95%. That’s the annualized turnover rate for large truckload fleets in the United States in 2021.
These numbers show us that driver retention is a major issue for carriers. Often, the first solutions we think of to improve retention are reviewing overall compensation or increasing salaries.
What if there were other options? Today, let’s look at an unexplored angle: understanding the human behind the wheel. In this blog, discover how caring about people can increase retention and drive engagement. Try putting the following 4 steps into practice to see the effects in your organization.
1. Relating to the reality of drivers
The first step is to become interested in and understanding the reality of people; in other words, caring and relating to them to some degree. This understanding will help foster circumstances that lead to your ultimate goal of better talent retention. By circumstances, we mean events that occur daily, such as how you live your corporate values or the decisions you make to move the organization forward. Knowing what your drivers want and value, will give you a better idea of what you need to put in place to satisfy them. The idea is to create momentum to go from turnover to retention.
2. Cultivating connection
“Humans have the ability and the need to bond and cooperate.”- Richard Barrett – Evolutionary Coaching
What if you used this bonding ability to mobilize your teams? For trust to emerge, individuals must first share vulnerability. People need to feel comfortable sharing their challenges and aspirations. As an organization, you want stories to be born within your walls, and shared beyond them. Stories bring people together. They help foster retention, but they also have the power to attract new candidates.
3. Nurturing the need to belong
Human beings have a very strong need to belong. So strong, that it is more powerful than the need for physical security according to some studies. That’s how much we feel the need to be part of a group or community. In an industry like transportation where physical safety is crucial, we must make room for the need to belong which is just as important.
4. Building engagement
When look at the “wheel of retention”, we see that we need to create momentum between understanding the reality of the drivers and creating stories and connections between people to nurture their sense of belonging to the organization. This is how you can build engagement and create wellness for your drivers.
How to become a destination of choice
Now that you know the steps of the retention wheel, how do you get it rolling into action? How do you get people to want to stay with your organization for the long term? Here are some action ideas in each of the steps seen above:
Caring & Relating
- Daily check-in calls
- Wellbeing agent
- Active management (one-on-ones)
- Agile appreciation reviews
- Development/progression plans
Bonding & Connecting
- Onboarding process and activities
- Drivers’ committee
- Social activities & committee
- Drivers’ room
- Cross-functional training involvement
- Exploratory / pilot project participation
- Surveys & soundboarding
- Participatory sessions
- (Bi-)monthly internal meetings
- Quarterly in-person rallying & team building
- Work Committee involvement (rolling)
- Access, swag, etc.
- Culture values assessment
- Continuous training
- Leadership development
- eNPS & Pulse surveys
How ISAAC can help
ISAAC’s solution is your ally when it comes to recruitment and retention. We develop our solution around the user’s reality and to ensure an optimal experience. Our goal is to simplify transportation through technology.
Many of our features correspond to the actions suggested at different points of the retention process.
- Electronic reporting to simplify and eliminate paper
- Messaging to stay connected
- Performance reports to recognize success
- Customizable forms for surveys and feedback
- The ISAAC Coach to drive action and provide fair feedback
- Features to promote balance in work planning and dispatching
Where to begin with driver retention
First, you have to “care and relate”. The best way to move in this direction is to experiment on a daily basis. Be models of the vision you have. Live it and see the effect it has on your organization.
About the author
Josiane Lorange, Eng.
MBA, Chief Wellbeing Officer
Josiane Lorange is Chief Wellbeing Officer at ISAAC Instruments. She envisions and leads organizational development initiatives to maximize human potential and best exploit the innovation, leadership and management capacities of the team. Always curious about humans and what drives them, she continuously strives to find alternate work methods to be more creative, agile and collaborative while putting people at the center of every decision.