From creating positive word of mouth for driver recruitment to lengthening average driver retention, there’s no shortage of benefits to treating your workers right. A trucker’s life is both stressful and dangerous, making it hard for many employees in this field to motivate themselves. The better you are at showing you appreciate the hard work they do, the easier it will be for them to come into work each day, giving them an incentive to stick with you for the long haul.
When most employers try to show their workers they care, their first instinct is to offer them more money or better benefits. But while remuneration is certainly important, it alone does not guarantee employee happiness, especially for truck drivers and others who endure unique challenges at work. Ensuring job satisfaction in the trucking industry means keeping workers’ lives interesting and enriching, and that begins with:
Employees in any industry value flexibility in their work hours, and truck drivers are no exception. The more choice you give your workers over when they come to work and how long their shifts are, the easier it is for those workers to:
- Care for Kids- Workers who have children value the ability to spend time with and take care of them above anything else. The more flexibility you give them in choosing their work hours, the easier it is for them to get all the quality time they need with their kids.
- Engage with their Communities- Workers who have more flexible hours will have an easier time coordinating clubs, activist work, and other activities that help them grow closer to and care for other members of their community. If you make it easy for them to do this, they will view working for you as a highly valuable opportunity.
- Improve Themselves- Many of your employees are likely to have ambitions of increasing their education, starting a business, or taking some other step to enrich their lives. The more flexibility they have in working for you, the easier it will be for them to juggle their ambitions with their jobs.
As valuable as it is to let drivers set their own hours, it isn’t always easy to do so. Not only do you need to make sure that drivers are still available to serve all your clients, but you have to ensure that they’re not working beyond the legal limit. To balance these competing concerns, ask your employees to estimate when they’d like to work as far ahead of time as possible. You can then see whether this meets with your clients’ demands and legal obligations, and give each worker a schedule that is as close as possible to what they asked for.
In addition to offering employees the flexibility to enrich themselves, you can encourage them to do so directly. Consider offering your drivers funding if they want to go back to school or start a business. As long as you set clear standards for how they can qualify for this funding, this is a great way to help employees better themselves.
Employees are especially likely to value this benefit because of how expensive enrichment can be. Many people have the intelligence, work ethic, and motivation to succeed in school or business, but never try because they don’t have the funds. By offering financial support for these activities, you ensure that everyone with the potential for success has a chance to pursue it.
There is a risk to funding employees’ education and business ambitions. If they succeed, they may end up leaving your company in order to pursue those endeavors full-time. Nonetheless, you have far more to gain than to lose by investing in your workers’ futures. By attracting the best and the brightest drivers to work for you, you ensure higher levels of safety and efficiency for your company. And even if some of those drivers do choose to leave you, they may nonetheless remain valuable to your company, especially if they start businesses that end up purchasing your services.
One of the greatest benefits of working in the trucking industry is the opportunity to explore diverse parts of the country. Truckers get to travel through communities of all sizes, many of which they would never have visited otherwise. This appeals to drivers who have a sense of adventure and a desire to connect with as many different people and places as possible.
Unfortunately, many drivers quickly get used to the routes they travel. Especially if they are asked to deliver to the same places time and again, it's hard to stay interested in the communities they visit. This takes away the adventurous nature of the job and can make it feel like a chore.
To eliminate this problem and help employees stay engaged at work, give workers the ability to decide for themselves where they will deliver to. As far ahead of time as possible, publish the different destinations that you need to serve. Then give employees a chance to say which deliveries they would most like to make, and do everything you can to give each driver their preferred assignment. This gives the adventurous ones a chance to change the destinations that they travel to on a regular basis, while allowing those who prefer predictability to stay on the same routes.
Microdea offers driver management solutions, along with tools for improving the recruitment process. We provide advanced document management and business process automation software that can streamline your workplace and create a more efficient environment for back office employees. For more information, check out our demo on driver recruitment software.
Microdea is a rapidly growing enterprise software company focused on the development, sale and support of document management and business process automation technology for the transportation industry. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Microdea serves hundreds of customers spanning multiple countries and a range of transportation fields including rail, transit, truckload and LTL carriers, shipper private fleets, brokers and 3PL.