Disrupting Turnover: How to Identify Your “At-Risk” Drivers

preventing driver turnover with smiling man

When it comes to employee turnover, you could say that the trucking industry has been ahead of the game. While many other industries are now seeing employees leave their current jobs for new ones as part of a “workplace reshuffle” of sorts, worker fluctuation in the trucking industry has long been the norm.

There’s an old saying that drivers can be happy on a Monday, have an issue pop up on a Tuesday, and move on to a new employer by Friday. You’re likely acutely aware of this unfortunate industry trend.

So, how can your trucking company stay ahead of potential turnover? You’ll first need to identify drivers who are at risk of leaving. Here’s how:

Step 1: Cultivate a Robust Feedback Culture

When it comes to improving retention rates, a properly utilized feedback program can be your best friend. After all, the best way to know what your drivers want and need is to ask them!

Implementing a feedback mechanism like WorkHound, where drivers can provide their thoughts and concerns in real-time, can be a game-changer. But how successful your feedback program is will depend on the way you use it.

It’s not enough to simply implement a feedback tool. A successful program will be integrated as part of company policies and procedures, the same way you would launch a new benefits program or time off policy. To function well, a feedback program requires buy-in from every member of your team, including those at every level of leadership.

Within your company, someone needs to be responsible for quickly reviewing feedback sent in by drivers and determining a strategy for a response. In some cases, feedback may need only a simple fix, but in others, you’ll need to take more comprehensive action. 

Keep the feedback program front and center, and make using it easy and simple. Incorporate training on using WorkHound into your driver training curriculum, including new driver onboarding and ongoing training. 

When teaching drivers about how WorkHound works, emphasize how it benefits them — and the company as a whole. Reiterate that it can be accessed at any time from a mobile device, so it’s literally at their fingertips.

It’s also important to remind drivers that their feedback is anonymous, and they should feel encouraged to provide their honest and unfiltered thoughts, without fear of reprisal. At the same time, though, let them know that there will be times when you may ask them to reveal their identity after leaving feedback.

This part is important. The Request-to-Reveal feature in the WorkHound platform is a vital part of helping companies retain employees who may be at risk of leaving. Last year, trucking carriers using our platform retained 8,700 employees by addressing driver comments using this feature — an increase of more than 3,500 over the year 2020.

While offering the ability to be anonymous is a key part of building driver trust, having drivers reveal their identity at times can help companies intervene to offer one-on-one solutions. In cases where drivers don’t wish to reveal, the One-Time-Message feature can also be helpful, allowing companies to provide drivers with details that can help resolve their concerns.

Step 2: Know the Signs of a Driver at Risk

Now you know how to implement a driver feedback program in a meaningful way, but how will you know when a driver is at risk of jumping ship? These signs can be a red flag:

  • The driver said so. The years of the pandemic have been challenging for nearly everyone, and drivers are especially stressed and burnt out. Our 2021 feedback trends report demonstrated that — more than one-third of all comments were negative. And increasingly, drivers are clearly stating in their feedback that they’re angry and planning to leave.
  • The driver provides feedback about hot-button topics. In analyzing thousands of pieces of feedback, we found that feedback related to some topics usually requires immediate intervention on the part of the company. This includes comments related to pay, logistics, communication, equipment, and people.
  • The driver comments about problems with training. Drivers who share feedback related to training are 50% more likely to leave a company. That’s often because there are deficits in the training a company is providing, and drivers may feel unsafe or unprepared to handle certain situations or environments. Training on electronic devices and other technologies that may differ from company to company is a particular area of concern.
  • The driver shares feedback about benefits. Benefits are a common impetus for questions and frustrations from drivers. Ultimately, if benefits don’t align with what drivers need or what they thought they were receiving, those drivers can be at risk of leaving. But interestingly enough, comments related to benefits offer a significant opportunity for companies to take action and keep drivers satisfied. Nearly 80% of drivers who offered feedback in 2021 about benefits stayed around through the end of the year after their issue was resolved.
  • All comments from a driver are negative. If a driver is regularly providing feedback, but all the feedback is negative in tone and topic, that can be a sign that intervention is needed. One-on-one interaction with a driver to nail down the root cause of frustrations can make a difference in a situation like this.

Hearing from your drivers themselves can help you identify problems in need of solutions. Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!

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