We have covered truck driver turnover rates and strategies for retaining drivers previously on our blog. Recently, The Washington Post wrote an article about a company that is retaining more drivers by giving them a voice. It’s strategy is simple: listen to drivers and help solve their issues. Let’s take a closer look…
Forming An Advisory Board of Truckers
Little Rock, Arkansas based Central Hauling has formed an advisory board of 9 drivers to help in acting as a voice for all 256 people in the fleet. This helps bring some unity to an industry and profession that can often times lead to feelings of isolation. While advisory boards in trucking certainly aren’t new, there has definitely been a rise in the formation of new groups as the industry turnover rates continue to climb to levels around 100%.
As the president of the Arkansas Trucking Association notes, “It seems reasonable that when our industry is experiencing a driver shortage, as we are now,” Newton says, “the rate at which we use tools to engage and retain drivers, especially inexpensive ones like communication forums and opportunity for interaction with management, would increase.”
Reducing Driver Turnover By 50%
Newton has a very good point. It does not cost an overwhelming amount of money to give drivers a stronger voice through something like an advisory board and doing so has definitely had an impact on Central Hauling’s driver turnover level as it is now coming in at half the national average. Needless to say, giving drivers a voice, listening, and then responding; is working.
Creating Training Modules for Drivers
While Central Hauling’s General Manager, Bobby McElyea, will admit that he did have worries that it would turn into a complaining session or organized demand for raises,it turns out that hasn’t been the case. In fact, training modules have been developed to help drivers manage the business aspects of being an independent contractor, like keeping up with truck payments and minimizing fuel costs. And council members often field calls from colleagues who have issues while they’re out on the road, or even just when they’re lonely.
Driver Retention Mobile Apps
Taking it one step further is WorkHound, a driver retention app that allows drivers to provide feedback that is turned into actionable insights to be used by Driver Managers. “Pay is one part of a much larger equation,” says WorkHound’s founder and chief executive Max Farrell. With one dispatcher overseeing scores of drivers, things can get lost in translation, leading to frustration for both sides. “When that continues to happen, drivers start seeking out greener pastures.”
Whether it’s connecting drivers through an advisory committee or mobile app, giving drivers a strong voice certainly seems to be a driver retention strategy that’s here to stay. We encourage you to continue to follow industry trends on the news section of our website here.