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customers they serve. When the purpose is bigger than the

paycheck, people will go out of their way to make a difference. Instead of having a fleet of individual drivers, there’s a fleet rallying for the same cause. One carrier that has taken this approach is Roehl Transport. On their website they prominently display “Driving America,” an interactive page where viewers can see specific examples of what Roehl hauls and the impact it has on society. Companies like FedEx and UPS have reported stronger driver retention

because their drivers feel “closer” to the customer. Simply knowing the story behind the freight and “why” we show up to work can go a long way. Too often, drivers have shared that

“the only difference is the name on the side of the door” in their experience with carriers. A stronger purpose can start to change that. The second key needed to retain driv-

ers is respect. Some studies show that up to 15 percent of driver departures are a result of “lack of respect” from the carrier.

Respect comes in a number of different forms, especially giving drivers a voice and recognizing their efforts. When it comes to having a voice, driv-

ers want to help the carrier improve, as every- one wins when this happens. Annual surveys won’t cut it here, as the majority of drivers will turnover by the time the survey comes around. Some carriers have started to do con- tinuous surveys, checking in every month or quarter to evaluate driver feedback. One method that has become popular

with carriers is the “driver advisor council,” a select team of drivers that gathers the biggest issues from the pool of drivers and visits with the company’s leadership about how to improve the driver experience. Eyes get opened on both sides when this sort of experience is shared. With both of these options, carriers

can act on driver feedback and then make decisions “based on what drivers said” as opposed to informing the fleet of changes without cause or warning. Having just a lit- tle bit of say truly goes a long way. Recognition is another area that driv-

ers embrace and carriers across the U.S. have responded accordingly. Whether mil- lion mile awards, celebrating truck driving championships, giving surprise hand-writ- ten thank you notes or driver of the month awards, drivers are thrilled when recog- nized. This kind of delight influences an entire company culture. When drivers want to stay, everyone wins. The trucking industry is ripe for a

makeover, not only for how drivers are embraced, but also for how entire compa- nies perform. The “best practices” of today will not win the challenges of tomorrow, so carriers must be open to innovative approaches to how business gets done. Going the extra mile to make drivers

feel valued in unexpected ways will make drivers remember who they drive for, not just the fact they are a driver. That can go a long way to keeping the driver for the long haul. R

Article by Max Farrell, CEO of WorkHound, a software platform built to retain drivers by giving them a voice to the carrier on the road. Email for more tips on driver retention.

42 Summer 2015

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