All feedback has value. But there’s a tremendous upside to anonymous driver feedback — both for the employees providing the feedback and the companies that receive it.
Despite those benefits, though, there’s still some resistance related to feedback that can’t be tied back to a specific employee. We get many questions from trucking companies about whether anonymous feedback will keep them from taking the necessary action to retain employees and reduce turnover.
To that question, we say: why?
For drivers who join your company after years in the industry, many have developed apprehensions related to sharing their thoughts and questions. This lack of trust develops for many reasons, including past experience with companies that were less than forthright or maybe they truly have received retaliation for feedback in the past.
Offering drivers an anonymous way to share their insights shows them your company is different from the get-go.
“A channel for anonymous driver feedback helps boost driver confidence,” says Katie Love, Marketing Manager at WorkHound. “By the nature of complex relationships between drivers and their frontline of communication, there are a lot of assumptions about how both sides see each other. Offering an anonymous mechanism creates a safe space for drivers to express exactly what is concerning them or why they’re considering leaving their company.”
At the root of those assumptions is an innate bias, one that can be overcome by receiving and acting on “nameless” feedback.
“It’s just the nature of the business that drivers don’t always feel comfortable being 100% honest in offering feedback or criticism,” Love says. “Part of that is because of the industry itself and their experiences with other companies. If a driver has a concern about a front office bias, that driver isn’t going to be comfortable attaching their name to feedback”
Ultimately, anonymous driver feedback means biases are avoided, action is taken, and trust is built.
While there’s an understandable hesitation to anonymity, companies we work with quickly see that there are many positives from it. The most obvious? Honest, unfiltered feedback.
“Carriers are still able to make real change happen despite not knowing who is behind the feedback,” Love says. “The bottom line is that the feedback can’t be coming from anywhere else — it has to be coming from the drivers, AND it already exists even if you aren’t asking for it. By admitting that the feedback is real…that perception is reality…they’re helping make real change happen.”
Meaningful, honest feedback is a shortcut. It helps companies avoid assumptions, which ultimately helps them avoid excess time and money lost. In an industry that’s known for high turnover, feedback from drivers s a gift.
“Sometimes drivers just need to have their problem fixed,” Love says. “They don’t want to have a long, drawn-out conversation about it. They’re telling us the problem, and they’re looking for a solution. Drivers are communicating their feedback to give you an opportunity to fix it. They’re giving you a second chance.”
While we’ve mentioned bias in the context of helping drivers overcome it, implicit bias permeates many businesses, trucking companies included. Allowing for anonymous feedback gives companies a chance to overcome that bias, while also still enacting solutions that solve driver (and company) problems.
“When drivers are able to provide feedback, then a dialogue begins and it helps companies and drivers overcome cancel culture for one another,” Love adds.
The very act of offering an outlet for anonymous driver feedback can pay off in driver trust over time. Take this example from a WorkHound partner.
Using a one-time notification, where the company can respond to a driver’s comment through the WorkHound dashboard while keeping the driver anonymous, the company was able to get to the root of a problem and find a solution.
“A driver at the company left a somewhat scathing review,” Love says. “The user at the company direct-messaged the driver using a one-time notification and provided his phone number so the driver could call him back. He did call him, and they had a good, long conversation. This helped turn the situation around, and in that conversation, the driver even referred another driver to the company.”
Anonymous feedback doesn’t equal a lack of results. Ready to implement a better way of communicating with your drivers? Sign up for a free demo to learn how we can help!