Trucking Industry: How to Retain Your Employees

The Trucking industry suffers from a massive 95% driver turnover rate. This means that 95 out of every 100 drivers you hire are going to quit. They may work for you for a few months or a few years, but eventually, they will seek other opportunities. You then must search for and hire new drivers, put them through your onboarding process, and work with them during their first few weeks of employment to help them understand your processes and regulations.

This, of course, costs you time and money. Companies spend anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 to bring on a new truck driver. If you’re doing that for 95 workers, you’re spending a minimum of almost $500,000 every year. Even smaller fleets see a turnover rate of more than 70%, which is still a very large amount of money.

What could you do with that money if you could spend it elsewhere? If you could save half a million dollars or more annually, you could grow your business, upgrade your technology, and much more. That’s where WorkHound comes in.

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WorkHound Makes the Difference

WorkHound works with leaders in the trucking industry to retain more professional drivers. We anonymously gather feedback from your drivers and other employees, compile it into useful information, and provide it to your leadership team. With this information, you can make more informed decisions that directly impact your employee retention. By using ongoing driver feedback to address uncertainty, you can improve your retention by 30%.

All it takes is being proactive in the way you address your employees’ needs. That starts, of course, with knowing what those needs are. Too many company leaders assume they understand what employees want. With WorkHound, you will know.

Our continuous driver feedback helps you simplify communication, pinpoint issues, and retain your workforce. Move past the point of assumption. With WorkHound, you can take action to improve your staff’s day-to-day experience and job satisfaction.

How does it work? Let’s take a look at the way we gather data and how this information can be used by executives to improve retention.

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“Drivers are happy to hear that we’re working on something. Even when it’s something that we can’t necessarily fix, having someone call and explain things to them can be very helpful. It’s about communication. It’s getting some kind of communication out to drivers who have reached out to us, letting them know that we hear them. As long as they know that someone is actively looking into something or working on it, that helps build trust.”

– Justin Cullars Media Manager, Total Transportation of Mississippi

Retain Your Vital Team Members

WorkHound understands that every member of your team is vital to your success. That’s why we collect information from as many employees as possible. With this information, we can build a better picture of what each part of your team needs. You can then design and implement solutions to improve retention in these various departments:

Drivers are the backbone of your company. Because they’re on the road and away from the office, however, you may not fully understand what additional tools or perks will help them do their jobs better. Even driver advocates may not be able to fully understand these needs without accurate data collected from the drivers. WorkHound can be their voice and provide this data, and by listening, you can improve driver retention and reduce costs.

Without a dedicated team of dispatchers, your drivers would be unorganized. Dispatchers do more than simply relay information—they work together to track your entire fleet and maximize its efficiency. When a dispatcher leaves, it can take months for their replacement to fully understand how your company operates and how to keep the moving parts of your business organized.

Without a good team of mechanics, you may end up with more trucks sitting on the lot than on the roads. If your retention rate is too low, however, you may rarely have enough experienced mechanics to keep up with all the maintenance and repairs needed. This can result in fewer trucks on the road and fewer profits coming in.

Similar to mechanics, technicians are necessary to ensure that your fleet of trucks is operating correctly. Technicians are often specialized, which can make it difficult to find skilled new hires if team members leave. Technicians must keep up with new technology and changes to the industry. If you don’t retain the best of these experts, it can negatively impact your overall fleet performance.

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How WorkHound Helps You Boost Retention

WorkHound employs several different strategies and tools to assist you with employee retention.

We make use of software tools to encourage communication between your employees and your leadership team. Our software is split into two parts: the messages and the dashboard. Employees get messages delivered straight to their phones via text. The messages will regularly ask the employees for feedback. This feedback is anonymous, and employees can submit anything from praise to questions to issues affecting their daily work.

From this feedback, leaders at your company can keep a pulse on their experience in real-time. With a dedicated customer success manager, you can build various reports that detail what your employees like, what they feel is lacking, and more. Your executives can then use this data to streamline processes and make decisions. Many employees use this form to submit questions. This helps you see what policies and other regulations are not clear, allowing you to improve documentation, training, and other resources.

