The goals on both sides of the truck driver and manager relationship are generally pretty clear. The manager wants the driver to perform at a high level, and the driver wants to be treated well by the manager. Neither side is happy when those needs aren’t met, and that’s when bigger problems like turnover set in. The good news is that they both have the same solution: a performance-based rewards program.

There are three things that drivers want most: better pay, respect, and more time at home. They leave fleets that they don’t feel are providing those things, and they spend precious time looking for a new job when they could be working or being with their family. The big question for drivers is how they can find a lasting position where they are treated well.

A huge part of treating drivers well is recognizing the work that they do. What better way to do that than with a well-integrated reward system? Not only will a reward-based solution help meet those core driver needs, but it can make it so much easier to foster more high-performing drivers – boosting the productivity of the fleet as a whole .

The right reward can play an incredibly powerful role in motivating higher productivity and engagement, and it’s more than just a carrot on a stick. It lets your drivers know their hard work is valued. It helps them understand that there is always a higher peak to strive toward, with something waiting for them when they get there. Drivers get something deeper and more meaningful than a nice gift; they get a purpose to drive the work they do.

So what shape should that reward take? We know what drivers want — more money and more time at home — but it may not seem like there’s a clear path for fleets to promise those things, especially when profit margins are already slim because of other operational expenses. However, the money that can be saved on turnover far outweighs the cost of pay-based rewards.

Nothing hurts trucking fleets and the trucking industry as a whole more than driver turnover. At best, it costs $3000-$5000 to hire one driver. Multiply that by the amount of drivers that fleets lose each year and the numbers quickly get out of control. It’s incredible how much money could be saved if turnover went down, even by a little bit.

A rewards program that could combat all those reasons why drivers choose to leave may be the answer we’re all looking for to the turnover problem. So how do you start building a system that really makes drivers happier, and better performers too?

Increased compensation seems like an obvious place to start since it is the thing that drivers cite most frequently as a problem, but there may be a better and more creative way to do that than flat raises. By providing bonuses for boosting fuel mileage, for example, three goals for the fleet manager are achieved instantly. They have a system to increase performance, they save money on fuel, and most importantly, they retain their drivers.

We built True Fuel to make all of those goals easy to achieve. Before you can reward performance, you need a system that can measure it. True Fuel not only measures performance with high accuracy, it gives drivers clear guidance on how to improve it. It provides everything you need to begin building a performance-based incentive program.

The simple fact that True Fuel provides a fair way to assess performance makes a big difference on its own. When drivers are rewarded and recognized for their improvement, they know that they’ve earned it because they are being measured objectively. They are evaluated on benchmarks they can control, and not those they can’t. Drivers and fleet owners finally have the same goal: to make the fleet better. That kind of alignment of purpose can lead to so much healthy engagement and ultimately greater fleet retention.

Using True Fuel to reward your drivers with fair, accurate performance-based bonuses is so powerful because it gives your drivers a clear path on how they can achieve those rewards. With True Fuel, fleets can let their drivers know that they really are a partner in their own progress. That way, they get the respect they want too.