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Almost every company now offers a sign- ing bonus for joining their fleet, which only encourages the cyclical nature of driv- ers hopping around — the current “best practice” many carriers rally around. This begs asking: “What about keep-


ing the drivers?” Pay tends to be the primary argu-


ment for retaining drivers. Executives constantly stated that pay is the biggest issue, sharing “we’ve got to find a way to pay the drivers more.” This is true to an extent, as drivers


need to make a livable wage, but the Harvard Business Review has shown there is merely a two percent overlap between pay and job satisfaction levels. Pay matters and is an influencer of employee engagement, but consistent pay wins the day, as a lack of pay does create a barrier to engagement. All of this talk of pay (good or bad)


could ultimately have a negative effect on drivers’ perceptions towards work. The people that focus too much on how much they make could be preventing themselves from enjoying their jobs. A 2010 MIT study showed that this


indeed the case to keep employees happy: professionals must receive enough money to take the issue of compensation off the table, something that has been a challenge for the industry since deregulation. An increasing number of carriers like Covenant Transport are setting minimum weekly payments to drivers to let them know they aren’t running a $300 a week operation. This falls right in line with the study:


If pay is no longer the primary focus, driv- ers can focus on doing their best work. But there are a number of ways,


beyond pay that are differentiators in keep- ing drivers. According to Harvard Business Review, “employees who are intrinsically motivated are three times more engaged than employees who are extrinsically moti- vated (such as by money).” This goes to show that carriers that go beyond pay win the day. In talking with dozens of drivers,


many highlighted the joys of barbecues at terminals, open door policies and driver advisor councils as a few ways carriers build strong sentiment with their drivers.


Summer 2015 41


However, when it came down to the biggest reasons drivers thrive with their carrier, as opposed to continuous departures, it comes down to purpose and respect. When it comes to establishing the


purpose of a carrier, the first question that should be asked by everyone, whether exec- utive or employee is “why do we do what we do?” If the first answer that comes to mind is profitability, an immediate concern should arise. As the workforce increases with mil-


lennials, the purpose of an organization will take center stage. Understanding the rallying cause of “why this company is in business” is vital. The purposes to think through are around “who do we serve as our customer?” and “how do we enrich the lives and communities around us?” As all of us know, trucking carriers a tremendous purpose with it, but sometimes we get lost in the dollars and cents to remember the stories and sacrifices of the drivers and the


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