Fleet Managers: Boost Driver Engagement with These  Practices

Fleet manager pointing at a clipboard to a driver in a truck.-1

For most fleet managers today, a big challenge is finding and keeping qualified drivers that are there to stay.

The issue of driver shortage keeps coming up as the trucking industry’s number one concern – and 2020 was the fourth year in a row, according to the American Transport Research Institute. Based on the American Trucking Association’s data, the annual employee turnover rate for large carriers is a staggering 90%.

This means that, if you have 10 drivers, 9 will have left your company before the year ends. For smaller fleets, this rate is 69%. In other words, only 3 out of your 10 drivers would stay with you for longer than a year.

That’s an awful lot of time spent on recruiting, training, and offboarding than actually running a productive and successful fleet. What’s worse – this situation is likely to translate into a significant financial loss for your business.

So, what can you – the fleet manager – do to help make sure your drivers are in it for the long haul?

The answer lies in building a highly engaged driver workforce. Numerous studies show that engaged employees are passionate about their work and feel connected to their company. They tend to put their best foot forward to meet business goals, while constantly seeking to improve themselves and their teams.

To put that in perspective, this research from Gallup's State of the American Workplace report estimates that disengaged employees cost US companies $450 billion to $550 billion per year. On the flip side, organizations with high-engagement workforce drove up profitability by 21%.

So, how does one go about creating the kind of fleet most truck drivers want to work for? It all boils down to tapping into some basic human qualities – after all, trucking is a people business.

1. Create a Shared Sense of Purpose

It’s not enough to know what your goals and priorities are. You must be able to communicate those clearly and ensure a buy-in from the very people who will be helping you achieve them. From why ELD is a good thing, to switching to paper-free operations, to installing dash cams in your fleet, make sure your crew understands what’s in it for them, as well as how their actions have the power to make a positive difference for all.

2. Be Honest and Know When to Listen

Being transparent in your decisions and inviting feedback whenever possible tells your drivers that you’re not just encouraging teamwork – you’re ready to walk the talk. People want to be part of the decision-making process, or they quickly lose motivation if they feel their voices aren’t heard or valued. Knowing when to listen not only will help strengthen commitment – it will almost certainly result in some genuinely good ideas that lead to positive changes.

3. Make Sure Everyone Feels Appreciated

Humans thrive on recognition. Want some proof? Consider that 7 out of 10 employees say they’d work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Acknowledging their strengths and rewarding good performance, based on clearly defined metrics, is also a great way to spark some healthy competition among your drivers – which could potentially set off a cycle of continuous improvement.

And why not make it a bit fun, too. Take Fleet Complete’s dash cam solution, Vision, for example: it uses video technology and gamification to give drivers instant control over their scoring, allowing instant gratification for a job well done.

4. Cultivate Trust and Collaboration

It is important that you resist the urge to micromanage and control everything. Do not be afraid to trust your team’s ability to get the job done by sharing some of the power – and good things will happen. Trust empowers people to act responsibly, own their decisions, and feel connected as a team.

Remember to Make the Most of Fleet Management Technology

Thanks to the advances in IoT, telematics, and AI processing, you have all the amazing technology you need in order to address your drivers’ concerns and make their lives easier, while keeping them safe and committed on the road.

At Fleet Complete, we have developed a wide range of services and solutions – including the ultimate telematics solution – designed with one thing in mind: helping you build a top-class fleet workforce that is engaged and operates safely and efficiently.

Investing in the right tools for your trucking business will pay for itself many times over, and we can help. To learn how, request a Fleet Complete demo.

 

Date published.   Aug 18, 2021  |  Author: Katerina Konstantopoulou