We frequently hear success stories for companies that started with next to nothing and then grew into something significant. That’s truly the case for Cheema Freightlines, which was founded in 2006 with one truck and one trailer.
In the decade and a half since, the company has become a leader in trucking on the West Coast, operating more than 320 trucks and 950 trailers. It’s no surprise that running an operation of that size — and managing a combination of company trucks and owner-operators — requires a good bit of investment into the workforce.
One of Cheema’s secrets to recent success? Adding WorkHound into the mix. Harman Cheema, CEO at Cheema Freightlines, offers some insight in our latest Heroes of the Hound interview.
WorkHound: How did you begin working with WorkHound?
Cheema: We were looking at a few different methods of communication with drivers. Coming from a small company and evolving into a bigger company, we could no longer simply call people on their phones.
We were losing the ability to learn “what’s going on,” and we needed some way to have a survey of sorts going on all the time. We wanted something that wasn’t too corporate and that gave us an open dialogue with drivers, and that’s what we found with WorkHound.
WorkHound: How has WorkHound helped you maintain your company culture during the pandemic?
Cheema: We get more feedback than we’ve ever received in the past, with no doubt. But it’s really helped us to communicate with our drivers in a different way. Communicating by text is a lot more comfortable for drivers, they’re more willing to participate.
WorkHound has helped us get to know the drivers who aren’t the loud ones — the ones who are more quiet and simply get their work done. We’re able to get feedback from people who might not ever participate in any other type of feedback program because they don’t have that personality to knock on the door and share.
WorkHound: Have you been able to implement changes in the company based on the feedback you’ve received from drivers?
Cheema: It’s given us an opportunity to sit down once a week and go through the comments we’ve received. We can walk through them all 30 minutes at a time, and then we break off and come up with action items.
Having the feedback allows us to slow down and go over what the drivers are telling us. It’s been so good for us to hear about problems and concerns that we wouldn’t have been able to hear about in the past.
WorkHound: How does having a tool like WorkHound help you build trust with your drivers?
Cheema: Once the drivers buy into the fact that this is a good tool, we’re able to have a two-way communication that we wouldn’t have had before. We hear from the “silent” drivers.
When we can, we take action quickly — it doesn’t need to wait until next week. If a driver reveals and there’s something we can do to solve a problem, we want to do that. That lets drivers see that what they’re sharing matters.
Our best practice is regularly going through the feedback and thinking about how often we’re seeing the same feedback. Then we start having conversations with our customers and internally about what our drivers are seeing and sharing.
Our culture is very strong, but that’s due in part to the communication we’re able to have. We’re able to sell WorkHound during driver orientation, get them to subscribe, and send them the message that when they share concerns, we all see it.
WorkHound: What’s the biggest benefit of working with WorkHound?
Cheema: Having a tool where drivers can share at any time is the single biggest benefit. They may be super happy today but have a problem pop up tomorrow. This gives them the ability to get in touch with us quickly, without having to try and get someone on the phone.
It’s also great to know that no matter how much we grow, we have a feedback tool in place that will grow with us.
Cheema Freightlines 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.
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