How to Keep Your Fleet’s Drivers Happy

Published on: 08/19/19 3:43 PM

keeping your fleet's drivers happy

Many companies depend on their fleet drivers for critical business functions, yet they do not prioritize keeping their fleet drivers satisfied. Many do not even bother measuring driver satisfaction, giving them a lack of insight as to the scope or nature of any ongoing negative trends that could be going on.

Satisfied drivers are more productive drivers. They also tend to stick with your company longer, saving you costs of onboarding, training, and recruiting. According to one study, replacing even a base-level hourly worker at a company can cost $1,500 per person.

To cultivate a culture of high job satisfaction — and reduce costs associated with replacing employees — your business can look for methods that make fleet drivers feel valued, recognized, and safe. For instance, offering commercial roadside assistance plans can provide drivers with a sense of security while communicating that your organization doesn’t want them to feel vulnerable.

Sometimes, just a few simple policies, programs, or generous acts can be all it takes to check in with fleet drivers and help them feel like you genuinely care.

Request Feedback and Participation from Employee Drivers

The managers and supervisors of your fleet can have a vastly different experience than the actual drivers on the road. If they aren’t in touch with the drivers’ concerns, challenges, needs, and preferences, then there’s a very real chance that there can be some glaring job issues that they’ve turned a blind eye to.

Preventing this problem requires diligent surveying of employees. Online services like SurveyMonkey can quickly and effortlessly set up polls that can be distributed through email or a work communication client via a convenient link. Providing the option to respond anonymously can keep the responses more honest. Make these surveys voluntary, naturally, so as to not make providing feedback feel more like a chore than a privilege.

You must also cultivate a culture that shows management is receptive to feedback, encouraging employees to be outspoken rather than discouraging them from providing input.

Compile Survey Data to Track Employee Satisfaction Trends

Voluntary response surveys run the risk of statistical biases, but they nevertheless provide compelling data points. Even if the only people who complete the surveys are those who have gripes, you can monitor the level of complaints and dissatisfaction.

Make it a goal to reduce the volume of complaints and raise the level of employee satisfaction over time. Combining survey data with other markers of fleet driver satisfaction, such as your employee turnover rate, can paint a vivid picture of how happy your drivers are overall.

Visualizing the scope of the problem gives it dimension, allowing your team to prioritize improvement efforts accordingly.

Provide Opportunities for Interaction with Drivers

Do your drivers have a way to participate in regular meetings? Do they ever have direct contact with managers and supervisors, either face to face or over the phone?

If the answer to both questions is “no,” then you risk having a situation where drivers feel separated from the rest of the organization. As such, they may feel disconnected from the company’s values — perhaps even ostracized.

Amend this sentiment by inviting drivers to attend monthly or quarterly meetings. These meetings provide a prime opportunity to touch upon recurring complaints or trends in overall job satisfaction. Employees can provide input on how to amend the problems, and they can also lend their ideas as to how to improve the company as a whole. For instance, you may not realize that customers who interact with fleet drivers have a number of frustrations that the home office is completely unaware of.

Reward Drivers for Their Loyalty and Safety Records

The best rewards you can offer your fleet drivers for their service are competitive pay and health benefits. If you lag behind in these two areas, you are likely to have turnover issues no matter how attentive you try to be to their job satisfaction.

On top of paying decent wages and protecting drivers from economic hardship in the event of a health crisis, you can create incentive programs to recognize drivers for good performance. Employees that have perfect attendance or perfect safety records can be given a bonus. Those who have glowing onboard telemetrics reports regarding hard braking, fuel efficiency, and other performance markers can likewise be recognized and rewarded.

Positive reinforcement often works better than negative reinforcement, so consider ways to reward drivers rather than punish them. The latter option can often lead to a feeling of being micromanaged and constantly scrutinized, breeding resentment that leads to low job satisfaction.

Give Drivers a Safety Net in the Form of Commercial Roadside Assistance Plans

You want your drivers to feel like you have their back in any scenario, especially if they encounter vehicle troubles that could leave them stranded. Commercial roadside assistance plans offer just that: a way to protect drivers from vulnerability and communicate that you care about their well-being.

A comprehensive fleet roadside service plan can offer assistance with:

  • Breakdowns
  • Jump starts
  • Flat-tire changes
  • Lockouts
  • Fuel delivery
  • Collisions
  • And more

Don’t overlook the potential for your organization to give your drivers a crucial safety net no matter where they’re at on the road. Be proactive, and take a look at the available  fleet commercial roadside assistance plans today.