Driver retention and recruiting are unconditionally linked. If your retention is up, you don’t have to fight to keep your fleet on the road. Instead, you can focus on recruiting more drivers to meet an increased demand for freight volume.
The value of driver retention programs can’t be overlooked as recruiting incentives either. Every incentive or new program can be used to attract and keep new drivers.
So how can you increase your retention rate and improve your driver recruiting at the same time? By showing drivers you care.
1. Driver incentives and reward programs.
Everyone likes to be rewarded for doing a good job, and drivers aren’t any different. With that in mind, a driver incentives and reward program can be a big boon for fleets with high turnover rates.
Most loyalty programs typically use points as currency. As drivers accomplish a goal, complete “challenges”, or meet performance measures, they can be awarded points for a job well done. Many of these programs include a website portal or smartphone application to help drivers track points and convert points into rewards.
Loyalty programs can get expensive, but no less expensive than trucks sitting idle.
According to CCJ, Tim Hindes, the Chief Executive of Stay Metrics, advises fleets put an equivalent of $350 per year in points for each of their drivers. However, some of their clients will “pony up” to $2,000 per driver.
2. Recognize drivers with awards.
Ok, so driver incentives and reward programs can be expensive. Not every fleet can afford to invest in a program like that. There are other ways to recognize your drivers without breaking the bank.
Sometimes, all it takes is recognizing a driver with a good old-fashioned reward.
This can be easy to do, and it’s less expensive than you think. You can take a few minutes to recognize the drivers who haven’t had any CSA violations, who came up with new solutions to safety problems, and who are celebrating anniversaries with your fleet.
Rewards could be as simple as a badge, trophy, or plaque. However, you can even go all out. Making this a quarterly or yearly event can transform your awards ceremony into a celebration. You might even provide these drivers with a bonus or monetary compensation and feature them on your social media pages and employee newsletters.
3. Upgrade your facilities with drivers in mind.
You’ve decided to upgrade office facilities. That’s great, but don’t just keep your office staff in mind. Think about your drivers too.
Adding modern lounges and other areas with your drivers in mind, can be a measure of appreciation to your truck drivers that they take notice of. Remember, drivers want to be shown respect and to be treated like part of the team. If they see you adding areas that are focused on them, they’ll notice.
Building new facilities is expensive, so this is a moot point for most fleets, right?
Not really. New facilities are expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade certain areas to better accommodate your drivers. Adding in simple things, such as a basketball court or a jogging track, can improve driver retention and keep costs relatively low.
You don’t have to build an arena. A simple goal and some concrete will do.
Driver recruiting and retention is expensive. In fact, the average cost of driver turnover is $8,234 per driver. With turnover well over 100% for many fleets, that amounts to some serious cash. Retention programs are a great way to mitigate the costs of driver turnover and focus your fleet on expanding to meet the needs of a growing economy.