When you’re in the trucking business, one of the biggest challenges you’ll ever have to face is keeping your drivers. After all, your trucks aren’t going to make deliveries on their own. There’s the driver behind the wheel making all the magic happen. So, without your drivers, it’s a harsh reality to face the fact that your business may be on the road to doom.
This is the reason why it’s a must to keep your drivers happy and satisfied working for your company. Unlike jobs that are in the office, behind a desk, those jobs that require driving are difficult to fill. When one leaves, you can be certain that it’ll be so difficult to hire new drivers. With good management, your truck drivers won’t be itching to leave your company. Not only are they able to give the bare minimum, but they’re efficient, safe, and productive as drivers.
Here are failproof ways to keep that smile on your drivers’ faces – and hearts.
1. Offer Competitive Pay
Bonuses aren’t something your drivers are going to depend on for their living expenses. It’s their salary truck driving jobs that’s ultimately one of the top factors that determine how happy and content they can be, being under your employment. After all, your truck drivers need their pay for their needs.
At the very least, you have to give your drivers their minimum salary due per hour. But, if you can afford it, offer higher than what the minimum requires. The more competitive your pay offers, the higher the chances that you’ll have drivers staying with you for a long time.
Do bear in mind that it costs more to hire and train new drivers than it is to pay old drivers a good and competitive salary. You can’t put a price on drivers who know their job well, and whom you trust to be loyal and hardworking to your company.
2. Practice Good Communication
Communication goes a long way in keeping truck drivers, or any employee for that matter, happy. Start by assessing first whether or not your lines of communication between management and your truck drivers are open. Can your drivers openly discuss any grievances they may have? Or is there any barrier? Are drivers aware of what your expectations from them are, too?
Like in any employment relationship, communication is the glue that bonds you both together. When your drivers are well-informed of their rights along with their obligations, they have that higher feeling of being valued. This means you value them enough to communicate with them effectively, to avoid any miscommunication.
3. Dole Out Recognition And Bonuses Regularly
While money isn’t the only factor that’ll make your truck drivers happy, it does make a significant difference to their morale when they feel appreciated for all the work and effort they do. As a part of upper management, try and empathize with your truck drivers.
Can you ever imagine yourself being the one to do their job? Those long hours of sitting behind the wheel, meeting deadlines on time, beating traffic, all while staying safe. Often, that can also mean long working hours.
To that end, it pays to be generous with your bonuses and recognition. When you have drivers who do a good job consistently, praise them. It’s all about giving back to those drivers who go above and beyond to do their job as excellently as possible.
Do you have a driver who has good customer service ratings? Who delivers on time consistently? Or perhaps the one who’s the most efficient with their fuel usage? Recognize and reward them.
4. Ask Your Drivers What They Want
Have you thought about giving your drivers what they want? If you ask, you may even be surprised at how simple some of those requests are. You can get their insights by calling for a meeting or using online forms and surveys.
Even if it may only be something so simple, it can make a big difference when you grant some of their wishes. A little token of appreciation always goes a long way.
As you can see, it takes more than just competitive pay to keep your truck drivers happy in their job. Yes, it takes a front seat, but there are so many other things that management has to do to achieve truck driver contentment, happiness, and satisfaction. Assess how you’ve been managing your truck drivers. Don’t worry if you think there are a lot of things you have to change. What matters most is that you realize that change has to be made, and you’ll have to make those management changes, one step at a time.