Top 2019 Driver Appreciation Week Strategies from GATS

The Great American Trucking Show is an interactive public convention of trucking professionals, held in Dallas, TX annually in August. Its purpose is to create an energizing environment entirely focused on the improvement of the trucking industry. The WorkHound team attends annually to meet with industry experts to stay on top of trends.

While much of the focus of the convention is on recruiting, WorkHound dug into the proactive approach to understand how experts are shifting focus to retention.

Experts from dozens of top trucking companies shared innovative driver retention ideas with the WorkHound team, including how they’re tackling Driver Appreciation Week in 2019.

To add to your list of tactics, here are some ways carriers at GATS are taking charge of Driver Appreciation Week this year:

  • Celebrating Milestones: One carrier is celebrating a major anniversary and in crediting the drivers for years of success, the celebration will culminate with giveaways of premium prizes, including a new pick-up truck, a bass fishing boat, or a Polaris ATV.
  • Company BBQ: Because it can be challenging to get all of the drivers together at once, daily grill outs are open to all drivers to take a moment to press pause, enjoy a nice meal, and get to know other drivers.
  • Take Drivers to Lunch: Fleet managers schedule lunch meetings with drivers during Driver Appreciation Week to get one-on-one face time that isn’t easy to achieve on a regular basis. This gives managers the chance to get to know the drivers on a more personal level without the on-the-go mentality to distract from necessary workplace camaraderie.
  • Gift Cards: Identify places of business that are easy-to-access for drivers on the road and distribute gift cards to encourage drivers to break-up their routine on Driver Appreciation Week.
  • Door Prizes: Find creative ways to offer entries for prizes for drivers. Think of safety and mileage incentives to grant additional entries. The door prizes can be as simple as gift cards for Love’s or as elaborate as installing new mini-fridges and televisions in a driver’s cab.
  • Driver Appreciation Culture: In the words of one carrier, “Driver appreciation isn’t a week, it’s a company lifestyle.” We know that drivers have an expectation for the effort you’re putting into this one week of the year. So this year, consider kicking off a new company policy to show your appreciation for drivers. Maybe you could start weekly lunch meetings, or maybe it’s time to take a hard look at the way your company is asking for feedback from drivers.

There are tons of ways to do something special for your fleet during this year’s Driver Appreciation Week. No matter how your company shows appreciation to drivers during Sept. 8-14, make sure the end goal is long-term and reaches far beyond just one week. If you really want to know how to show your drivers you appreciate them, ask! Take an eyes-wide-open approach to employee retention with WorkHound and get in touch today.

Special thanks to these companies for sharing actionable wisdom:

DART, Unimark, ArcBest, Diamond Transportation, Overbye Transport, Buchanan Hauling & Rigging, Cardinal Logistics, Leggett & Platt, XPO Logistics, Mohawk Industries, Clark Transfer, SRS Distribution


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