In the past we’ve written at Vnomics about some of the powerful ways that fleets can recruit and train young truck drivers. This millennial category of truckers represents a real opportunity for fleets to effectively combat the driver shortage. However, it’s going to take the right approach to not just recruit this new talent, but to keep them engaged and on board with the fleet long-term.
Turnover is a problem in the trucking industry at large, but younger people are particularly prone to turnover these days. Still, there are plenty of techniques to effectively keep them interested and invested in the fleet. We’ll help you get started.
Open the Channels of Communication
Trust is the foundation on which any successful relationship between employee and employer works. Fleet leaders need to trust that their drivers can get the job done, and drivers need to trust that leadership has their best interests in mind. Trust can often be a difficult thing to build, but the first step is always to make communication as open and as clear as possible.
This kind of clarity is something that young people are increasingly looking for in any job they take on. Increasingly, they crave transparency into the operations of whatever business they are working for, and they want to understand how their own personal contributions fit into that greater whole.
By sharing fleet objectives and opening up a channel for feedback, young drivers can feel more connected to their job and gain a greater appreciation for how they are personally tied to the success of the fleet as whole.
Provide A Coach in the Cab
Many millennials are absolutely obsessed with self-improvement. Every day, they want to try to become a better version of themselves than the day before, inside and outside of work. They’re rarely interested in jobs with no room to grow or improve.
Trucking is a job where there is constant room for improvement. There’s a very high bar for mastery, it’s just a question of engaging these young drivers in the effort to reach that level. The best way fleets can do that is to provide coaching that helps them get a little better each time they hit the road.
Providing in-person coaching is often too demanding for fleets, but what about a virtual coach in the cab? As the Commercial Carrier Journal broke down in a recent article, our True Fuel® platform “gives instant audible feedback on fuel-efficient behaviors for speeding, engine speed control, and idling.” It’s normalized to focus only on the things drivers can control, and unlike MPG—the default for fleets in assessing fuel performance—it uses metrics that are perfectly objective and fair.
As millennials increasingly embrace technology as a tool for self-improvement, True Fuel® is a natural fit in each cab piloted by one of these young drivers. The best part is that while these young drivers are being engaged by this opportunity for coaching and self-improvement, they are saving the fleet big on the rising cost of fuel at the same time.
Offer Fair Pay and Rewards
At the end of the day, young drivers want to be compensated fairly for the effort they put in. Monetary rewards are not just an incentive in their own right but serve as an affirmation that all that effort to improve will lead to something tangible. There’s really no better way to motivate young drivers to stick around and give their very best day in and day out.
Remember all that money that you’re saving because your drivers are way more fuel efficient? Those gains can be passed on to your drivers to demonstrate clearly that the fleet is invested in their continued success. Even a simple move like that can do wonders for building the kind of lasting trust we talked about at the beginning.
When young drivers feel that sense of trust and commitment from the fleet and they know that they will be rewarded for the effort they put in, they have so much more reason to stick around long term. That way, fleets are saving on the heavy costs of turnover too.
True Fuel® provides a conduit between driver and fleet leadership, acts as a steadfast and objective coach in the cab, and allows fleets to cost effectively reward them for that effort. In so many ways, it’s a technology built to keep young drivers on board, and it’s one that your fleet can start employing right now.