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Employee Engagement Improves Turnover in Transportation Industry

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Rapidly changing weather. Dangerous driving conditions. Near-constant road work.    

The transportation industry faces many challenges on a daily basis, but one of their biggest lies in employee turnover. While turnover impacts every industry, none feel its effects quite as much as those in transportation. To illustrate this, we need to look no further than the trucking sector, which experiences an unprecedented amount of turnover annually. The good news is there are proven steps any organization can take to reduce churn, but before we get into specific actions, let’s take a closer look at the problem.

Employee Turnover in the Trucking Sector

As we outlined in our previous blog, the transportation industry is among the most dangerous on Earth. While much of this stems from driver distraction (another area which can be dramatically improved through employee engagement and recognition), high turnover also shares in the responsibility. And, there’s certainly enough to go around.

For quite some time, the trucking industry hovered around a 90% turnover rate. Then, in December of last year, the unthinkable happened. Driver turnover for Large Truckload Fleets actually increased five percentage points, to an unthinkable 95%. The worst part is, many analysts believe this number could be much higher.

However, one thing is clear — this is costing companies a fortune. Conservative estimates state that a trucking company will spend between $3,000 - $5,000 on replacing each truck driver who leaves. This means turnover alone costs the trucking industry over $3 billion each year.

Employee Engagement and Recognition as a Solution to High Turnover  

Luckily, companies can cut turnover rates (and costs) significantly by implementing a quality employee engagement and recognition program. Here are just a few of the ways your company stands to benefit:

  • You can hire top industry talent out of the gate by offering competitive perks
  • By engaging and recognizing your current workers, they are more likely to make quality referrals
  • Referred employees have been shown to exhibit much higher retention levels
  • Creating a Culture of Engagement reduces turnover by around 25% in high-turnover industries
  • Employee engagement also impacts other key metrics by lowering absenteeism, increasing productivity and efficiency, and boosting profits

Ways to Engage Truck Drivers

Are you looking for ways to engage your truck drivers? The following are just a few ideas your organization can begin implementing immediately. If you’d like to read our complete Top 10 List, be sure to check out our blog, “Ten Ways to Engage Your Truckers During National Truck Driver Week.”

Bring Drivers into the Fold

Before you make any company-wide changes that could affect your truck drivers, bring them into the fold. Discuss what’s occurring, and seek their feedback. Chances are, they’ll provide a unique perspective and can help improve the process. Even if you disagree with their comments/suggestions, it’s important they know their opinions have value and they feel part of the team.

Be Honest During the Hiring Process

When you’re hiring a new driver, make sure you are 100% honest and clearly outline what is expected of them. If you know a driver will likely be locked into a difficult route or will be working undesirable hours, let them know. Some trucking companies try to sugarcoat their requirements and expectations in the beginning, and this only leads to frustration and increased turnover down the road. 

Offer Ongoing Education and Training

Driving trucks is a dangerous job. Help create a safer working environment for your drivers by offering ongoing education and training. Safety pamphlets and training videos don’t cut it. If you want to create the safest work environment possible, you need to continually train your team.

Next Steps

For even more ways your organization can boost employee engagement, be sure to check out our live WebCast on February 15th at 2 p.m.,“Going the Distance: How Employee Engagement Is Transforming the Transportation Industry.” The event will be hosted by C.A. Short Company’s own Brent Lee, and it will be packed with information your company can use immediately!

If you would like immediate assistance, have a question you think we can answer, or just want to say hi, please reach out. We’ve been in the employee engagement and recognition business for over 80 years and would love to show you the difference we can make at your organization.

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C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here. 

Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Transportation, turnover

Brent Lee, CRP

About the Author
Brent Lee, CRP

With nearly 10 years of experience in the Safety & Employee Recognition Industry, Brent Lee, National Account Manager, is well versed in developing and implementing employee recognition programs that get results. Brent attended NC State University, with a BS in Business Management & Finance, and has recently earned his Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) accreditation from Recognition  Professionals International. He enjoys spending time with his family and outdoor sports... READ MORE


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