The Top 5 Truck Driver Retention Best Practices for 2024

According to industry data, truck driver retention is the most pivotal key to a logistics company’s success in 2024.

While technology focused on collecting data on truck drivers has been all the rage, drivers themselves are revolting against Big Brother-esque technology (think dash cams and ELDs) that provides scarce – if any – value to the drivers themselves.

The Importance of Truck Driver Retention

Amid a persistent driver shortage, every experienced driver who stays reduces the high cost and disruption of recruiting and training new ones. Improving driver retention rates directly correlates with enhanced operational efficiency and profitability for trucking companies.

Factors That Contribute to Driver Turnover

Truck driver turnover has long plagued the transportation industry, with annual turnover rates often surpassing 90% in some segments. This high turnover impacts not just the bottom line but also the ability of companies to provide consistent service. Key factors contributing to driver turnover include inadequate pay, insufficient home time, a perceived lack of respect, poor working conditions, and the feeling of being undervalued.

Furthermore, the increasing use of surveillance technologies such as dashcams has caused concern among drivers, who believe these tools are often used to monitor rather than support or improve safety.

Addressing these factors requires a thoughtful approach that goes beyond conventional methods of driver management. Instead of relying solely on surveillance and regulatory compliance to ensure performance, successful trucking companies are now focusing on creating a profound emphasis on truck driver retention. The best way to do so? We are about to show you.

The Top 5 Best Practices to Increase Truck Driver Retention for 2024

The following is a list of truck driver retention best practices curated from years of research by the Workhound team and our established partners like HireRight.

You can access deep dives on each of these subjects via our Resources page.  But at a high-level, the main driver retention best practices you need for 2024 are below.

Truck Driver Retention Best Practice #1. Truck Drivers’ Feedback

Asking for truck driver feedback may not seem like a radical advance forward for truck driver retention, but in fact, it’s the critical first step.

Truck drivers may or may not be full-time traditional employees for your business, but they must be treated as such. Where most transportation companies fail is in taking for granted the need for their drivers to be heard– just like any other employee.

Your truck drivers are no different from your sales reps, your management team, your accounting team, and so forth. They make your business go. Give them a forum to submit their thoughts and insights on how the business and running, and you’ll be shocked at how quickly the feedback will impact driver retention. Implementing this open-door policy for feedback is a strategic move to increase driver retention, demonstrating the value of listening to your drivers’ experiences and concerns.

Truck Driver Retention Best Practice #2. Act on Driver Feedback

Once you’ve solicited driver feedback, the next step is to act on it. Don’t let driver requests, complaints, concerns, or suggestions sit idle in the truck bay. If their feedback is actionable and valid, act upon it.

If it is lacking understanding, let them know why. Enlist the help of your operations, recruiting, and human resources talent to formulate a strategy for responding to driver feedback. This is where Workhound comes in.

Truck Driver Retention Best Practice #3. Build Dialogue, Rapport and Trust

The goal with all driver feedback-based communication should be to create a dialogue and rapport with your drivers. Dialogue and rapport are a means to an end – the ultimate goal is to build trust with your drivers.

Honest, open, and authentic communication is key here, and so is consistency and forum. Give your drivers a vehicle for clearing the air and expressing themselves to your management team. Collect insights from these conversations, so they can be used to influence future company practices and strategies.

Truck Driver Retention Best Practice #4. Provide Better Routes

Where possible, give drivers better routes that improve their work-life balance by letting them stay home more and avoid putting them on cross-country routes that lack consistency and proximity to their families.

Drivers have families, hobbies, holidays, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, and the like to attend, too. Give them more opportunities to be present for those special events. Give them more opportunities to keep semi-regular hours and spend time with their loved ones. This move will engender loyalty for all kinds of obvious reasons.

Truck Driver Retention Best Practice #5. Pay Them Better

Before you invest in some expensive logistics data solution. Before you give your office employees a raise. Remember this: emphasizing the critical role of driver pay in enhancing driver retention is paramount.

Reinvesting that money into truck driver compensation is going to generate major returns for your business in the form of happier, better-incentivized drivers who are more likely to stay loyal to your company. It’s the best place you can invest your money in 2024. Driver pay is a significant factor in driver retention and turnover, with the industry often experiencing high turnover rates due to competition between companies offering higher salaries. Drivers are empowered to seek better compensation packages and will readily switch companies for better offers, making it critical for driver satisfaction and retention.

An important final point on pay: make sure your compensation plan is clear. Truck drivers value that as much as anything, according to our 2017 survey.

Ready to make driver feedback and communication a massive competitive advantage for your transportation company?

Contact us to see how Workhound’s driver feedback solution can make your truck drivers happier, more productive, and more loyal to your company.

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