The Ultimate Guide to Improving Driver Retention in Your Fleet

Driver Retention in Your Fleet

The time and energy it takes to recruit, train, and onboard new drivers is significant. It can be more cost-effective and productive to retain your current fleet.

To improve driver retention, both corporate and field managers need to consider several key fundamentals. This includes competitive compensation, consistent and fair home time policies, and well-maintained equipment.

Know Your Drivers

A common reason for driver turnover is low pay, which is easily fixed by ensuring drivers are adequately compensated for their time and effort. Another common reason is a lack of job security, which can also be fixed by creating stable schedules and a strong culture that values employee contributions and satisfaction.

Like all employees, drivers want their voices to be heard – and that’s even more important for truckers who work remotely. Create communication channels for drivers to share their feedback, and be sure to listen carefully and implement any suggestions they make. Larger fleets might consider creating peer groups with similar driving experiences to encourage communication and mentorship and incorporating these programs into their onboarding process.

It might seem obvious, but your drivers must be comfortable in their vehicles. For many drivers, their truck is more than a tool for their jobs; it’s their home away from home. Ensure your fleet’s vehicles are well-maintained and provide the comfort that drivers demand.

Know Your Vehicles

As any fleet manager knows, turnover impacts a company’s bottom line, and the longer your drivers are with you, the more they know about the company’s policies, procedures, and functions. It also means that they can take on more complex jobs, which helps you save on training costs.

Investing in technology like fleet management software and GPS tracking can help drivers feel more valued. For example, route optimization solutions can help drivers find the most efficient routes and finish their deliveries on time. This can increase job satisfaction and allow them to go home earlier.

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Using technology to make your drivers’ lives easier can also show that you care about them and their safety. This helps them improve their safety and reduce at-fault accidents and related costs. It also makes them feel safe and protected and is a great tool to boost driver retention. In addition, fleet managers can proactively monitor vehicle health and maintenance with automated alerts.

Know Your Company

The little perks that fleets offer to attract new drivers can become less important as employees settle into their roles. For example, a company’s willingness to provide essential tools, efficiently facilitate communication and support, and consistently recognize positive driving behaviour can significantly impact driver satisfaction and morale.

In addition, a fleet can boost job satisfaction by investing in training opportunities and providing career advancement. When drivers feel like they are a part of a team, they’re more resistant to offers from competing companies. This type of investment can be more cost-effective than recruiting new drivers. It also provides a more consistent and efficient workforce. A company with high employee retention can also deliver superior customer service and improve profit margins.

Know Your Customers

Truck driver retention is critical to a fleet’s success. It’s not only costly to find new drivers, but it can take a lot of work to keep them. According to one study, up to 20% of turnover happens within the first 45 days. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to improve driver satisfaction – even with the driver shortage, there are plenty of ways to do so.

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For example, a little perk like improving communication with dispatch can make a big difference to many drivers. One of the top 13 turn-offs drivers cite needs a better relationship with dispatch. Ensure that there are effective communication channels beyond formal employee meetings and give your drivers a voice by incorporating them into your processes, planning, and metrics.

The key is identifying what makes your drivers happy. It may take some time and effort, but you can deliver on it once you know what they value. That includes providing competitive compensation, consistent and equitable home time policies, and ensuring that field managers have mechanisms to address problems quickly, all while delivering on the income expectations that caused them to join your fleet in the first place.

Know Yourself

It’s no secret that finding truck drivers is challenging. Hiring, training, and onboarding new drivers into your fleet can cost up to $12,000. This is why it’s so important to focus on driver retention.

Retention strategies include improving pay, respecting drivers, and collecting feedback. But there are many ways to go above and beyond the typical advice to make your company stand out as a place drivers want to work.

For example, drivers are likelier to repeat these good habits when they receive recognition and rewards for their positive driving behaviours and high GreenZone Scores. It can be as simple as a company newsletter feature or lunch for the top performer.

It’s also important to show drivers a clear path to advancement. This will allow them to feel they have a future with your company and lessen their stress over worrying about the stability of their job. The key to this is soliciting feedback from your drivers, getting to know them by name, and interacting with them in group settings and one-on-one conversations.

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