Covenant Logistics is reshaping company culture with WorkHound
Vice President of Driver Enterprise Recruiting and Talent Acquisition
Covenant Logistics, a 3PL provider with over 3,200 drivers and 2,400 trucks, operates nationwide and offers warehousing services with nearly 900 warehouse employees. Since its inception, the company has been dedicated to improving employee retention and creating a positive work environment for its workforce. But in the logistics industry, where retention has long been challenging, that’s sometimes an uphill battle. When the company wanted to improve retention, the team knew they wanted to start from the inside out.
Charged with improving the status quo in an industry dogged by retention challenges, Covenant’s Vice President of Driver Enterprise Recruiting and Talent Acquisition, Matt Duncan, and Vice President of Enterprise Retention, Lathen Whited, decided they needed a team dedicated exclusively to the cause. So they built one.
“While retention is everybody’s responsibility in an organization, we’ve got a team that is focused on that every single day,” explains Matt. “They wake up, and that’s what they’re doing: working on employee retention.”
The team quickly identified a need for better communication with frontline employees. They also recognized that they needed a process to address raised concerns swiftly. “Everybody thinks they really know why they have turnover. And you have a gut feeling…You have a little history, but you don’t really know why the driver left,” says Whited. “Once we began to work with WorkHound, results surfaced almost immediately.”
“You can go in the dashboard and you can actually see the comments and the conversation that led up to the driver departing. But, it also gives you the ability to be able to offset that before it occurs. And to me, that’s huge..”
Lathen Whited Vice President of Enterprise Retention
“Having the right contacts and people that you work and partner with creating stability and transparency is huge. It’s great to have a third-party set of eyes to make sure you’re looking at everything correctly and identify if anything was missed.”
Vice President of Enterprise Retention
Covenant’s team first implemented WorkHound with its Dedicated Fleet, which employs over 1,000 drivers. Encouraged by initial positive feedback, Covenant Logistics extended WorkHound to its Expedited driver group, another 1700+ drivers, and then to its Warehouse teams, another 430 workers. This ramp-up expansion allowed the Covenant retention team to gather insights and improve the experience for their entire workforce, providing visibility and engagement. The platform also helped the carrier establish a streamlined data-driven process for addressing feedback as it came through.
“You can go in the dashboard and you can actually see the comments and the conversation that led up to the driver departing,” explains Whited. “But, it also gives you the ability to be able to offset that before it occurs. And to me, that’s huge.”
Prior to WorkHound, Covenant had worked with retention specialists and driver managers to address
workplace challenges, but the company did not have a good way to store and access the data. “With 3,500 drivers you can’t use an Excel spreadsheet and be able to keep up with everything that you need to keep up with. It’s impossible,” recalls Lathen. WorkHound was able to fill this need, providing a comprehensive tool for both data capture and data access.
Whited also noted how WorkHound helped develop a more driver-centric culture over time. “A driver may have been upset three weeks ago over pay, and maybe that got resolved. But, 30 days down the line, now they’re upset because the truck had a breakdown. And it’s the combination of those two factors that lead to the turnover,” he said. By using WorkHound to capture feedback over time, the retention team had considerably more visibility into everything, solving problems with better context and improving the status quo. “Because you’re not just focused on a single item, you’re focused on multiple items over a period of time.”
Leveraging feedback through the WorkHound platform to make key workplace changes, Covenant has retained 1,000 more drivers year over year, comparing 2022 data with 2023 — equating to nearly a third of its driver workforce! In interviews with Lathen and Matt, they attributed their success with the platform to a few different dynamics.
Lathen also added that WorkHound’s customer support and ongoing assistance primed their team for success. “Having the right contacts and people that you work and partner with creating stability and transparency is huge,” he explains. “It’s great to have a third-party set of eyes to make sure you’re looking at everything correctly and identify if anything was missed.”
In their interviews, both Matt and Lathen separately said that the only regret they have is not deploying WorkHound sooner.
With WorkHound’s help, the Covenant team was able to identify and address several key issues affecting different sectors of their workforce, ultimately supporting communications, healthy workplace culture, and improved retention.
The Covenant team uncovered a trend regarding an overtime policy that was negatively affecting equipment availability. After learning of the problem, they made changes to the policy for better efficiency.
Issues regarding equipment assignment, maintenance and repair expediency, and work allocation came to light with WorkHound feedback. Understanding how these problems affected team members gave managers a roadmap for how to fix them.
WorkHound feedback identified different logistical trends, like fuel books and navigation systems being outdated, prompting the company to explore updates.
Through WorkHound feedback, managers discovered shortcomings in the company’s attendance policy, prompting implementation of a revised policy to accommodate reasonable policy change requests.
Initially, communication was a major complaint among employees. In response, Covenant created a communication series to keep drivers more informed, which helped to drive a measurable shift in communication sentiment from negative to neutral.
WorkHound's optional reveal feature helped resolve individual worker concerns, like accessing PTO and getting a new water cooler for common areas, leading to overall improved relations and communication.
WorkHound's platform continues to be an invaluable tool for Covenant Logistics, enabling the talent retention team to uncover and address workforce challenges, improve communication, build company culture, and ultimately, keep more workers on board. Through WorkHound's partnership, the company has found a solution that prioritizes employee satisfaction in a way that builds a stronger and more successful workforce.