Retaining reliable drivers is a critical component to the success of any fleet operation. Studies have found that each year, fleets struggle to retain experienced drivers – with some studies showing turnover levels at 17 percent.
To help increase driver satisfaction and morale while reducing costly turnover, we’ve compiled a list of expert tips on how to successfully manage and retain your drivers this year – also, check out our 2021 blog on driver retention.
Table of Contents
5 Truck Driver Retention Strategies
Recognize Positive Driving
Create a driver safety culture that recognizes drivers for their positive behavior. When drivers are told what they’re doing right, then they are likely to repeat their positive behavior. This will eventually lead to long-term safety compliance that benefits your fleet and assures every journey is completed properly. Be sure to create a program that allows drivers to know what they’re doing right.
The AI-powered dash cams of Driver•i help gather and add up each driver’s best behaviors. Every good act adds to their GreenZone Score, which they can also use to understand what they do well and how they can improve. Drivers are likelier to stay longer in your company since they see their efforts recognized and their growth taken care of through the system.
Reward Top Performers
It’s also crucial to reward your best drivers for their positive behaviors and high GreenZone Scores. You can start simple by announcing their wins and high scores in the company newsletter. It also helps to treat them to lunch or provide them awards like employee of the month or anything related to the good driver behaviors they did in the past month or so.
If you have the budget, then reward your best performing drivers with gift cards, cash bonuses, or anything that can help in alleviating rising expenses. When drivers see that they’ll be rewarded for doing well, then they’re also likelier to keep repeating these positive driving behaviors to the point they become habits.
Invest in Proper Training
Set out a budget for training new hires. Investing in a program like Driver•i, which records both positive and negative behaviors through the dash cam, gives you enough material and a foundation for a solid training program. You can utilize these videos to show new hires what they should and shouldn’t be doing.
The positive behavior records give them specific examples they can emulate, while the instances of risky driving behavior narrow down what they should be avoiding. Managers can also connect remotely with drivers and coach them from far locations using these videos. Drivers also have access to the videos and can self-coach whenever their time permits.
Ask for Driver Feedback
Involve your drivers as you develop the training programs and incorporate technology in your vehicles. Ask if the programs help in improving their skills and what else you can do better to suit their exact needs. When introducing technology like Driver•i’s dash cams, be sure to brief them on how it will help them beforehand.
After some time, open the floor for their feedback and ask if they’re experiencing a difference in driving with the addition. Be sure to open all conversations such that drivers feel comfortable expressing their honest opinions.
Develop a Strong Safety Culture
All your driver retention efforts are building blocks towards a strong safety culture. All driver-related efforts such as training, technology, incentives, and the like should share the same goal of proactively preventing accidents. With this goal in mind, training must educate drivers on safety, including the rules, defensive driving, and any mistakes or bad habits that are common among beginners or that we tend to forget over time.
You can also base the training, programs, and the entire safety culture on your fleet’s operations. It’s best to take off from actual examples and align your safety strategies around what your drivers experience daily. This makes your safety culture more relatable and useful to the work they do.
Truck drivers are an integral part of the transportation industry, so we must prioritize their safety and satisfaction as employers. By following the five strategies above, not only can employers encourage driver retention, but have peace of mind through greater safety and efficiency on the road. Investing in proper training for drivers is essential for creating a strong sense of trust and reliability. Ultimately, recognizing positive driving with rewards and developing a robust safety culture are key pieces to maintaining happy truck drivers.
Take the time to explore Netradyne’s fleet management tool so you can implement these strategies today!