There’s a massive problem with driver retention in the trucking industry, but most companies are hesitant to seek any outside help about it. This creates an “if you ignore it, it will go away” situation where companies heavily invest in recruitment but almost completely ignore retaining their drivers.
But the problems are here to stay and they can only be changed if companies actively work on them. Before we jump into solutions for the driver retention problem, let’s look at the current state of the trucking industry data.
There are multiple problems when it comes to driver retention. The following data explains it the best:
A demanding lifestyle of a truck driver is a major cause of the driver retention problem. But this is also the area where companies can most likely influence a solution. Companies can do a lot to improve workplace conditions and driver retention, from better salary structures to leveraging new technologies to improving culture. So let’s look in detail at the ways a company can improve its driver retention plan/strategy/vision.
Instead of investing only in recruiting new talent, the companies will need to start investing in retaining that talent. As we have seen from the numbers above, there’s a massive shortage of truck drivers and the company’s priority needs to become retention. Here are four ways a company can do that:
Did you know that there are at least 11 types of truck driver pay? It’s no wonder that truck drivers get confused and don’t understand their salary structures.
“What we know is that when drivers are clear in the understanding about pay and how it works and how much they can expect to be paid, they are more satisfied with their work and ultimately the company they work with.” — Max Farrell, WorkHound CEO and co-founder.
Companies will need to simplify the way that they structure the wages for their truck drivers if they want to retain them. Drivers want to eliminate any unproductive or unpaid time and the clearer understanding they have about the salary incentives and structure, the less unproductive time they will have.
Companies will need to invest in job safety to increase driver retention. Out of the 25 deadliest occupations in the US, being a truck driver ranks seventh. A couple of things companies can do to increase safety are:
Companies will need to change the internal and external image that they have as trucking companies.
The internal image is about adopting a more professional outlook toward their truck drivers and investing time and education into them. This will help with driver retention. In addition, we at WorkHound, have given voice to thousands of truck drivers through our anonymous feedback platform.
“It’s little things, like listening and working with the drivers every day a little more. WorkHound gives us a guide on how to get out of our own way.” — Casey Lehman, Director of Recruiting and Retention at Fort Transfer.
The external image is about branding and the public image about the job. Since there’s a big shortage of truck drivers, the companies will need to invest in communication channels with the public (like social media) to increase the number of quality applicants for the available jobs.
Companies will need to leverage new technologies that help out in every facet of their business. Here are a couple of innovations that your company can leverage:
Most trucking companies invest heavily into recruiting new people for work. But as we have seen, there’s a massive truck driver shortage, with driver turnover above 95%. Companies who haven’t already will need to start re-allocating some of their recruitment funds into retaining their drivers because driver retention is the new recruiting.
If you want more help with driver retention, you can have a quick chat with one of our driver retention experts.