The topic of driver retention is a constant in the trucking industry. Both for carriers and drivers alike, finding ways to improve the conditions on the road to ensure drivers and carriers are happy is extremely important.
What are some of the things drivers are looking for to stay working for the same company? Although the most common feedback from drivers quitting is because of the pay, some experts argue that that’s an easy way out, but in reality, it’s more complicated and other factors contribute to the high turnover rate most carriers face.
Apart from a desire for better compensation, drivers are left with an unfulfilled need for connection and respect. A high percentage of drivers have reported that they feel disrespected by their dispatchers, who treat them as pawns in a game and not like humans who deserve respect, empathy, and warmth. The stress that comes from dealing with an already stressed dispatcher only exacerbates the challenges and difficulties every driver faces on the road.
Truck drivers are constantly having their patience and composure tested by daily difficulties, delays, and unexpected obstacles on the road. Having a dispatcher, i.e., a stranger telling you, sometimes in an unfriendly way, when to drive, where to drive, how to drive without hearing your side of the story, is inevitably leading you to burn out and to explode.
This is not to diss on dispatchers, but to highlight the necessity for a warm connection between the two. Because they’re strangers and they’re both stressed and irritable, their interactions are less than friendly and leave both of them feeling even worse than before, increasing their frustrations. rations.
According to reports made by WorkHound, drivers are longing for honesty, transparency, and communication. Building strong relationships between drivers, dispatchers and office personnel is one of the key elements in this equation that leads to driver satisfaction.
Allowing drivers and dispatchers to meet each other, even virtually, and establish a relationship before actually starting to interact on the road could make the difference for both of them. For one, the dispatcher might understand the driver and have respect for their work, and vice versa. If they are aligned mentally, they can support each other better and ensure a better workflow.
Another element that came up in our review of driver retention tactics is the use of technology. Technology can be a double-edged sword when it comes to trucking. Technology can assist drivers as long as it makes their lives easier. For instance, an app that allows drivers to upload their bill while they’re doing pre- or post-trip inspections, or while they’re waiting for their truck to get loaded. Another benefit of technology could be faster communication between driver and dispatcher so they can collaborate as equals to optimize the driver’s time and the dispatcher’s goal.
It seems like honest, transparent communication is the key to driver retention. Letting them give feedback, listening to that feedback and implementing changes that improve the driver’s quality of life while they’re on the road.
In the end, carriers and drivers are the most essential part of the trucking industry and they want to be treated as such. Without them, it doesn’t matter if you have a freight planner, a client, a broker, or a factoring company, you wouldn’t be able to move any loads, or deliver any products.