Reaching the Silent Majority: Why Your Drivers Aren’t Speaking Up

In the world of surveying and polling, there’s a major problem: sampling error.

Let’s say in politics you’re trying to get a handle on whether people are more likely to vote for Candidate A or Candidate B. If you just called people in Candidate A’s hometown, you’re likely to get skewed results.

By spreading out the people you survey, you get a broader, more accurate perspective of what the results are likely to be.

Still, many modern companies are committing the same sin: they’re only taking feedback from a select few. By omitting the silent majority, you’re missing out on what the real issues are.

Your Company’s Silent Majority

A silent majority can be loosely defined as an unspecified large group of people who do not express their opinions publicly. To borrow an idiom, they’re the non-squeaking wheels—and they don’t get the grease.

Sure, your company has an open door policy. And you’re sure to let your drivers know, from day one, that your door is always open if there are any concerns.

And while you might have a handful of drivers that are taking advantage of this benefit (20 to 30 percent, for instance), the majority of your drivers don’t embrace it.

And that’s a major sampling error—the people who do make their concerns heard are not always representative of the concerns of your company as a whole. They just have the wherewithal to tell you about it.

For the silent majority, that means a lot of silent miles, brooding over concerns, and, eventually, an early return to headquarters to drop off the keys to the truck. And, at the cost of $5,000 to $8,000 to replace just one driver, that’s incredibly costly to companies like yours.

For carriers, understanding the reasons why this silent majority exists is key to lowering turnover.

Why The Silent Majority Stays Silent

If you’re interested in learning why the silent majority stays silent, put yourself in their shoes. Often, an open door policy might feel like an invitation, but can feel like a chore for your drivers to participate in.

Worse yet, there might be other barriers:

  • Drivers might not have great rapport with staff. If you don’t like the people at headquarters, they won’t stick around to talk with you.
  • It’s out of their way. Hang out at headquarters to talk to their boss or head home to the family—the choice is clear.
  • It’s intimidating. Having a one-on-one conversation with anyone who controls their career is always a hard thing.
  • They feel like they could get in trouble. You say your conversation is anonymous, but is it? Fear of retaliation in trucking is a very real thing.

In other words, the silent majority has a number of reasons—justified, in their mind—to stay completely silent.

And when their feedback fails to get heard, not only do your turnover rates skyrocket, but you miss out on actionable information needed to improve your business and provide a better service to your valued customers.

So, how can you effectively reach the silent majority?

How to Reach the Silent Majority

When your people aren’t speaking up at the opportunities you’ve made available to them, that just means you need to find a simpler, more discrete way to let their voice be heard.

So why not focus on where they are now—on their smartphones?

By letting drivers speak their mind through an anonymous driver feedback platform, it becomes easier than ever to get to the heart of your drivers’ concerns.

Reduce the friction and improve the ability for your drivers to give you feedback. In turn, you’ll create a better environment for them.

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