With the current driver shortage, it can be challenging for fleets to find quality drivers who provide a vital asset for their teams. Small businesses may not be able to offer substantial pay incentives like their large company competitors. That’s why these businesses must keep their drivers happy in their jobs, to ensure they thrive with the business and don’t look elsewhere for opportunities. Driver retention should be a priority for any fleet business, as good drivers are so hard to come by. We will provide some driver retention strategies so you can keep these good drivers on your team for as long as possible.
Safety is a top priority for most fleet drivers. If they don’t feel safe in their working environment, they’re unlikely to commit fully to their jobs. Creating a safety culture is crucial for ensuring that drivers understand that safety is a priority to you, just like it is to them. Installing features like dash cams and tracking telematics are ways to show that you take safety seriously. You can reward your drivers for their safe driving behaviors through programs like Azuga’s driver rewards program, which tracks driver safety and assigns each driver a safety score. Drivers with high safety scores can win gift cards. Drivers who need coaching can be targeted based on their exact areas of issue and get the training they need to improve. Implementing programs like these promotes a culture of safety that shows drivers you are committed to keeping them safe.
Embrace New Technology
Working with outdated technology can be frustrating for drivers. That’s why it’s essential to keep your fleet up to date with the latest technology. Fleet management software can make the dispatching process smooth and efficient, so drivers aren’t frustrated. Mobile apps that drivers can use to accept jobs, track their time, and navigate their routes are ideal. Route optimization software can make a driver’s day go by faster, getting them home to their families sooner and improving their work-life balance. It’s important to embrace new technologies that make day-to-day operations of the fleet easier so that drivers can focus on their jobs and not tedious menial tasks.
Celebrate Good Behavior
We touched on this with the driver rewards program, but there are numerous ways to celebrate positive driver behavior. Drivers who feel appreciated for a job well done are more likely to stick around than those who feel like they’re only acknowledged when they do something wrong. You can track all kinds of behaviors and reward drivers based on key performance indicators such as:
- Consecutive collision-free days
- Safe miles driven
- Improvement after coaching
- Positive customer reviews
- Reducing distracted driving
- Minimizing downtime
- Idling less
- Reducing following distance
Creating a “driver of the month” program or something similar will not only improve driver morale but will encourage positive driving behavior and ensure drivers are continually improving and meeting their goals.
Create True Teams
When you onboard drivers, integrate them with your team to ensure they feel welcomed and become team members more easily. Create opportunities for team building and peer cooperation so drivers can work together. This is a job where it’s easy to isolate, so it’s important to encourage workers to engage in team activities to make them feel like they’re not alone.
Accept Driver Feedback
One of the most important ways you can improve driver morale is by seeking out their feedback. Drivers are usually happy to tell you what you’re doing well and what you can improve on. They simply often aren’t given a chance to voice their opinions. Quarterly or even monthly feedback surveys will help you gauge how your drivers feel about their current position and how you can make improvements.
It’s essential not only to take in driver feedback but to act upon it. If drivers are giving their feedback and not seeing changes or responses, they are likely to grow bitter and frustrated. That’s why it’s important to take feedback very seriously, act upon it where you can, and respond to it where you can’t. The critical aspect is that drivers feel heard and respected as valuable assets to your team.
In these challenging times, driver retention is more vital than ever. Azuga offers all kinds of technology options that make life easier both for fleet managers and fleet drivers. Check out our website to try a demo of any of our products, and follow our blog for more tips on improving operations for your fleet!