The trucking industry is in the midst of a serious shortage of its most valuable resource — drivers. As the current population of truck drivers gets older, fewer young people are joining the profession. The result is a depleted talent pool and an industry that is searching for long-term solutions. The industry has made an effort to increase its outreach to younger people to entice them into a career in trucking. Human resources professionals can augment this by focusing their attention on driver retention.
Retention Saves Money
Recruiting drivers can be a costly and extensive experience for both human resources professionals and hiring managers, especially in the current tight labor market. Retaining drivers is much easier than sourcing them. Compensation is a key factor in retaining the best and safest drivers but it’s not the only one. Carriers should take the time to make sure their drivers are happy with their schedules and equipment, know that they’re making a valuable contribution, and regularly conduct pay surveys to ensure they are fairly compensated.
Recognition Drives Retention
One of the best ways carriers can ensure they retain their top drivers is to work on actively recognizing them with special rewards or honors. Having a “driver of the week” program to recognize those drivers who go above and beyond what’s expected of them sends a powerful message to the entire company that drivers are appreciated. Helping drivers feel more like they’re part of a team can create stronger bonds to the company and their co-workers, as well. Carriers also can help their drivers maintain a better work-life balance by encouraging them to take time off if they’re feeling overworked or encouraging them to maintain their hobbies while on the road. Healthy drivers are happy drivers, too, which is why carriers should take steps to help their drivers live healthier lifestyles on and off the road. This includes:
- Getting adequate quality and quantity of sleep
- Making healthier food choices while on the road
- Finding ways to keep fit, even if it’s just walking around a yard or planning rest stops at truck stops with gyms
Driver retention is one of the most crucial issues facing the trucking industry today. Carriers that don’t want to be left shorthanded need to be thinking about how they will retain their existing drivers as well as how they will attract new ones. The following guide details some important tips carriers can follow to promote stronger driver retention. Review it to help your company keep its most valuable resource.
Author bio: Robert J. Hall is President of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small and midsized companies.