In today’s climate, being able to recruit and retain qualified drivers can be a struggle. As the economy pushes to recover from the inevitable hit of the pandemic, the ability to attract new truck drivers and keep old ones motivated and employed becomes a pressing issue. Although the low retainment rate for employees is affecting many industries, the trucking industry has been impacted significantly.
In order to understand how to retain truck drivers, it is important to understand some of the possibilities that lead to the shortage of workers. First, a huge factor that may deter workers is health and well-being. As a result of the pandemic, it is obvious that many have been affected health-wise not just physically but mentally as well. Those not even affected directly by the sickness experienced drastic life changes due to the world adjusting. Truck drivers have a more taxing experience mentally and physically. Having to make extremely tight delivery schedules and manage the safe transportation of products, truck drivers can become burnt out pretty easily. The constant tight schedule has led many truck drivers to an overwhelming amount of fatigue, anxiety, obesity, and high blood pressure. Additionally, many have reported increased feelings of loneliness and depression.
There are several ways company’s can help prevent and treat current employees who suffer from the aforementioned issues. Several trucking companies have implemented a driver-centered health initiative that focuses on addressing potential and current health issues that arise. Making more of an effort to make sure that truckers feel like they have the resources and that trucking companies want them to prioritize their health will make a huge difference in their work experience.
Another way to help strengthen the retainment of truck drivers is to begin embracing the advancement of technology. As an industry that has been known for relying on paper, relying more on technology can help make the day-to-day responsibilities of truckers easier and safer. Having a more productive and efficient work experience due to the help of technology allows truckers to get more done and have more time between deliveries to prioritize their health.
Feedback is also another important way to help retain truck drivers. It’s one thing to offer ways for employees to give feedback but actually listening and letting them know you are receptive to what they have to say makes all the difference. Understanding that, as truck drivers, they have more hands-on experience with what can go wrong and what works in the industry will help you create more opportunities for improvement.
Another important factor to consider is employee benefits. What offer enhanced perks are you providing to get truck drivers excited and motivated to continue working for your company? Many truck drivers leave small companies to work for larger companies because of the benefits available. To put yourself in a better position to compete for these works you can start with adjusting current benefit plan rates to reduce the out-of-pocket costs many struggle with. Having easily accessible resources available to workers such as mental health and weight loss programs can also foster a better relationship between the employer and employee. The more drivers feel like they are being taken care of and receiving benefits for their hard work, the more they will feel incentivized to continue working for trucking companies.
When it comes to attracting more talent, it is important to constantly assess the market and make sure you are reaching out to the right target audience. While it has been reported that the average diver is around 35 years old, that is not the only demographic that will be on the hunt for truck driving jobs. The failure to recruit new talent does not only lie in the hands of the industry but also in the recruitment process. To enhance the recruiting process, employers should make sure they are reaching the underrepresented workers in the industry as well. While the majority of truck drivers are middle-aged males, there is a growing market for female drivers as well. Recruiting younger workers, anywhere from the ages of 18 to mid-20s, can also lead to long-term success. As older workers begin to retire, focusing recruiting efforts on the younger generation of truck drivers provides an opportunity to build from the ground up. This also allows employers to train and grow with these new drivers creating a work atmosphere and relationship that suits both the employee and employer.
Finally, once trucking companies have an idea of who exactly it is they want their recruiting efforts to reach, it is important to focus on how they are reaching that target. Whether it is social media, job boards, or commercials; having a recruiting process in line will help create more long-term success. It does not work to just post once and hope people will see it. The recruitment process is an ongoing task.
Whether you have the goal of gaining new truck drivers or retaining current ones, it is important to take a step back and evaluate the current procedures and work experiences in place to help determine new ways to strengthen retention efforts.