion efforts to take time to understand and be more empathetic during a very trying year while building a company culture that stands for a better community for our employees, customers, and neighbors. 

Our Retention Resolution in 2021

We have the privilege of having innovative customers. Because of that, we are not only continuing to improve based on the feedback and needs of some of the brightest leaders in the industry, we’re also dedicated to raising the voice of frontline workers across multiple industries. 

Our product roadmap is based on building what those customers need. Not only does that help our existing customers, but it satisfies the needs of future customers as well. 

My final thought for 2020 is this: We are grateful to our team, our customers, and all the workers using WorkHound. Thank you for riding out the wildest, weirdest year in recent history. We are working every day to be a better version of ourselves, and we look forward to amplifying our impact in 2021. 

If you'd like to share your retention resolution for 2021, I'd love to hear about it. Reach out and share your story here.

safety isn't just a data point

CCJ Commentary: Safety not just a data point; it’s a feeling

The following blog was written by WorkHound CEO, Max Farrell, and published recently on CCJ.com in CCJ Commentary. 

In the trucking industry as a whole, data is the focus. Telematics can tell us where our trucks are, how fast they’re going, whether or not a driver is wearing a seatbelt, and so much more. Because of the ways in which this information can be utilized — to minimize the possibility of accidents, to earn a better overall reputation, and to lower skyrocketing insurance rates, to name a few — we find that companies are often so deep in the weeds of analyzing data, they’re overlooking a very critical element of their company’s success: how their drivers actually feel.

Enabling thousands of drivers to contribute real-time feedback via text message has taught me and my company quite a bit about the impact of the immeasurable parts of safety. Working with companies across the country to solicit and respond to anonymous driver feedback has uncovered some staggering trends over the past several months.

While companies are worried about things like harsh braking and truck speed, drivers are worried about themselves. Not only is this a very human condition — after all, we wake up each day as the hero of our own story — but the realities of our current health and social climates pose a significant perceived threat to drivers who don’t have the option to stay home.

In April, 23 percent of all driver feedback referenced the Coronavirus. As we see an upswing in protests and civil unrest across the country, we’re fielding urgent questions like, “What do I do if I come across a protest blocking traffic in the direction I’m headed? Do I keep driving?”

Drivers are worried for their own safety. They’re concerned about their families. They’re facing uncertainty about the stability of their jobs. But what we’ve learned over the years is that a little proactivity on the part of an employer can go a long way in easing drivers’ concerns.

If you’re a trucking company considering ways to offer a sense of safety to your drivers, my simplest piece of advice is to be the copilot. While you or I may be able to check on breaking news via Twitter or news broadcasts, drivers can’t scroll through the latest feeds on the road.

Drivers need dispatchers and company leadership to be sharing updates and addressing unique considerations related to COVID-19 hotspots and active protests routinely. They need to know you’re doing your research and taking the time to consider their safety. They need to be met with empathic leadership.

You know that old saying, “They won’t remember what you said. They’ll remember how you made them feel”? At the end of the day, as leaders, this has to be our guiding principle. The truth is, we’re asking a lot from drivers in these uncertain times. In order for them to step up to that challenge, we need to show them that their safety is our utmost concern.

CEO Max Farrell at Work

Looking Back on a Milestone Year— And Ahead to 2020

Max Farrell, Co-Founder and CEO

2019 was a milestone year for us, for a few different reasons.

December serves the opportunity each year to reflect on what the past 12 months have brought WorkHound while looking ahead at what the next year has in store.

We added new customers, and that’s always rewarding. It’s been exciting to see companies change their culture because they are listening to the voice of frontline workers— and they’ve really seen remarkable results. Companies have reduced employee turnover by 30 percent in 2019 and saved thousands of dollars because of driver retention.

Our customer growth allowed us to do a couple of different things. First, it helped us raise $1.5 million in seed round funding that we announced in June. We have investors who believe in giving a voice to frontline workers and who gave us the green light to put some gas on the fire.

As a result of the fundraising, we’ve been able to grow our team in ways that we’ve wanted to since we started the company. We’ve expanded across the board, adding members to our software development, customer success, and growth teams.

We also took home some awards.

We were honored as the Chattanooga Startup of the Year, which was really empowering, given that we expanded to Chattanooga in 2016 and have committed to staying involved in the entrepreneurial community here.

We also won the Best in Show award at FreightWaves LIVE Chicago for our demo of the WorkHound product. This was validation that what we’re building is resonating with a broad audience.

All About the Team

The success we’ve seen in 2019 would not have been possible without the WorkHound team.

From the day we started the company, my co-founder Andrew Kirpalani and I always wanted to work with people who have hustle and heart. The ideal team would not only do the work, but they would also make the work better. I can confidently say that our team has delivered on that goal.

They’ve surprised us by solving problems in ways we would never have imagined and closing deals we would never have thought possible. Our team makes it a pleasure to roll up our sleeves with them and go to work every day.

