Despite a company’s best efforts to create a comprehensive onboarding and training program, there will always be something that’s left out or undertrained. And often, these gaps in knowledge can be disruptive and even dangerous, both to the employee and to overall operations.
But by maintaining a driver feedback program and coaching employees on how to use that feedback program during onboarding, companies can help mitigate some of these issues. Employees who feel empowered to ask questions and raise concerns can help identify problems before they become more serious, allowing for additional training.
Why is taking this step so important? Read on as we take a look at how feedback can help improve and enhance training.
Anytime you implement a program or procedure within your trucking company, you logically want to know why it should be done and how it can help.
We talk a lot about the benefits of having a continuous employee feedback program for drivers from a broader viewpoint. But having a way to provide feedback at their fingertips is particularly beneficial to drivers when they’re first joining the company. Here’s why:
On day one with a new company, a driver experiences a bit of a paradox — the positive feeling of having a blank slate and the negative feeling of being new. Introducing a way to interact with the company’s leadership team and get necessary information from day one can help eliminate that negative, and it also provides leadership with valuable details to improve training where needed.
“Communication through a feedback program can help encourage better onboarding by building a sense of belonging for drivers, a sense that their perspective is trusted,” says Max Farrell, CEO at WorkHound. “Think about it this way: The most excited drivers will be about what a company has to offer is right after they sign on. It’s a really opportune time to ask drivers what they are seeing and feeling.”
As we noted above, new drivers — and really, new employees in general — often feel a little adrift when they first come on board. That’s totally normal, but also something that can be managed.
While training during the onboarding period is an important way of sharing guidelines and resources with new team members, introducing a feedback program and teaching drivers how to use it is also important. In doing so, you train drivers about the best and easiest way to reach out to those who can answer their questions and take action when needed. Having that point of contact is essential for success.
This point may be the most obvious benefit! When you introduce your drivers to a feedback tool in the first days of their employment, they have a chance to spot any problems or gaps in their onboarding and report them to the company.
This provides trucking carriers with invaluable information they may otherwise miss, since drivers are the ones literally in the driver’s seat and using the procedures in question.
“Having a feedback program in place also helps companies track concerns and their own trends,” Farrell says. “What’s measured gets managed. Having feedback related to onboarding can help them make changes that make the process more effective for future employees.”
Need another reason to provide your drivers with a feedback tool from day one? It can make or break your retention efforts when it comes to new hires.
“In our year-end trends report last year, we discovered that 47% of employees left the company after providing feedback related to training,” Farrell says. “While that seems stark, it shows the importance of making sure your training efforts are thorough and strong. When drivers share feedback about their training, you have a critical opportunity to step in and take meaningful action.”
Use real-time feedback to give your company’s training efforts a boost and improve retention. Sign up for a free demo to learn how WorkHound can help!