Payroll: A Key Component of an Effective Driver Retention Strategy


Not only does a great payroll manager control finances, they can play an important role in the war against turnover.


If you’ve dived into the deep end of driver retention—or even if you’ve just stuck your toe in the shallow end—you’ve probably come to the realization that it’s tricky business.

People are hard to put a fine point on. What motivates one person might not motivate someone else.

But there’s a common thread that motivates nearly everyone: money.

You can try different ways to build driver retention and driver engagement all you’d like, but if the paychecks are coming late (if at all), nothing will stick. You can’t be a credible company, attract drivers and retain them if you can’t pay them.

That just drives home a very important point: a good payroll manager is worth their weight in gold.

While every HR team is different—some teams have a dedicated payroll manager while others don’t—each has to manage the incredibly delicate task of ensuring people get paid.

And, for drivers, how payroll managers do their job can be a make-or-break issue.

Why a Great Payroll Person Is Important

Simply put, personnel costs and payroll are the greatest expenditure of any organization. And issues regarding pay are a top reason that drivers decide to hang up their keys and go to a different company.

Being the point person for the greatest single cost of a company and the go-to person for driver complaints is a great deal of pressure. So it’s no wonder that having a great payroll person on your team can make all the difference for your people.

The best trait of a payroll manager isn’t simply about navigating correct payments, understanding the calculations behind mileage pay, or even a mastery of the nuances behind benefits and fees. Rather, it’s empathy.

The Importance of Empathy

No matter the industry, as far back as money has existed, it’s always tied together with emotion. Money isn’t just a number in a bank account, it’s food on the table, a summer vacation with the kids or a nice gift for the spouse.

When any of those things are threatened by a payroll mistake, you’ve got problems.

An empathetic payroll person can be a huge boost for driver engagement. When they stay calm during driver calls, address possible errors before they blossom into something larger and keep poise throughout, their empathy and care can be a huge benefit for the whole organization.

As Jayson Boyers writes in Forbes, empathy is a crucial part of business, even though it might not feel like it.

“Although it may be unlike any practice you have ever used within your business, empathy in the workplace creates and encourages sharing ideas free from the fear of ridicule,” said Boyers. “If we are to keep our businesses relevant and our consumers happy, we must embrace empathy and let it be the force that drives us forward.”

Still, payroll can only do so much by themselves.

How Feedback Can Help

Payroll is nearly always based at headquarters, removing them from the realities of on-the-road life. When they check out at 5 p.m., drivers are still out on the road—and complications with payroll can still arise outside of regular business hours.

With WorkHound, the anonymous driver feedback platform, drivers can provide real-time insight about payroll concerns—and any other issues they might have—right when they have them. Not only does this break down barriers and reduce the likelihood of driver turnover, it helps payroll departments optimize their own processes and make an even better business.

Find out about the power of WorkHound for yourself—schedule your free 15-minute consultation now!

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