3 Steps to Find and Keep Your Best Drivers

Greater Driver Retention

Statistics from stay and exit interviews reveal compelling themes about what might make professional drivers stay:

  • 68% of current drivers get feedback from their manager
  • 80% of highly engaged drivers feel their suggestions for changes are given consideration

And, what might make them leave:

  • 94% of disengaged drivers don’t believe their supervisor understands the problems drivers face
  • 75% of disengaged drivers feel that senior leadership doesn’t follow through on commitments

The feedback in these statistics reveals what drivers are looking for in an organization. That information can be used to understand how to make your “A players” happy, as well as how to recruit more drivers that are like them. Follow these three steps for a strategic, data-driven approach that will help you identify and keep your best drivers:

Step 1: Identify the productivity metrics that are most important to your organization.

The first step is to determine how your organization measures successful productivity. Some fleets base productivity by simply looking at commonly used metrics such as MPG or percentage of on-time pick-ups and deliveries. Other companies set productivity standards by selecting metrics that are common across their top performing drivers. Whichever approach you take, make sure the metrics you choose make sense for the organization.

Step 2: Commit to collecting feedback on driver satisfaction.

After you have performance metrics tied to productivity, the next step is to ask your drivers for feedback. These questions should be geared towards measuring their satisfaction based on your company’s culture and operations.

If you’re looking for unbiased, actionable data, work with a third party to gather driver satisfaction feedback. When trucking companies try to gather this information by conducting their own employee surveys, drivers may be hesitant to share the truth behind their dissatisfaction. This reluctance is often based upon a fear of burning bridges and how this might impact referrals and opportunities of being re-hired. Sharing thoughts, opinions, and feelings with an unbiased third-party can make a driver feel more comfortable to openly share feedback, and end up providing you with unbiased, actionable data.

Step 3: Combine your metrics and feedback.

Finally, once you have identified the metrics and gathered feedback, it’s time to use data analytics and reporting tools to explore the information and identify:

  • What makes your top performers happy? Knowing this will allow you to continue focusing on those things.
  • What might disengage your top performers? Take action on what you discover and resolve issues.
  • What behavioral interview questions should you include when interviewing applicants? Knowing what motivates your current high-performing drivers, you can make sure to ask applicants to determine if they’re motivated by the same things.

Information is knowledge, and knowledge is power. Use what you learn from the information you gather—if 80% of highly engaged drivers feel their suggestions for changes are given consideration, make sure your leadership team demonstrates this to everyone. If 94% of drivers don’t think their managers understand driver problems, you know that’s impacting productivity and satisfaction—it’s time to make a change. With the data and feedback about productivity and satisfied drivers, you’re able to keep the “A players,” recruit more drivers like them and take action to help other drivers become more productive.

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