By building up a system of communication and encouraging employees to provide feedback, you will begin to see a more complete picture of your company. This may reveal interesting blind spots that you were not aware of or highlight assumptions that aren’t correct. By learning about issues your team is facing and what needs they feel are not being met, you can begin crafting plans to address these items. Doing so can significantly boost your retention rate.

The trucking industry is unique in that your team is very rarely, if ever, in the same location at the same time. It’s even different from companies with a large number of virtual employees because truckers don’t necessarily work on the same schedule, nor do they work collaboratively on projects or join together for meetings. The culture this creates is unique. WorkHound understands this difference because we have spent so many years working with companies in the trucking industry. We know the nuances of the trucking industry and its unique needs. 

One key point we firmly understand is that this unique culture can lead to your drivers feeling as if they have no voice in the decision-making process. They may not believe they have any ownership in the company, and that leaves them feeling uninvested in its success.

WorkHound creates a more open and collaborative culture by giving everyone, regardless of their position, the opportunity to make their voice heard. The result is that everyone feels respected and that they are part of the process.

We build trust. Drivers and other team members need to know that leadership has their backs. They need to feel respected, valued, and safe. Employees want to feel secure in their employment, but that isn’t always the case. Learning what your staff wants and working with them to meet those needs builds trust and reduces the “us versus them” mentality that often affects frontline employees and management.

Part of building this trust is to create a system that places value on employees. This is what our technology is primarily aimed at—ensuring that everyone, no matter what role they play, feels that their time and skills are valued.

You can use the information gained from the WorkHound messages to do this in several ways. First, the feedback may highlight where compensation is lacking or what benefits employees wish they had but do not currently have access to. Some may have been burned at a previous employer and still feel the stress from being underpaid or going without insurance benefits. Others may be new to the industry and are uncertain how their pay even works. They may be hesitant to ask these questions for fear that management will think they don’t understand their job.

With anonymous feedback, you are more likely to get honest comments and questions. This gives you the opportunity to revise pay policies by adding clarity and ensuring that all pay is accurate. It also highlights any medical or mental health initiatives your employees need but that are not currently provided. Providing these services, especially if other employers have not, may boost retention more than a small pay raise.

Show Your Employees How Valued They Are with Our Driver Appreciation E-Book – Download now! It’s FREE!

WorkHound messages aren’t just for negative feedback, though. We encourage employees to provide positive feedback or shoutouts to co-workers who have gone above and beyond. This allows you to see what parts of your culture are healthy and working as intended. It also gives insight into which employees have management potential or may be open to taking on leadership roles.

While it’s vital to understand what isn’t working or what incentives are missing, it’s just as important to hear the positive. You can provide recognition to those employees who do boost morale and help others. Doing so makes these employees feel valued, improving the likelihood that they will remain with your company.

One of the keys to retention is to determine the right incentives. Employees expect certain things from their employer. Answering their questions and improving or correcting issues they report via those WorkHound messages will help you meet these expectations. However, many of your competitors may already be meeting or even exceeding expectations.

That’s where incentives come in. Incentives may be seen as going above and beyond what employees expect from a job. Using the praise and other information from the responses you get allows you to determine what incentives will have the best response from your team.

For example, if employees have commented that work/life balance is important to them, you may add more autonomous dispatching (or flex scheduling)  or time off. Drivers may indicate that comfort is important to them. They may be more inclined to stay with your company if you provide them with additional comforts such as high-quality blankets, refrigerators in their trucks, and other items.

This information should also help you identify the wrong assumptions you have. For example, employees may indicate that they don’t often use the coffee gift cards the company gives out for holidays or as awards for doing well. You may get better retention rates and feedback if you change this reward.

“We have seen our driver turnover percentage plummet, particularly over our five-year history. The industry, in general, has very high turnover rates, so recruiting and retaining are critical. What I can say for sure is that our turnover numbers are below the industry average. So, over an 18-month period, our number of unique users has continued to climb. We have hundreds of drivers regularly commenting. WorkHound helps us figure out what we’re getting wrong from those drivers and helps us figure out how to communicate our efforts for drivers differently.”