Looking Ahead to 2020

As we move forward, we’re going to continue to grow our presence in the supply chain space. We have a strong presence with the trucking industry, and we continue to gain interest from other parts of the supply chain — like warehousing and technicians that support the industry.

We’re also starting to look at other verticals that have high-turnover workforces, like healthcare.

Because we grew our team in this milestone year, we will also be able to add exciting new features to the product itself — to fulfill product bucket list items for both customers and the WorkHound team. In 2020, you can expect WorkHound to continuously evolve.

Giving Thanks

The only appropriate way of closing out this piece — and signing off for 2019, really — is to give thanks.

We’re incredibly thankful. I’m thankful for every worker who uses WorkHound, for every customer who gives us a shot, for every person on our team who takes the company to new levels, and for investors who are betting on our team.

We’re hiring, so if you’re interested in joining this ride with us, visit our jobs page and see what’s available. Or message us and see what you might be able to bring to the table. We’re always looking for great people to join our team in the next milestone year ahead.

Broadcasts: How to Respond to Employee Feedback

WorkHound helps companies keep tabs on remote employees' most pressing concerns, but it's important that managers are able to respond to workers about actions that are being taken because of feedback.

That's why we work with clients to create weekly broadcast messages to send to their workforce about issues that have been raised and the steps that are being taken to address them, improving communications between managers in a central office and employees in the field.

Broadcasts are a mass communication tool sent via text message, and this effort closes the communication gap to confirm that worker feedback is read.

"The most dangerous thing we can do with feedback," says Max Farrell, WorkHound CEO, "is act on it and not acknowledge that the change happened or that workers are responsible for this change."

In the trucking industry, for instance, the average driver tenure is around 90 days. That's a short window for management to learn about a problem, figure out the best way to address it, and then enact a lasting change to company policy. It's ever more important that these companies acknowledge the changes drivers are helping them make.

WorkHound helps companies craft these communications weekly so they can prove feedback is being listened to and acted upon.

How a Broadcast Is Developed

Our customer success managers start the process by reviewing the range of issues raised by employee feedback with a particular eye on new challenges. These WorkHound representatives meet with company officials weekly to discuss worker feedback and make recommendations based on the most actionable feedback and industry insights. They also make sure that our reading of the data aligns with management goals and priorities.

These communications help companies quickly address a range of issues that arise during the workweek.

Broadcasts can take many forms. They can be an opportunity to debunk rumors, they can be used to announce new initiatives, or they can give a company an opportunity to clarify misconceptions around a policy. Most importantly, broadcasts help reinforce the importance of worker feedback in company decision-making.

The Importance of Acting on Feedback

Broadcast messages are a value-add for WorkHound customers. Other employee survey technologies tend to be one-sided. Employee feedback goes in, but too little information comes back.

When you're ready for feedback, you should also be ready to announce how you're using feedback, as mentioned in this blog.

One of WorkHound's values borrows from the words of Aaron Sorkin, "Information breeds confidence; silence breeds fear."

Asking employees for honest, sometimes intimate, feedback on work conditions is a big ask. But if that feedback is met only with silence, employees will naturally worry that their employers are talking about them, rather than to them.

Broadcasts are a core part of WorkHound and sidestep this worry before it even begins. The weekly schedule gives customers an automatic reporting mechanism back to their employees and provides a dedicated forum for employees to learn what management is doing on their behalf.

Our feedback prompt — "Tell WorkHound how you feel about work, right this minute!" — is the beginning of a conversation for the workweek. As responses roll in from employees, managers can identify what steps should be taken to address a particular issue.

A good way to think about broadcasts is that they help bookend that weekly conversation. In other words, they give companies a chance to reflect on the pulse of the company and discuss their findings, observations, next action steps, and then respond to all workers with their weekly WorkHound-crafted broadcast.

If you’re interested in learning more about how WorkHound broadcasts can enhance employee satisfaction at your business, let us know by requesting a demo.

Recapping What the Drivers Said in 2017

In early December 2017 the WorkHound founders presented a recap of trends found in WorkHound feedback over the course of the year.

The presentation included the discovery of the top four themes of feedback on WorkHound in 2017: people, equipment, logistics, and pay.

You can download the presentation here.


Several media outlets provided continued analysis of the report:

Takeaways from Stifel’s investment team: Stifel - WorkHound: Call Recap

Transcript from the conference call between WorkHound and Stifel discussing the presentation: Stifel - WorkHound: Conference Call Transcript

Takeaways from Transport Topics: Top Driver Complaints: Rude Staff, Pay, Intrusive In-Cab Technology, Analysts Say

Takeaways from FreightWaves: Here’s what drivers are really talking about

Takeaways from American Trucker: What Truck Drivers Want

Takeaways from Fleet Owner: ATA: Driver turnover ticked up for large fleets in third quarter


Want to learn more about the driver trends across the trucking industry?

