“Employee engagement” is one of those terms you hear on a frequent basis. But what does it really mean? And why does it matter to companies like yours?
It’s easier to think about it in a different context.
When you were a kid, you had favorite subjects in school. Math class was a total chore, English was so-so, but history was incredible. The teacher was cool, and he made the subject come alive.
So, which class—math, English or history—do you remember the most from? History, of course. When you’re engaged with what you do, you remember more and accomplish more. That’s a fact.
And, in the workforce, keeping your drivers engaged has real, substantial benefits.
But, in terms of profits, what are those benefits? Let’s take a closer look at how keeping your drivers engaged can be a source of additional ROI for your company.
It can be easy to confuse engagement and satisfaction. In the eyes of many companies, they get lower billing than other priorities, or that engagement is a “want” rather than a “need.”
Engagement is defined as “the emotional attachment employees feel towards their place of work, job role, position within the company, colleagues, and culture.” Satisfaction, on the other hand, can be roughly summarized as “happy.”
When people feel their work and position has real meaning to the company, and their voice is being heard, they’re much more satisfied with their work.
And when your people are satisfied with their work, they value you as an employer.
Here’s a statistic that cuts to the heart of the matter: one in four employees say they don’t trust their employer at all.
“Trust is really the expectation that workers can count on and rely on their organization,” wrote Gretchen Gavett in a Harvard Business Review article. “(It) involves a lot of things, including past interactions with their company, whether they feel like things are done fairly, openness in communication, whether their values are consistent with the company’s values, the reliability of the company, and their perceptions of their company’s motives.”
If those themes—transparency, fairness and reliability—sound familiar to drivers that have left your team, trust might be at the root of employee dissatisfaction.
It’s important to remember that building trust is hard, but losing trust can only take one wrong action. That’s why becoming and remaining a company that works to ensure a satisfied, trusting team of drivers is so important.
When your drivers are engaged with their work, are satisfied while working and trust their employer, they stick around longer.
When people stay on your team rather than hitting the road, that correlates to profitability.
It’s a well-documented truth, but it remains stunning: on the whole, the trucking industry faces a 97% year-over-year turnover rate. This percentage includes all drivers, but new drivers (who have been with a company for less than 90 days) are more inclined to change companies even more frequently (a 300% rate for some carriers).
In short, keeping turnover low puts money back in your pocket that would otherwise be walking out the door.
Every new driver you don’t have to train—an industry average of $5,000 to $8,000, not to mention trucks sitting empty—saves you thousands of dollars.
Keeping your valued drivers on your team is easier than you might think. Listening to driver feedback and taking what your drivers have to say into consideration is imperative to building satisfaction, trust, and engagement.
Give your drivers the tools they need to be heard, and you’ll see the bottom-line benefit of an engaged workforce.
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