Employees who mesh well with the established culture of an organization are more likely to be retained, and show superior job performance. “This is especially important when the organization is facing inevitable changes,” says Brent Gleeson of Forbes.
The trucking industry is no exception. TruckersReport.com analyzed its membership base of some 190,000 new and veteran truck drivers and found that the leading factor behind job satisfaction had to do with their employer’s company culture, specifically if it was family-oriented or not. With the ongoing shortage of truckers and fleets looking to attract new generations of drivers, in addition to the rising costs of diesel constantly putting pressure on fleets — already some 40 percent of a company’s expense — one way to combat the inevitable changes of the trucking industry is to invest in establishing a culture that appeals to drivers.
So how can a fleet build a culture that truck drivers want to be a part of? As the TruckersReport.com study notes, a family-oriented culture is important to drivers. Loneliness is a major health concern among long-haul truckers, with drivers being way from home for weeks at a time. Even if a fleet offers sufficient home time, and drivers take full advantage of this time, there are still those extended weeks that only feel longer when drivers are away from the ones they love, as life goes on. Therefore, a fleet could do well to invest in ways to make drivers feel connected to home, even when thousands of miles away.
By offering WiFi in truck cabins, as well as scheduling an extended “family break” during each day, drivers can pull into a rest stop and Skype or call their families. Providing drivers with opportunities to connect with their families from anywhere each night or during a daily pit stop will help them make the most of their time with families while away. Fleets should also encourage drivers to join social media, especially Facebook, to share pictures and updates with their families. A fleet could also establish a Facebook group for drivers so they can communicate with each other, and share stories and other information while on the road.
Empathy, trust and respect are also concerns among drivers when it comes to culture. In fact, almost 70% of drivers polled by Randall-Reilly say fleets don’t respect their drivers or the job they do. Therefore, a fleet should make safety and equipment support fundamental. Ensuring that all equipment is maintained above and beyond standards, and incorporating safety into day-to-day communications will help drivers feel supported, as well as proactively protected. Additionally, creating a culture around optimizing fuel economy is a way to unify the fleet around a singular cause, and empower drivers.
Optimizing fuel economy in a driver-respectful way is what Vnomics TrueFuel™ is all about. TrueFuel™ gathers accurate and objective data on a driver’s performance, which can allow drivers to self-improve through real-time driver coaching as well as optimize behaviors within their control, like gear selection, engine speed control, acceleration, highway speeding, and idling. And it’s well established that fuel-conscious drivers are safer drivers. A fleet that utilizes Vnomics’ technology is one that shows drivers that efficiency, safety, and self-growth are important goals. With TrueFuel™ helping improve fuel economy, fleets can save on their biggest expense — diesel — which frees up funds that can be reinvested into driver incentives and rewards that revolve around safe and efficient driving, thereby showing that the fleet cares.
In these ways, fleets can cultivate and reinforce a culture that empowers their drivers as well as puts them first, which is good for recruitment as well as enhance loyalty and retention.