A healthy culture in trucking goes beyond adhering to safety regulations and maintaining an efficient operation. It creates an environment where truckers feel valued, respected, and supported. It fosters open communication, collaboration, and camaraderie, making it easier for drivers to express their concerns and offer suggestions for improvement. Leadership must demonstrate a genuine concern for the drivers’ well-being, considering their physical and mental health, work-life balance, and personal growth.
While every business has its unique aspects of culture, some elements apply to every workplace. Here are some of the top themes our team has recognized that support a healthy company culture.
Communication between teams, departments, and individuals is among the most essential factors in creating a healthy workplace culture. Communication should be open, honest, and transparent. With deliberately open and clear communications, team members can feel more comfortable voicing their opinions and ideas without fear of judgment or repercussions. At WorkHound, communication is at the crux of everything we do. We’ve learned that anonymous communication is especially helpful, allowing people to share even more openly, knowing their identity isn’t automatically tied to their feedback. This type of open dialogue also encourages collaboration, which, in turn, promotes productivity. And it all starts with communication.
When it comes to creating a healthy company culture, trust between management and employees is a key factor in everything. While high levels of trust tend to result in higher job satisfaction among workers, the converse is also true: A lack of trust leads to low morale, dissatisfaction with the job, and ultimately high turnover. Establishing goals and reporting back on them can build trust with teams through transparency. Regular communication builds trust through accountability, keeping teams and departments not only focused on their own goals and projects but also keenly aware of what their counterparts are doing.
Like trust, respect also comes in many forms. A big one is fair pay and benefits. In our recent Pay Trends Report, we learned that the frustrations over driver pay often aren’t even about the dollar amount. Instead, they’re about the confusing pay structure or just have a general lack of understanding about their own compensation. Of course, economic conditions will always play a role in how much companies can pay their drivers and other workers — some things are out of management’s hands. But, there is still a lot they can do, and much of it starts with making a more significant effort to understand the lived experience of their workers and ultimately having more respect for the vital work they do.
In a recent webinar with the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) discussing the organization’s latest Critical Issues in Trucking report, WorkHound CEO Max Farrell said today’s carriers need to be thinking about building a culture that goes beyond traditional benefits. In trucking that means considering the daily happenings of your drivers, and thinking about factors that weigh on their minds like parking, delivery schedules, efficiency and more.
“I think we’re reaching a point of what I’d call ‘benefits plus.’ Health, dental and 401k in this day and age are table stakes. Carriers should be building benefits packages that serve the needs of the whole worker,” said Max. He went on to cite examples. “Call-ahead or carrier-coordinated parking, for example, could be a huge recruitment and retention differentiator, given its priority for drivers. This kind of coordination would probably serve to support the delay and detention problems many drivers are facing as well, which ATRI shows is another top issue.”
Not only will these considerations improve culture, but they will also have compounding implications for recruiting and retention as well as productivity.
Creating a healthy culture in trucking starts with understanding what it takes to make your team members feel heard, respected, trusted, and rewarded each and every day they put on their uniform (or get behind the wheel). Communication should always be open, and leadership teams should actively try to better understand their workers’ point-of-view, creating a workplace built on trust and respect. Leadership can further lean into company culture by establishing a “benefits+” approach that considers the whole employee.
Anonymous feedback can be a powerful tool that strengthens communication, trust, and respect, improving job satisfaction and inherently supporting healthy company culture. With a comprehensive platform for anonymous feedback and dedicated support to help you reach your retention and recruiting goals, WorkHound has all the tools you need to transform your company culture.
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