Hiring reliable fleet drivers and retaining them is not an easy task. The results of the Transport Manager Survey carried out by the FTA last year underlined the current situation of driver shortage as one of the most challenging issues for fleet managers. Driver shortage, difficulty in hiring and retaining drivers is something companies which rely on driving are starting to look into with increasing scrutiny.
If it is indeed true that in the current economic climate it has become especially challenging to retain drivers due to the continuous need to cut on costs, and therefore the prospect of offering attractive pay increases, it is also true to say that pay does not necessarily play as decisive a role in employee turnover as typically believed. Certainly, it is a substantial factor, but if on one hand you can do more with salaries by, for example, using technology in order to cut costs elsewhere, on the other hand there are some strategies you can implement to build up a more engaged driver workforce, which can also make a real difference:
Respect for the driving profession
If you are reading this, driving is probably an important part of your business: remember that even if drivers do not actually “sell” as such, they do guarantee your products are delivered, or the service requested is carried out. There should not be distinctions or “caste” among employees; drivers have to be considered as vital a part of the team as everyone else.
Start before you hire people
Set clear expectations when you have people sitting at interviews with a view to joining your driving team. Do not make promises you won’t be able to keep and maybe consider the help of a senior driver in making your hiring process more efficient and successful.
Communication and transparency leads to engagement
If drivers are kept aside from some conversations or not involved in processes that impact on the whole company, this will inevitably lead to an unhappy employee. As a telematics provider we encourage dialogue and communication; it is a key factor in the successful introduction of this technology. Correctly introducing new tools and new processes, encouraging feedback and so on is going to require their active contribution. The same holds true regarding transparency of processes. These points help to boost employee engagement.