It’s human nature for people to want to be recognized for their achievements, especially in the workplace. And while truck drivers don’t operate in a traditional “workplace” like an office, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be recognized for all the hard work they do week in and week out.
If your carrier hasn’t already, consider starting an award program so you can recognize the drivers in your fleet who go above and beyond the call of what’s expected. Here are the 3 most common types of truck driver awards along with some tips on how to make the most of your award program.
3 Truck Driver Awards to Give Out This Year
1. Million Miles Safety Club Award
Driving one million accident-free miles in a personal car is rare enough, but doing that in a 15-ton semi-truck? While it seems impossible, thousands of drivers reach this milestone every year.
A special trophy engraved with their name and the date, and the number of miles they’ve driven makes for a great keepsake for any long-time driver. Consider having something even more special for drivers who have achieved this milestone more than once.
2. Everyday Recognition Award
The little things matter too. Catch someone doing an excellent job on any given day? Then recognize them right away by putting a small certificate on their locker or on a bulletin board in a public area. Or post a quick note of recognition for everyone to see on your next email to drivers.
These types of truck driver awards are small but can make your drivers feel special and proud to be a part of your organization.
3. Driver of the Year
The “Driver of the Year” award is the biggest and best of them all. This award should be reserved for the driver who’s truly made a difference for your company this year. He or she should be a driver who is the best example of your company culture, always displays professionalism, excels at customer satisfaction, and puts safety first.
3 Tips for Having a Great Award Program
1. Number of Awards
It’s important to scale your award program based on how large your organization is. The award program that a fleet of 50 uses shouldn’t be the award program that a fleet of 500 uses. The general rule is the larger your fleet, the more awards you should have.
If your organization is large enough, you can break an award down into further sub-categories. So, instead of just having one Driver of the Year, you could have one Driver of the Year for each location, or one per haul type/division.
Amber Long and Cate Whitman, representatives with Drive My Way client, Paper Transport, recently dealt with this obstacle as their fleet started to expand,
“Originally, we only gave out a small number of these awards to the drivers who ranked at the very top. This was fine at first, but as Paper Transport grew, we realized this now meant that we weren’t featuring an appropriate number of drivers relative to how big out fleet was becoming.
We decided to give out a greater number of these awards so we could recognize even more drivers. This gives them more incentive to have a good scorecard since the awards are much more attainable now.”
To make the award selection more inclusive, you can let drivers nominate their fellow drivers for awards. After that, you can have a team to vet the finalists, but having drivers be a part of the nomination process is great for team building and creating a culture where driver’s opinions are valued.
Aside from the award itself, make sure the winner is known throughout your company. Sending out a photo of the winner in an email, or even better, awarding them during a company-wide event is a great way to make sure the winner is properly recognized and adds some prestige to the award. Just make sure that the driver is comfortable with this beforehand, in case they’re not a fan of having the spotlight on them.
If you’re giving out a plaque, consider having two copies made; one that will be given to the driver and one that will be featured in a prominent place in your carrier’s office or terminal.
No matter if you’re a recruiter, fleet manager, or executive, take some time to improve your truck driver awards program to show your drivers how much your carrier values them.