It’s no secret that truck driver retention has been a struggle for many companies. Although steps have been taken to increase driver pay, the American Truck Association’s study shows that the turnover rate isn’t budging. The driver turnover rate at large truckload companies has been stuck at 90 percent or higher since 2012, peaking at 106 percent in the second quarter of that year and falling 10 percent to 96 percent at the end of 2014. That’s still a 5 percent year-over-year increase. With that being said, many companies are coming up with innovative ways to retain truckers, and we have a few ideas of our own.
With that being said, many companies are coming up with innovative ways to retain truckers, and we have a few ideas of our own.
Many trucking companies are opting to implement a bonus program. For example, Gemini trucking has implemented a very lucrative safety bonus opportunity. The way it works is simple: credits are awarded to Gemini’s drivers on an annual basis, and to earn one credit, they must have no accidents, tickets or fuel-related incidents over the period of one year. They must also pass all U.S. Department of Transportation and Gemini inspections. Once drivers collect five credits, they’re eligible to receive a bonus. The even better thing is, bonuses have ranged from $25,000 to $35,000 dollars.
Although wages have actually increased over the years, it’s still not enough to offset the long hours, cramped conditions, and time spent away from family. “Due to growing freight volumes, regulatory pressures and normal attrition, we expect the problem to get worse in the near term as the industry works to find solutions to the shortage,” says ATA chief economist Bob Costello.
As the economy slowly begins to stabilize, it might be a good idea for companies to raise their wages. Even if they lose a little money in the short-term, the long-term benefits would include happier employees willing to stay longer.
Caring and Communication
While caring and communication are often overlooked, showing employees that they’re more than just another worker bee will create a boost in morale for the company.
In terms of a “communication” pathways for drivers, one trucking company, EpicVue, found that the defining factors were feeling valued by the company through e-mail, online forums, calls, texts and other messages, and maintaining contact to show interest in a driver’s well-being, returning calls, responding to questions, problems or concerns in a timely manner, asking for advice and opinions from drivers when issues arise, and listening to drivers.
This easily accessible outlet to voice concerns and complaints will allow employees to feel like their voice is being heard. Life on the road can get lonely, and feeling like your employer won’t even communicate with you can play a huge role in employee satisfaction.
There are steps being taken by many companies to tackle the truck driver retention problem. Although we won’t see any change in the near future, it’s important to know that there are employers leading the way to create a positive employee-employer relationship.