Our team has been conducting multiple interviews with truck drivers over the past couple weeks in order to learn about problems with driver retention. We have found that a major reason drivers are unhappy is because they don’t feel as though they are appreciated or respected. Research shows that employees who feel a lack of appreciation lose motivation to perform well or look for a new job. This is a major issue when it comes to retaining your truck drivers. Check out these 10 easy ways to make your drivers feel more appreciated!
Remember Truck Driver’s Name - Easy yet SO important. Too many truck drivers complain of being "just a number" with some carriers and is shared as one of the reasons they leave. Whether on calls or in person, say their name more than once instead of identifying by their driver number.
Hand Written Notes - Writing a note shows your drivers that you took the time to think about them and is way more personal than a quick email or text.
Company Luncheons - Company wide get togethers are a great way to create a friendly culture with all employees. It also makes drivers feel as though they are part of a team. We've heard drivers rave for weeks about surprise barbecues at terminals. Plus, who doesn’t love free food?
Write Letters to Families of Truck Drivers - This can go a long way because having a truck driver in your family can be really hard. If the driver’s family knows that the driver is appreciated, they’ll feel more at ease with their driver being on the road for long periods of time.
Remember Truck Driver’s Birthdays or Anniversaries - These are exciting events for everybody and showing them that you remember can really make a truck driver feel special. Some carriers post this on social media and give drivers a quick call, but a little goes a long way.
Respond to Feedback Given From Drivers, Good or Bad! - If drivers know that their feedback is being received, they’ll be more inclined to share their feelings about what’s going on out on the road. When you're able to know what drivers are thinking and feeling on the road, you can improve operations accordingly - boosting bottom lines and morale at the same time.
Share Truck Driver’s Accomplishments Company Wide - When one of your truck driver’s does something great, it makes them feel even better when the whole company hears about it, especially managers. We're all fans of a good story and good stories of heroism, safety, persistence and skill deserve to be shared.
Make Conversations Meaningful With Drivers- Staying updated on drivers should become a regular thing but if you’re lacking time, make sure that when you talk to drivers they feel like you know them. Keep track of personal interests that drivers have, family details and ask about unique experiences on the road. Drivers will always fight to be "more than just a number'.
Start a Truck Driver Recognition Program - Many carriers already do this, but everyone can always improve. Carriers recognize driver of the month, celebrating million milers or rewarding unique situations drivers overcome. This will motivate employees to be at their best, thus increasing their quality of work. Competition is a great motivation for a lot of employees!
- Ask Drivers for Ideas or Opinions About Company Policies - This will show drivers that their opinions matter and that they have a voice within the company. If they feel like they are part of a team, they will have more pride with the company they work for.