Every driver is different, and they all have different reasons for staying or leaving. So there isn’t a one-solution-fits-all answer to this question. Instead, a good retention strategy targets many common reasons for trucker turnover.
Many individuals are drawn to the idea of driving a truck across the country, seeing the places they’ve talked about visiting their whole lives. But when they actually get behind the wheel, reality sets in. Driving truck is hard work. The days are long. The rig is enormous. And life on the road can be stressful.
Efforts to prepare drivers for these realities, such as additional training, simulations, even starting new drivers out with easier-to-handle automatic transmission rigs, can have a big impact. The more comfortable new drivers are the first time the hit the road alone, the better chance they’ll be back for a second run.
Lack of Social Connection
In most industries one of the biggest factors in employee satisfaction is whether or not they’ve made friends at work. Unfortunately, truckers can’t exactly grab a coffee with their cubicle mates. Trucking can be a lonely business, especially for new drivers who haven’t made connections on the road. That’s why it’s important to help new drivers make those connections.
A mentorship program can help them quickly make connections within your organization. Making sure they get a chance to connect with your partners will also help, so on that first run they can look forward to meeting those people in person.
Limited Time at Home
No matter how long someone has been driving, uncertainty about when or how long they’ll get to be home can put a strain on their personal life. And that’s likely to affect their job satisfaction. This is particularly true for anyone in a new relationship or with a family. Make it a priority for your company to set and stick to reasonable home-time schedules for your drivers. If your driver can keep his promise to be home for this weekend’s big soccer match, his kids will be your biggest advocates!
Some weeks, truckers can make a killing. Other weeks, there just aren’t enough runs to go around. For truckers trying to pay bills and support a family, those slow weeks can be a major source of stress – and a time for seriously considering a career change. You can’t get rid of the slow weeks, but you can prepare your truckers for them.
Be honest about the ups and downs, and offer some free, financial management tools – maybe even a class. If your truckers run out after getting a few big paychecks and buy the biggest Ultra HDTV they can find and a fancy new car, when the slow weeks hit, there won’t be anything left over. But if they’ve been responsible and set some money aside, they can coast through those slow periods and be ready and waiting when the big money starts rolling in again.
For more advice on improving your company’s retention, and to find highly-qualified truckers to fill your open positions, contact the experts at Contracted Driver Services today.