Posts

4 Ways to Engage Drivers as a Small Trucking BusinessAccording to Drive My Way’s Truck Driver Happiness and Retention Survey, only 54% of surveyed drivers say they are happy with their job. Younger and newer drivers expressed higher levels of happiness than older, more experienced drivers. In addition, females expressed higher satisfaction levels as did those working for larger companies.
Beth Potratz

Beth Potratz, CEO of Drive My Way shares: “Too many CDL drivers are not happy with their job. A truck driver’s life and job are inextricably connected, therefore it’s critical their job fits their needs and preferences so they can live the life they want doing the job they love.”

Taking that research into account, you might also wonder how the size of the employer might affect happiness and retention. What might make a smaller company an attractive place for a driver to work? What gives small carriers an advantage over larger carriers? In this case, there’s plenty of things that a smaller company can use to its advantage when working to recruit and retain great truck drivers. Here we’ll take a look at 4 little ways to engage drivers at a small trucking business.

1. Show Drivers You Care

Showing signs of appreciation for your drivers should be part of any company’s overall culture. Though grand gestures of appreciation are usually well-received, it’s the smaller things that standout. The things that make life easier on a daily basis that can make the most difference. A simple thank you goes a long way to keep employees feeling appreciated and engaged. Investments in continuing driver education help driver know you value them. Being respectful of scheduling requests makes your drivers feel respected. These are the little things that a small trucking business can do well to compete for driver loyalty. Take a look at the list below, which of these things do you use to your advantage?

Small trucking companies have the following advantages:

  1. Know your drivers by name
  2. Family-first culture
  3. Flexibility
  4. Close-knit teams
  5. Less layers and bureaucracy
  6. More meaningful interactions
  7. Plenty of opportunity to grow

2. Open Lines of Communication

Communicate with drivers effectively and ask to hear their opinion on crucial topics such as compensation, equipment, and home time. Showing that you care about your drivers is important. If you give your drivers ways to supply their feedback, this can encourage further driver engagement as well.

As a small trucking business, you can really highlight the intangibles that make working for you attractive. If you’ve got a great home time policy, be sure to include and communicate that. Tell prospective employees about the things you provide that larger carriers cannot. These indirect forms of compensation are something to communicate when recruiting new drivers.

Whenever someone is asked for their opinion on something that’s important, it makes them more connected to the decision-making. And ultimately connected and invested in the way the company performs. All of these things add to the value perceived by your drivers, and should be communicated as a part of their total compensation when they join your team.

3. Prioritize What Makes Drivers Happy

Does it matter if drivers are happy? Drive My Way’s Truck Driver Happiness and Retention Survey indicates that driver job satisfaction, retention, and recruiting are strongly interconnected. Not only are happy drivers more likely to stay with your company, but they are also more likely to recommend and help recruit your next driver hire.

Asking your employees about happiness is a great indicator of turnover risk. Investing in the satisfaction of your drivers can have a big payoff in both retention and recruiting.

Driver Happiness Factors

What makes a driver happy?

This graphic from the Truck Driver Happiness and Retention Survey shows what makes truck drivers happy, and which factors impact their retention more than others.

Are you making these things a priority in your current driver strategy? What changes should you make?

4. Advancement Opportunities

There are a few great ways to help a new driver know that if they join your carrier, they can have long and fulfilling career with you. Implementing mentorship programs and having a driver career path established will help a driver picture how they will fit in and grow with your company over the long-haul.

Mentorship programs are great tools for your small trucking business. They help engage new drivers by having a designated person to show the the rope. And it also gives your current drivers an opportunity to share what they know to help a new driver get established. These relationships can be very mutually beneficial for the drivers, and certainly valuable for company culture and employee retention.

Having a mentor, and also having an established career path to follow can help a driver become connected early and know that they’ve made a great decision to be with you for many years and many, many miles.

If you’re just getting started, or if you’re a well-established small trucking business, you most certainly have advantages to use in your favor while building your team of drivers. Lean into the strengths and advantages that are unique to a trucking company of your size and do the things that larger carriers simply cannot. Word of mouth is a great tactic to help you attract and retain drivers when you’re small or just getting started.

driver happiness and retention survey

FREE SURVEY REPORT

Driver Lifestyle & Job Happiness Survey

We surveyed over 400 CDL truck drivers nationwide to discover what makes them happy in their career and life. Access the survey report to see the results.

Get the Results

3 Trucking Trends to Watch in 2020

The truck driver shortage and how to improve recruiting continue to be hot topics in the trucking industry. Finding and retaining good drivers is still a struggle for many trucking companies. If your recruiting strategy from last year didn’t generate the expected results, maybe now is a good time to try something new for this year. Whether you need to start from scratch or just make a few changes, we’ve got some ideas to help. Here we’ll explore 3 trucking industry trends to watch in 2020.

1. Focus on the Driver’s Experience

When thinking about recruiting in today’s world, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Each candidate is a unique person, looking for the perfect fit job for them. You can’t take an approach of simply doing things the same way again this year. There are countless opportunities to engage with your future drivers. And each one of those opportunities can be won or lost based on their experience at each step. Think of things in terms of being driver-centric in all that you’re doing.

Can drivers easily find your website? Is your application process easy? Does it work well on a mobile phone? When they call your 800 number can they get to someone quickly to help them?

Take a step back and look at every interaction opportunity with potential drivers. Be on trend with putting the driver first in your recruiting process.

2. Video Testimonials

Video assets are great to have as a tool in your recruiting toolbox. One great video opportunity is to leverage your current drivers to share their experiences. Keep it short. Make sure it’s authentic, conversational and not forced. This means don’t give someone a script to read and put a camera in their face. Let them speak naturally from their own experience and talk about what they like about working for you. You don’t need to be the next Martin Scorsese either. A decent smart phone and some basic editing software can get you a great result!

Here’s a quick example of a driver video testimonial

This gives you an opportunity to let your current drivers spread the word for you. And for your potential drivers hear from their peers about why it’s fulfilling to work for your company.

3. Social Channels

Now that you’ve developed some great videos, it’s time to get them out into your social channels. Social media is one of the biggest trucking industry trends for 2020. And continues to prove to be one of the lowest cost tactics you can employ in your recruiting process.

Statistics from Social Hire show that:

  • 80% of employers say social recruiting helps them find passive candidates
  • 67% of recruiters expect competition for candidates to increase
  • 70% of hiring managers say they’ve successfully hired with social media
  • 91% of employers are using social media to hire talent, today

One note about social media, is that there’s several avenues to potentially leverage. If you’re just getting started, pick one or two, and start small. If you don’t have a good Facebook page setup, it’s probably not imperative to get your TikTok account going. It’s best to keep your social presence manageable when you’re getting started. The key thing with social is to keep a steady stream of fresh content coming to keep your followers engaged.

Working through some of these trends can get your recruiting year off to a great start. Mixing in some new tactics while still fully embracing things like responding to candidates quickly, and measuring your results, will help your recruitment plans flourish.

ultimate guide to truck driver recruiting

Ultimate Guide to Truck Driver Recruiting

Current ways of recruiting truck drivers just don’t work anymore. That’s because recruiting isn’t a transaction. This ultimate guide helps carriers recruit for retention.

Get the Ebook