5 Ways to Reduce Driver Turnover Rate
Originally published on July 29, 2020
If you’re regularly replacing drivers, it’s time to assess your driver turnover rate. There are several ways to do this, including gathering annual turnover figures and comparing them to the industry average to get an idea of how your company is doing. Separate the data into voluntary and involuntary turnover to get a clearer picture of the extent to which the problem lies with the employee or you, as the employer.
Fleet turnover is high, especially in the haulage industry, and many factors are contributing to drivers leaving their roles so quickly. Here are three of the main causes of driver turnover:
Drivers required to travel long distances will inevitably spend a lot of time alone on the road. This can be isolating and especially difficult for drivers with families. After a while, drivers may find that it’s not sustainable to be away for work so much.
Driving for long stretches can lead to tiredness, poor sleep, unhealthy eating, and a whole host of back issues. This can become difficult to cope with for a long period.
Loss of morale
When employees don’t feel rewarded or invested in, morale can suffer across the board. After a while of feeling unfulfilled, employees might decide to cut their losses and jump into another company that acknowledges their strengths.
Lower Driver Turnover
Thankfully, as a fleet manager, you can do plenty to increase your drivers’ job satisfaction and reduce driver turnover rate. It’s never a bad time to think outside the box and try new approaches to benefit your employees. After all, the happier your drivers are, the lower your driver turnover rate will be, and the more productive your team will be. By investing in your drivers, you invest in the company as a whole.
So, what are some practical actions you can implement to reduce fleet turnover? This depends on the nature of your team, but here are five ways to get started.
1. Choose the right people
While many drivers leave their jobs because of the demands of the role, others might leave because they just aren’t a good fit for the company. If someone doesn’t share your company values or can’t be trusted, there’s not much that can be done. To avoid this, it’s important to choose drivers who gel with the company and are trustworthy. When you have clear criteria during the recruitment process, you can rest assured that the right people are on board. From there on out, any turnover may well be down to factors you can control. Let’s look into those in more detail.
2. Offer relevant staff benefits
Most companies have staff perks these days, but not all of them are particularly relevant or useful. Instead of having benefits for the sake of it, choose perks that will help your drivers. For example, discounted gym memberships will help your team stay active between journeys while birthdays off guarantee time spent with family rather than spending their birthday behind the wheel. Additionally, be sure to draw inspiration from these three team building activities.
Listening to your drivers is a solid place to start when you’re keen to reduce driver turnover. Employees who don’t feel their voice is valued or heard won’t stick around for long. To avoid this, try regularly asking your employees for feedback about their experiences and listening to their answers. Anonymous evaluation forms can motivate individuals to be honest without fear of being judged for their answers. But, having open one-to-one conversations can build trust and rapport. Active, judgment-free listening is a sure-fire way to learn about the things you can do to make your drivers’ jobs more satisfying.
4. Take staff wellbeing seriously
When employees feel that their wellbeing isn’t taken seriously by their employer, it’s no wonder they become disengaged and, eventually, leave to find a new employee who will treat them better.
Caring for your staff’s wellbeing is a key part of being a good leader. When you master listening skills, your drivers will trust you enough to share the aspects of the job they find most challenging. Once your fleet drivers have voiced their concerns, get creative! If a driver is concerned about eating unhealthily on the road, why not sign up your team for Graze boxes to ensure they have the option of snacking healthily on the road?
If sitting for extended times is causing back or joint issues, look into orthopaedic devices to install onto the driver’s seat. You could also offer your drivers access to a physiotherapist to help them with posture and any lingering issues.
We’ve already touched on tiredness being a factor for disgruntled drivers. Enforce regular breaks and, where possible, try to vary journey lengths so that drivers can alternate long and short journeys as much as possible.
You can also reassure your drivers that you’re considering their safety by studying these fleet risk mitigation tips.
5. Offer flexibility
All employees have personal lives, and work can be particularly demanding for fleet drivers. Flexible working is no longer a rarity. If you’re not offering flexibility in work patterns, your drivers may move to a company that does. Where possible, offer flexibility so that your drivers don’t have to compromise so much of their personal lives to get the job done.
If fleet turnover has been a concern for your company, try these five suggestions and monitor how your driver turnover rate is impacted. For more tips on managing a fleet, please read our comprehensive guide to fleet management. Or, if you haven’t already, ascertain your management style in our recent blog post.