Respect and independence are two of the most important factors in truck driver retention, according to a wide-reaching survey conducted by EpicVue. The company’s CEO, Lance Platt, put his doctorate degree in business organization and management to good use for the industry, spear-heading a multi-faceted study of truck driver satisfaction.
The study sought to identify what fleets are already doing that has been successful in increasing driver retention. EpiqVue began by asking fleets to report the percentage of their drivers that had been with them for less than a year, one to five years, five to 10 years and longer than 10 years. The company then investigated the factors that positively affected retention at the fleets with the highest percentages of longevity.
What those fleets had in common was a purposeful effort to involve drivers in the corporate culture and while recognizing their needs as individuals.
“One company regularly polls drivers for ideas and feedback and has created a number of new programs out of those ideas, and another had drivers to help them refine a performance management scorecard,” said Platt. “In other instances, a company reported it is providing every driver with a company e-mail address along with an iPhone so they can stay in touch with colleagues and family, and one more sends all of its managers to ethics and leadership training to ensure drivers get a consistent message.”
EpiqVue also asked the drivers whether they felt their employers valued their opinions and communicated honestly, whether they trusted their companies and whether they would refer a friend to drive for the company.
“The survey results provide a picture of how comfortable drivers feel at a company, which reflects how much they feel they’re respected and valued by the organization,” said Platt. “Every fleet claims they treat drivers like family and have great relationships as a result, but the answers to these questions often tell a different story.”
In another phase of the study, EpiqVue surveyed 270 over-the-road truck drivers at truck stops. The drivers, who ranged in age from the early 20s to the mid-50s and had an average company tenure of 5.73 years, were each asked three questions:
Other than the paycheck, what do you enjoy most about being a professional truck driver?
Other than compensation, what is the best aspect of the fleet you drive for?
Other than the money, what makes you loyal to the fleet company you drive for?
“The findings indicated that independence (26 percent) is what drivers enjoy most about their job,” said Platt. “In addition, the best aspect of a fleet for the drivers surveyed is a company they view as respectful, friendly, understanding and kind (37 percent). In terms of practices that create loyalty, one third cited companies that listen to suggestions, followed by incentives and benefits (25 percent).”
EpiqVue offers an in-cab satellite TV viewing package especially for commercial truck drivers