How to Address the Driver Shortage

driver shortage

For many years now, the alarm bell about the truck driver shortage has been ringing, but what are the practical steps to address this shortage that you can take?

As we concluded in a recent blog post, the best strategy for you as a trucking company is to focus on retention first, and recruiting second. In this post, we’ll show you how the drivers you currently have are the major key to the growth of your business, with 5 practical steps you can take to address the driver shortage.

1. Understand the power of your drivers

As the market’s demand to move over 10 billion tons of freight every year continues to increase and the truck driver shortage is estimated to reach about 175,000 by 2026, it is critical that you understand the value of drivers to your company. 

The cost to replace one driver is between $5000 – $8000, a fraction of which, if spent on retention programs, can generate great results. The drivers you currently have are very valuable and should be treated that way. 

2. Create working systems for communication and feedback

Establishing open communication channels is the best way to learn and understand your drivers’ needs. Companies are usually quick to implement all kinds of rewards and incentive-based packages that drivers may not really want. 

Our top-tier advice is to always listen to your drivers. Hear from them what their needs are, and plan your incentives and packages around their feedback. 

You can refer to our post on how to improve retention to learn practical steps you can take to establish open feedback and communication channels within your company. 

3. Address issues promptly

When you receive pressing issues from your drivers, do not delay in addressing them. A prompt resolution of issues will prevent small issues from becoming bigger over time.

This helps build loyalty and a sense of belonging as drivers begin to feel valued when they see that the issues they raised were addressed quickly.

4. Keep your promises to your drivers

Nothing destroys trust like broken promises especially in aspects concerning issues raised or feedback given. If you promise to “do something about it”, then ensure that you are able to do something about it. 

A better way to approach this would be to request suggestions from drivers on practical steps you can take to resolve an issue and implement their feedback. This will help create a sense of belonging among your drivers.

5. Empower your drivers by listening to them

Drivers know what needs to be done to make them happier on the job. They know what needs to change within your company to stimulate growth. Be sure to always listen to them and take their feedback into consideration when planning.

As market demand continues to grow every year and the number of truck drivers grows far slower, it is crucial that you understand the value of your drivers and empower them to positively impact their business and industry.

If you’d like to learn how continuous driver feedback has helped Bay & Bay Transportation not only retain but GROW their fleet, download this case study.

driver culture, driver feedback, driver retention, driver shortage, driver turnover

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