How do you gauge your driver satisfaction levels? With one-on-one meetings? By analyzing retention rates?
Both of these are important indicators of driver happiness and the success of company recruitment efforts, but in today’s highly competitive market, they won’t be enough to paint the whole picture or demonstrate to drivers your full commitment to their needs.
By utilizing frequent driver engagement surveys, you will receive an unbiased, detailed report from employees about their views on important company policies and their overall satisfaction rate. However, like any good survey, the key is in asking the right questions.
Keep reading to learn the 5 essential question topics you should include in every driver engagement survey, and how these surveys could help your retention rates.
The Importance of Driver Engagement Surveys
Driver engagement surveys are increasingly becoming a popular tool for carriers to learn what could be improved at a management level, while giving drivers a chance to speak freely and be listened to. Every employee should feel like their opinion matters, which is why it’s essential to include the right questions that address common driver needs.
In Drive My Way’s recently released 2023 Driver Happiness Report, which collected the responses of over 500 drivers nationwide, nearly 10% of surveyed drivers responded that improved employer communication and listening would increase their workplace satisfaction. Implementing a regularly scheduled survey (and addressing the top concerns!) is a surefire way to see a rise in employee happiness and increase your retention of quality drivers.
Pay & Benefits
Unsurprisingly, compensation will always top the list of main driver concerns. In 2024, CDL drivers will be sure to continue to view competitive pay as a major differentiating factor when applying for jobs. In fact, in the 2023 Driver Happiness Report, over 20% of surveyed drivers answered that an increase in base compensation would improve their workplace satisfaction.
Many factors affect each driver’s pay, such as years of experience, type of run, and type of freight, miles driver, etc. but it’s still important to understand how your drivers feel about the overall fairness of their pay.
You’ll want to ask drivers if they are satisfied with their current level of pay, if they perceive it as fair, and if they feel they are progressing as expected. You should also ask drivers about their current benefit packages and how satisfied they are with them. This will help you find out what you could offer to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
The amount of time at home versus time on the road remains a major factor of consideration for every driver applying for a job or deciding to remain with a carrier. Each driver has a different opinion on scheduling, likely depending on their other commitments.
Ask drivers how much time they currently spend at home, and how much time they would ideally spend at home.
Remember that driver preferences can change over time as their home life changes. Younger drivers without families, or older drivers who have become empty-nesters, may prefer more time on the road. Drivers with families and kids at home may desire local jobs or runs with shorter time on the road.
As the main point of contact between driver and carrier, dispatch has an essential role in mitigating misunderstandings and unexpected scheduling delays. This is why the relationship between dispatcher and driver is one of the most important in the company.
Be sure to include questions regarding each driver’s relationship with their dispatchers, and if there is anything management could do to improve communication. Drivers and dispatchers should feel like they can communicate regularly with ease and respect, which will help in the case of any unexpected road conditions, weather changes, or equipment issues.
Equipment & Fleet Amenities
Drivers spend an average of 70 hours a week on the road. This means that they know better than anyone the amenities they most use, and what equipment improvements would make their lives easier. They also can tell you the amenities they use the least, helping you determine where to invest your money.
Ask drivers to rank their satisfaction with current amenities and to suggest what improvements could be made to existing equipment. This will help you prioritize what equipment should receive upgrades, potentially saving you thousands that you might have put into amenities which no driver is using.
This might not be the first question topic thought of when drafting a driver engagement survey, but it’s becoming an increasingly important differentiating factor in driver recruitment and retention. Drivers want to feel appreciated, supported, and valued in every interaction they have within a company.
Ask your drivers if they feel appreciated, what else management could do to support them, and about the overall culture of the company.
If your company is considering launching efforts to support drivers further, such as offering mental health services or a mentor or partner driving program, an engagement survey can be a great place to test run ideas and receive actual driver feedback. Keep in mind that if drivers don’t feel valued, they won’t recommend that company to others.
Although there are countless questions you could ask in a driver engagement survey, including these five question topics will help you gauge overall driver satisfaction and monitor what your company should continue improving for the future.
Here at Drive My Way we’re always looking to learn more about the best recruiting and retaining strategies. If you have any ideas for us, please reach out on our social media so we can continue learning!