Keep turnover from driving your trucking company

More than 90 percent of truck drivers leave in their first year, according to national economists. With the national shortage of drivers already estimated at 100,000 and rising because of the hydraulic fracturing boom and new regulations limiting driving hours, trucking firms need to be more vigilant than ever to retain employees.

Following are several steps to help you keep employees satisfied and productive.

1.       Just as a company strives to find employees who demonstrate commitment to the business, so must an organization maintain its commitment to employees – first and foremost through respecting your staff at all times.

2.       Added to that character, make a point to listen to your drivers, and especially hear them out on their complaints. Even those who often seem upset will be making statements based in truth and representing how other drivers might be feeling. If the complaints are valid, address their concerns as soon as possible. If you can’t make the change he or she is requesting, inform them and explain why it’s not an option right now.

3.       As the generational workforce shifts, the work-life balance wishes of your employees also might begin to change. If one of your drivers says he or she needs to get home, prioritize that employee to do so and show your commitment to them.

4.       Make it a point to maintain your equipment, both to keep your routes on track and for driver safety (and saved frustration!).

5.       Always keep your employees informed of the company’s goals and direction. Transparency builds trust in a business; the more they know what’s going on and see you sharing information, the more they will understand and support you as an employer. Also be sure they are aware of the customers’ expectations, as well as your own!

6.       When an employee goes the extra mile or maintains flexibility in a challenging situation, surprise them with something special. Recognizing them for solving a difficult customer’s problem or catching an equipment issue before it becomes serious deserves more than a standard thank you.

7.       Sometimes, the concern your employee will have can only be solved by a higher paycheck. Discuss the situation with them – is their concern for a short-term need, or long-term planning? Has something changed in their work recently, such as more mileage? Is there a way to give them longer routes to help adjust their wages?

Solid employees are the backbone of every successful company. Though leadership, strategy and expertise all help to steer a business, it’s the workforce behind those guides that get the organization to its goals.


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