bad-dispatchers-contributing-to-truck-driver-shortage

Organizations across the country are rethinking their hiring and retention strategies for truck drivers. They are revamping benefit programs. Companies are making sure their compensation is competitive in the market. Fleets are putting bonus and incentive programs in place.

But what about taking a closer look at the relationship between dispatchers and drivers?

Truckers report that their relationship with their assigned dispatcher greatly contributes to their level of satisfaction with their job and with the trucking company. As an employer, here are some tips to keep in mind when evaluating dispatchers.

Train Dispatchers in the Trucking Industry

Some truck drivers are paired with a dispatcher who lacks industry experience and a clear understanding of the work. If the dispatcher and driver aren’t on the same page, there will be a disconnect, frustration, and oftentimes, quick turnover.

Some companies hire dispatchers who lack industry experience but know how to operate complicated dispatch software—allowing the company to pay them lower wages due to the level of experience.

Instead of throwing them to the wolves, companies need to make sure the dispatcher is fully trained before working with truckers. The dispatcher needs to get to know the drivers, understand the work, and feel confident about the industry before jumping in.

Ensure Dispatchers Are Honest with Their Drivers

Dispatchers with a lack of industry experience sometimes make claims to truck drivers that stretch the truth. Some of these statements could include:

  • I’ll definitely get you home this weekend
  • Your load will be waiting for you when you get back
  • You have plenty of time to make this delivery

It is the company’s responsibility to monitor these conversations in order to quickly correct false statements and ensure a good-standing relationship between the dispatcher and driver. The dispatcher is oftentimes the driver’s main point of contact at the organization, so if the dispatcher isn’t being truthful, the company will quickly earn a bad reputation.

Encourage Dispatchers to Share Driver Feedback

If a driver shares unsatisfied feedback with a dispatcher regarding their job, it is the dispatcher’s responsibility to share that feedback with the organization.

To encourage this, companies need to have frequent conversations with dispatchers to ensure they have a current pulse on driver satisfaction and areas of improvement.

This will reduce drivers feeling unheard and will improve communication across the organization as a whole. In turn, dispatchers can also share areas of improvement for drivers, and this can be used for driver incentive programs.

Overall, companies need to consistently evaluate the quality of their dispatchers. The relationships between drivers and dispatchers should be consistently evaluated and improved.

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why truck drivers leave

For the last several years, employers across the country are trying to reverse the problem and understand why truck drivers leave CDL trucking jobs. The truck driver shortage has caused employers to constantly reevaluate and improve how they attract, hire, and retain truck drivers. An abundance of effort, time, and money is often spent to find and hire a few drivers. When that driver leaves, the employer wonders if all of that effort was just a waste of time and money. Here’s a list of 3 reasons that truck drivers leave CDL trucking jobs.

1. Pay and Benefits

In the competitive job market, pay and benefits are becoming increasingly important for truck drivers. Companies are finding that they need to go above and beyond from a compensation and benefits perspective, as average simply isn’t cutting it anymore.

In addition to offering higher pay and better benefits, many companies have also tried adding a large sign-on bonus to the offer to attract truck drivers.

However, some of those companies have found that offering a large sign-on bonus might attract truck drivers up front, but then lead to low driver retention down the line.

This is due to the mentality of some truckers staying long enough to collect the bonus, then transitioning to the next company offering the same large check.

We asked our driver community if a good salary or a large sign-on bonus is more important to them when searching for a new job. The results of our poll are below.

2. Empty Promises

Companies are finding that they can no longer over-promise and under-deliver anything as truckers will quickly leave the company and share the details around the empty promise with their network. Drivers want to work for an organization that respects their opinion, values them as an employee, and knows their name instead of just their truck number.

In this job market, drivers demand transparency and honesty. They are sick and tired of being burned from companies in the past.

Employers who are transparent in nature with pay, benefits, job role, home time, etc. often reap the benefits. They may see more sustainable driver retention than those who exaggerate in a job description to get drivers in the door. In addition, if the truck drivers trust the organization, they won’t be shy to share this approval with their network. This builds an organic driver referral program for the organization.

3. Bad Dispatchers

As the saying goes, employees don’t leave the company. Employees leave the people at the company.

If truck drivers find themselves working with a terrible supervisor or dispatcher, it won’t be long until they start looking for a better opportunity.

The dispatcher is the primary representative for the company, and sometimes, a trucker’s only contact. Companies that spend time carefully matching dispatchers and drivers may see increased driver retention. Factor in personality types, leadership styles, etc., and you will oftentimes see better relationships form.

Companies who ask for dispatcher feedback from their drivers will be able to proactively correct or improve situations quickly.

Overall, companies that remember that this is a driver’s market will accel. Focus on putting truckers first and remain transparent with job requirements. Offer competitive pay and benefits to continuously stand out against the competition.

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

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truck driver shortage

Truck driver shortage increases are continuing to cause pain for companies across the United States. Currently, the shortage of truck drivers throughout the country is up to 48,000. It will likely continue to increase and is estimated to reach 175,000 by 2024.

To deal with this overwhelming truck driver shortage, some companies believe that they simply need to hire more drivers before other companies do. Unfortunately, this is a small band-aid on a much larger issue. Here are two reasons why fixing the truck driver shortage will take much more than just hiring more truck drivers.

