At WorkHound, we’re in the business of soliciting feedback and helping our clients act on it. And while feedback and action taken can look different from customer to customer, we wanted to share a few examples of successful programs that were created in response to feedback from drivers.
1. Pay structure. This one’s a big one since the trucking industry represents a significant departure from how pay works in nearly every other industry. Drivers often express concerns about the way pay is calculated or whether they’re set up for financial success. Companies then have an opportunity to make changes to allow drivers to feel more financially stable and solid.
“When drivers have expressed concerns about pay structure, some companies have taken that as an opportunity to reassess pay and consider new options, like a guaranteed compensation plan,” says Katherine Vanderford, Director of Customer Success at WorkHound. “In other words, if you’re available to do the runs but aren’t scheduled, you’ll still get paid at least a certain predetermined amount.”
2. Programs to promote mental health. Because drivers are often on the road for long periods of time, loneliness can creep in and often impacts driver performance. Another factor when spending lots of time driving is burnout, which can affect a person’s physical and mental health.
Companies can take action to combat both of these issues — for example, many companies have enacted ridealong guest policies or pet policies to counteract loneliness on the road. As far as burnout, several different approaches have been effective.
“Drivers who are over the road for a long time are much more likely to experience burnout,” Vanderford says. “If they’re burnt out, they’ll look for new jobs, and the company’s retention rate will suffer. Some companies have enacted specific days on/days off policies, while others have given drivers floating holidays, promoting time off to rest. It takes a little extra attention from companies to determine the best solution for this problem, but it can be as simple as encouraging drivers to take time off.”
3. Uniforms. The clothing drivers are required to wear is also a big topic of feedback, and you get feedback on both sides of the spectrum. Some drivers want a more casual look, while others are looking for a more professional appearance.
“Sometimes drivers will say ‘I want to be able to represent my company better and I don’t know how to put my best foot forward in my appearance,’” Vanderford says. “That has led to companies providing new uniforms — sometimes as simple as a T-shirt or a collared shirt — or we’ve even seen some companies decide they’re no longer going to force drivers to wear long pants since it’s so hot in the summer months.”
Ready to Implement a Feedback Plan?
Now that you’ve heard some feedback successes, you may be interested in beginning a feedback program at your business. The good news is that obtaining feedback from your drivers and other employees can be fairly straight-forward. Getting the feedback you need is usually as simple as asking.
“If you ask drivers what they need, they’ll tell you,” Vanderford says. “By starting the conversation and letting drivers know that the company is truly interested in what they want, it helps get good feedback. It encourages drivers to be very direct and specific in their feedback so that it’s actionable.”
Companies partnering with WorkHound have an additional tool that helps solicit this feedback in a way that helps drivers feel comfortable — and gets companies the feedback they need.
“Our questions open-ended to avoid introducing bias,” Vanderford says. “This helps make sure drivers don’t hone in and feel constricted to answer only about one topic.”
Once you’ve started asking drivers what they need to perform their jobs optimally and maintain quality of life, you’ll receive important information that can help you enact change. This might take shape in new policies and programs that can help retain existing drivers and entice new ones to join the team.
If you’re looking to boost your hiring and retention of drivers based on driver feedback, WorkHound is a great place to begin. Contact us today to learn about how your company could benefit from employee engagement!