Download this presentation: "What the Drivers Said in 2017"

Stifel Call with WorkHound: "What the Drivers Said in 2017"

Stifel is hosting the WorkHound founders on a conference call to discuss 2017 driver trends discovered through feedback on the WorkHound platform.

Call Details:

Monday December 4th, 2017 at 11am ET.

Call in line: (888) 267-2848 (Domestic)

Passcode: 647236

Grab the presentation here: 

WorkHound - Stifel Presentation

busy season

Busy Season Is Coming: Improve Driver Retention Through The Rush

busy season

Busy Season Is Coming

The busy season is coming. Your trucking company is probably already working on recruiting the extra drivers that will be needed as the holiday season approaches. But once those drivers are on board, what is your company doing to make sure they stay as long as they are needed? Can your fleet be confident that it will be able to handle the extra volume right through the busy season?

The last quarter of the year can be an exceptionally stressful time for carriers. A few drivers leaving in quick succession in November can have a negative impact on your ability to move freight. Even if your company has plenty of miles to give to drivers, so do you all of your competitors. Of course, it will be the busy season for every other fleet as well, so they have an extra reason to use incentives to try and poach your drivers.  

Drivers Don’t Leave For One Reason

As we learned recently, drivers rarely leave a trucking company for just one reason. Often there are many small complaints that eventually lead to a fed up driver who leaves over something that might seem small or insignificant on its own.

Your company can be confident that it will have the drivers it needs this busy season. The answer is to be proactive with your drivers. Listening to your drivers is a fantastic first step. But listening isn’t enough. Drivers want to actually see action being taken because of the feedback they provide.

Driver Retention Requires Action

“Feeling heard” doesn’t mean that someone sat across a desk and smiled while you talked, or sent you an email thanking them for their feedback. It means that drivers see results. For example, if drivers have continuous issues with understanding pay stubs, your team should focus on simplifying how you share gross vs. net pay. The result should be pay stubs that are a lot more readable to more easily understand a driver’s income.

Listening to your drivers without actually taking any action to address their concerns will be ineffective at improving your turnover numbers. At worst, not acting will make drivers feel even more disenfranchised than they did originally.

The Time Is Now

This is the perfect time of the year to start taking action on the feedback your drivers have given you all year. Especially when it comes to urgent issues. Make a few changes, make sure your drivers are happy, and take a few stresses out of the busy season this year.

Want to get a few more ideas about how to discuss driver feedback inside your company? Read this white paper to see how driver feedback can impact your bottom line.

The "7 Strike Rule" To Improve Driver Retention

Driver turnover, even with some recent improvements, is well over 90% nationwide. And unfortunately, the problem is expected to grow next year. For trucking companies this means the bearing the expense of recruiting new drivers, and potentially even losing money on empty trucks sitting against the fence.

If you work in driver recruiting or retention, you could be forgiven for feeling that drivers can be a bit fickle when it comes to switching jobs. It’s tough to watch drivers you worked so hard to recruit walk out the door in search of greener pastures. Sometimes it seems like they are leaving for no reason at all, or just angling for a big signing bonus from the next fleet.

Leaving is never easy. 

But in reality, switching jobs is stressful, time consuming and potentially expensive. Drivers don’t want to switch jobs and go through another orientation. They jump ship when they feel like they have no other option.

How can you identify drivers who might be at risk of leaving? We created the “7 Strike Rule” to help fleets quantify things that might cause drivers to leave a position with a fleet. Think of this as somewhere in the middle between: “three strikes and you’re out” or “a cat has nine lives”.

What is a "strike" against the company?

A strike is something that, from the driver’s perspective, inconveniences them, makes them feel ignored, or costs them money. Examples aren’t hard to come by:

  • A dispatcher is rude or make a mistake that costs a driver time.
  • Payroll neglects to pay out a bonus that was promised when that driver was recruited.
  • A driver’s home time is interrupted so that they can wait on a load for 5 hours at a loading dock before they can hit the road.
  • A driver can’t make the money they need week after week even though they were promised they would get a certain number of miles.

If you were to walk into a room full of drivers and ask them about what fleets have done in the past that made them want to leave, you’d get a plethora of answers. But the point is that it wasn’t just one thing that made a driver want to find a new position. Just because the conflict with the dispatcher was the last straw, it isn’t safe to assume that's the only reason that driver churned out of your fleet.

It's not an exact science. 

Some drivers will leave a fleet at strike number 4, and some might not jump ship until strike 9. The point is that every driver has a breaking point, and every fleet needs to pay attention to the little things that can make a big difference in their turnover over time. Frustrated drivers leave, drivers who leave have to be replaced, and replacing drivers is expensive. This means that frustrated drivers and the “strikes” that stress them out have a direct effect on your fleet’s bottom line.

Learn more about proactive driver retention in this white paper: “Why Driver Feedback Matters”