1. Drivers and Employers Aren’t on the Same Page

There are not enough drivers to go around. But, there is also not enough time in the day for companies to find qualified drivers for their jobs. Day after day, recruiters face the process of sorting through the weeds to find drivers that meet their requirements. An overwhelming 88% of fleets report that most applicants are simply not a fit for their jobs.

This results in time wasted on both sides. Drivers are frustrated because they can’t find a company that meets their professional qualifications and personal lifestyle preferences. Employers are frustrated that they can’t find drivers that meet their needs.

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To spend less time searching for qualified drivers, employers need to make sure their job descriptions are accurate and optimized for their ideal driver. Exaggerating pay, benefits, or home time only results in retention issues and a damaged company reputation. Consider including driver testimonials, offering a driver referral bonus, or utilizing digital marketing to reach a broader audience. Each of these ideas can help increase the number of potential candidates that match the company’s ideal driver target market.

2. Employers are Focusing on Hiring, Not Retaining

Some employers have figured out how to attract qualified drivers for their jobs, but retaining them is another story. In this market, employers who offer great benefit packages, competitive pay structures, and performance incentives see a better long-term retention rate for drivers than companies who are just average.

However, aside from the pay and benefits, drivers also want to work for companies who treat them with respect, offer challenging and meaningful work, value their efforts, and find a way to get them home with their families more.

In other words, retaining qualified drivers in this market requires companies to consistently and creatively implement ideas to make sure their drivers are happy and engaged with their work.

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

Get the Ebook

retain truck drivers

It is no surprise that America has been struggling with a truck driver shortage over the past few years. Now more than ever, the ability to retain truck drivers is key. Companies need to reevaluate their recruiting and retention strategies for finding and keeping qualified drivers.

Some companies have tried offering a large sign-on bonus for drivers. Too many are then faced with turnover once the bonus is collected. Other companies have promised drivers home time and great pay, but fall short of delivering these perks.

In order to start attracting, hiring, and retaining qualified truck drivers in this competitive market, employers should apply these tips to their driver recruiting strategy to give themselves a competitive advantage.

1. Value Drivers by Being Honest and Respectful

The last thing a driver wants is a company that over-promises and under-delivers. Before posting a job, companies should take the time to reevaluate the perks of the job. Make sure that pay isn’t inflated, home time is realistic, and benefits are factual.

Truck drivers are looking for a job that meets their qualifications, but they are also looking for a job that meets their lifestyle.

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Drive My Way’s research shows that more drivers are requesting to travel with a pet or spouse. Similarly, drivers are looking for home time, and are placing more value on maintaining their health while driving. Companies who are truthful in their job advertisements will attract the best candidates. Look for drivers who not only meet the qualifications, but are also happy with the lifestyle that the job offers.

When a company promises a driver these perks but then changes the rules a few months into the job, the driver loses interest in keeping that job and also loses respect for the company.

After a driver loses respect for a company, that driver will let his or her entire network of drivers know exactly what happened. That will only increase the difficulty in filling future jobs.

2. Ask Drivers for Their Feedback Before They Post It Themselves

Sometimes it takes a company to post a job advertisement on Facebook to find out from their current drivers that something is unsatisfactory. Maybe their pay is too low, their benefits aren’t desirable, or the company over-promises and under-delivers. Drivers want supervisors to hear their opinions. They are willing to share feedback—the problem is, most companies never ask. Companies that retain truck drivers value input from all divisions of the fleet.

Instead of waiting to receive this feedback on a public social media platform, companies should ask their drivers for feedback directly through an engagement survey, an in-person conversation, or a even a quick poll.

This gives the company an accurate pulse on their drivers’ happiness and satisfaction with their jobs. It is also a great retention method because it proves that the company cares.

After collecting the feedback from drivers, companies should have a plan in place. It’s important to quickly address the feedback and make improvements. Nothing is worse than providing feedback to a company and never seeing anything come from the survey.

3. Offer Referral Bonuses and Performance Incentives

Drivers are looking for more than just a lofty sign-on bonus. To retain truck drivers, offer opportunities to be involved with a community. Acknowledge drivers for their accomplishments (no matter the size), and give areas for growth. Drivers with these opportunities, they are more willing to refer a friend to a job opening at their company. They will also be more engaged with their work.

Instead of constantly investing in replacing drivers, companies should implement referral bonus programs or performance incentives to retain their current, already-qualified drivers.

However, don’t let your referral bonus or performance incentive program fall into the “large sign-on bonus trap.” Focus on incentives that are linked to retention instead of incentivizing quick turnover.

When implementing a referral bonus program, give the money out after the referred driver is with the company for a specific time. Doing so protects companies from granting it immediately after a new driver starts, but having the driver quickly leave. In addition, performance incentives should reward drivers for maintaining good safety measures, fuel efficiency, and time management skills over an extended period of time. These not only help drivers stay focused on the company’s goals, but also reward them for living out the mission.

ultimate guide to retaining truck drivers

Ultimate Guide to Retaining Truck Drivers

You work so hard to recruit the best truck drivers for your fleet. The trick is retaining them. This guide is packed with tips for retaining your fleet.

Get the Ebook