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Driver Turnover

Terminating Driver Turnover

By Brandon Baxter - Staff Writer
Posted May 20th 2024 8:00AM

It’s almost common knowledge that driver turnover rates in the trucking industry tend to hover around or above the 100% mark. However, believe it or not, there are some fleets out there that have figured out a way to reduce their turnover rate. Which has shown to be more beneficial for both driver and company. Here are some suggestions for how to go about providing a better atmosphere for drivers, while lowering turnover.

Show Them the Money

“Money talks and BS walks,” right?! At least that’s how the old saying goes. But when drivers are properly compensated for their work, their efforts show greater encouragement and their happiness increases. Along with the likelihood of them sticking around for the long haul (pun intended).

Not only would it make sense for companies to pay their drivers a more competitive salary, especially when in comparison to other carriers who operate similarly. But showing a driver that they might also be rewarded for their work ethic in the form of periodic rate raises and bonuses also goes a long way in providing a driver with a place to reside.

Bonuses, Baby!

While base-pay is nice, and a competitive pay package is even better, what helps many drivers stay positive and fully engaged with a company could be the bonuses that can be accrued throughout a driver’s tenure.

A company that provides even just an incremental bonus for hand-loading or unloading a shipment, or a referral bonus for recruiting additional drivers to join the fleet, or maybe even a bonus for reaching another year with the carrier, can provide enough encouragement for a driver to want to stay as opposed to leaving for greener pastures.

Communication is Key

Consistent, honest, and proper communication between a driver and dispatch, or recruiter, and/or any other department that touches a driver on a regular basis cannot be stressed enough.

All a driver seeks in communication is that they are not lied to. Is that too much to ask? Not only that, but positive verbal reinforcement like displaying accolades and gratitude for a job well-done, will also help increase the prospects of retaining a driver as opposed to shooing them away.

On top of the positive spin on speaking, a more critical form of communicating with a driver would be to simply listen to what they have to say. Whether a carrier has an entire driver relations department that is equipped to listen and react to a driver’s concerns, or perhaps a dedicated driver manager who is attentive to and focused on each driver’s needs, the message should always be clear. Listening demonstrates to every driver that they are more than a number in a fleet, they are part of a family.

A company that displays the ability to show even a modicum of any of the aforementioned avenues to driver retention, will undoubtedly see the added value of keeping a driver happy. And thus, keeping the driver. It proves to an existing fleet that the company cares and demonstrates to any newcomers that this is a carrier worth driving for.

All anyone ever wants is to be appreciated.