– Ian Rozmiarek Director of Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement, USA Truck

Why WorkHound Feedback and Communication Works

Many companies like to think they have an open-door policy. Even companies with many remote workers may talk about a virtual open door where any employee can hop on a call with their supervisor and pitch ideas or suggestions. This sounds great, in theory, and many company leaders assume having such a policy is the solution to getting feedback.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Employees may not always be comfortable voicing their concerns, especially when they believe those concerns will affect their future with the company. For drivers, retaliation is a real concern. With trucking, there’s the additional barrier of distance and a lack of regular check-ins with drivers. Drivers may only regularly talk to the dispatchers, leaving them without a direct line to management.

What this often leads to is that the minority of your team who are willing to speak up become the only point of contact leadership has with their workforce. If you only have a dozen employees who take advantage of an open-door policy, the concerns and needs of these twelve employees are all leadership has to work with. It’s possible their concerns do not reflect the concerns of the majority of your workers. This silent majority never has their issues addressed, and many may leave because of that.

With WorkHound, the majority of your workers can have their voices heard. You will have a firm understanding of what your workers want, even those who may not want to approach their supervisors in person. With this information, you can have a more open conversation with your workforce, creating positive relationships and building a rapport that will encourage employees to speak up. They will know you value their opinions and truly do want to learn about their wants and needs.

What Benefits Come from Improving Retention Rates?

Improving your retention strategy leads to a number of benefits for the company, your employees, and your clients:

  • You decrease the number of new employees you must hire every year, reducing costs in advertising and onboarding.
  • Customers have a more consistent level of service because they can form relationships with the employees they regularly work with.
  • You can address employee concerns, making the new hire process easier and more streamlined. For example, if employees have questions regarding pay, addressing those questions will prevent that issue from coming up again with new staff.
  • Drivers remain with the company, giving you a better return on the time and money you have invested in training them.
  • Drivers, dispatchers, mechanics, and other employees form relationships, improving how they work together. Constantly hiring new employees prevents these bonds from forming, resulting in a company where employees have little to no interest in getting to know each other due to high turnover.
  • Employees who have been with the company longer have time to learn their routes, their trucks, and the customers they serve. This reduces delivery failures and improves your company’s reputation.
  • Positive feedback can provide your marketing team with key insights into what makes your company better than your competitors.

The bottom line is that the better your retention, the better your company operates, and the less time and money you spend on hiring and onboarding replacements.

The Benefits of Using WorkHound

Why use WorkHound to boost company retention? Our unique communication system allows you to gather feedback and input from everyone, regardless of what role they play in the company or where they’re located. By keeping this feedback anonymous, employees are much more likely to come forward with their thoughts. This allows you to have a full array of benefits.

Workforce Heading Towards Common Goals

Opening the communication channels means you will be able to align multiple departments in your company with your overall goals. Marketing will have positive feedback to use to draw in new hires. Recruiters will be able to promote the new policies and incentives that your employees love. Your employees will have a stake in the company and feel valued. Customers will have consistent points of contact. Best of all, you will have firm data with which you can make decisions.

Solid Checks and Balances

This also provides a system of checks and balances. You know when something is not working. By correcting that issue, you’re better able to create realistic expectations for your company. WorkHound can assist you in determining what goals you should set and what outcomes are attainable.

Better Company Alignment

With this feedback, you can better align your company with market expectations. You can pay the wages necessary to keep skilled, experienced employees while clarifying any pay confusion. We help you understand what your employees expect so you can provide what they need to avoid seeking out your competitors.

Success Stories

Impactful, company-wide changes for 70k+ drivers

20k+ retention opportunities so far in 2021

Case Studies

“We use WorkHound daily to receive the real-time feedback anonymously so we can continuously improve our operations and retain our drivers.”

– Maribeth Knueve Vice President of Dry Van Operations, Marten Transport

Reach Out to WorkHound

Does your leadership team often find themselves spending too much time determining what employees want? Are those assumptions not always correct? WorkHound is here to help you understand your team better. You have the skills and knowledge to make the right decisions, but you need the right information first. We give you the data you need to drive your company forward and to truly have a positive impact.

If you’re ready to take the first steps to reduce your employee turnover and improve retention, contact WorkHound today.