8 Ways To Retain Your Drivers Other Than Giving Them More Money

8 Ways To Retain Your Drivers Other Than Giving Them More Money
Featured image credit : Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock.com

Driver turnover is expensive.

According to the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, it’ll cost you between $2,000 to $20,000 every time you lose a driver and have to hire a new one.  That’s because it takes a lot of time and money to advertise a job opening, interview candidates, and train whoever you pick. You also lose money during a new hire’s first few weeks at your company, as they probably won’t be that productive while they’re still learning the ropes.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t realize how expensive turnover is until they’ve already committed to cutting drivers. Don’t make the same mistake.

Giving your drivers more money may seem like the best way to keep them around, but a 2014 SurveyAnalytics report found that even though 89% of employers think employees quit because they want more money, only 12% of employees actually resign for this reason.

Money isn’t enough. You need to do more than just throw cash at the problem if you want to retain your drivers, such as:

#1 Reward Your Drivers

Everyone wants respect. Your drivers are no different.

Commercial Carrier Journal survey found that 20% of drivers would consider switching companies if they felt their employer didn’t respect them.

So, in order to stop your drivers from driving themselves away from your business and off to one of your competitors, you need to show that you appreciate them.

Implementing an incentive program is one way to do this. For example, you could start picking an Employee of the Month and honoring them with a plague and maybe a gift card to a local restaurant. You could also give out year-end bonuses to your employees for safe driving habits.

This does more for your business than just prevent turnover – it also makes your employees more productive. An Officevibe report found that 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were recognized.

Route4Me is especially handy for when you’re trying to figure out which employees deserve recognition. With our program, you’ll be able to see the number of stops covered by each employee, the amount of time they spend at each stop, how often they arrive at stops on time, and other bits of information that allows you to evaluate performance.

You can also use this data to provide feedback and show underachieving drivers how to perform better. According to that same Officevibe report, companies that issue regular feedback have 14.9% lower turnover rates than companies that don’t.

#2 Promotion Programs

If employees know that there’s opportunity for them to advance in your company, they’ll be less likely to leave.

This should be a gradual process – there’s no need to immediately throw your drivers into a role of great responsibility. First, promote your best drivers to team captains/supervisors. If they prove themselves to be effective leaders, then they can be promoted higher up the ladder to local dispatchers, then regional dispatchers, and then finally operations managers.

Such a program will generate competition among your employees and inspire them to volunteer for additional deliveries and difficult jobs. Without such a program, your employees don’t have incentive to do anything more than the bare minimum it takes to get a paycheck.

You have to be careful, though. For every employee you promote, a few of your employees get passed over for promotion. Naturally, this can create some resentment.

That’s why it’s important to make abundantly clear which factors you consider when promoting from within. If you can convince employees that you’re being objective when you decide who you’re going to promote, you can keep resentment down to a minimum.

The driver data produced by Route4Me is just the objective measuring stick you need to remove any perception of personal bias from the promotion process.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

Read the following article to learn more about how routing optimization software can help you with promoting your drivers:

Why You Should Promote Your Drivers To Upper Management (and How Route4Me’s Fleet Route Planning Software Can Help)

#3 Provide the Right Tools and Equipment

If you want your drivers to be efficient, you need to give them the right equipment.

A lot of businesses still use GPS devices and nothing else to help their drivers navigate. That’s better than nothing, but there are a few flaws to that approach. For one, GPS maps can be outdated; they may not account for roads that have been recently merged, extended, or renamed. Also, GPS devices are signal-dependent, so they often don’t work well in remote areas or in dense urban settings that have a lot of skyscrapers.

Route4Me doesn’t have these problems. Our maps are foolproof – they get updated automatically whenever changes are made on the ground. Your drivers won’t get lost, so they’ll be able to make their deliveries on time and keep your customers happy.

#4 Pay Salaries on Time

Do you think it’s okay to delay paying your drivers on time just because a few customers are late with their payments?

That’s an oh-no-no.

No matter how long your clients take to honor your invoices, don’t put off paying your drivers. It’s just not a good move. You may be financially stressed at the moment, but that’s nothing compared to the stress your business will take on if your best drivers leave for a more stable situation elsewhere.

Without talented employees, your business is doomed. And when you don’t pay employees on time, you’re not going to attract talented employees. It’s as simple as that.

#5 Listen Carefully

Another way to retain drivers is to foster strong relationships with them. You can make this happen by listening carefully to your drivers rather than acting like you know everything just because you’re the boss.

By maintaining open, honest communication with your employees, you’ll encourage them to come to you when they have a problem rather than immediately quitting because of this problem. You’ll have a chance to fix things before it’s too late.

#6 Prove That You Can Help

Communication is important, but communication alone isn’t enough. You need to prove you value your employees with your actions, too.

Let’s say an employee comes to you and complains about their route. It’s just too many stops in too short a time, they tell you. You can listen and nod along all you want, but if you don’t actually address your driver’s frustrations, you won’t be doing anything to prevent turnover.

If you take the time and make the effort to figure out a way you can improve the route for them, though, you’ll have made that employee much more loyal.

7 Tips to Keep Your Employees

#7 Verify Your Trust in Your Drivers

Tracking your drivers can seem to some like an invasion of privacy and something that drivers wouldn’t want, but on the contrary, it’s something that drivers can use to clear themselves of any wrongdoing in hazy situations.

For example, let’s say one of your drivers gets into an accident. They say they’re not at fault, while the other person involved claims your driver was speeding and driving recklessly.

Without Route4Me, you’ll never really know who’s telling the truth. Your driver will likely be able to sense some degree of suspicion, and that’ll make them more likely to leave for another company, where they’d have a clean slate.

With Route4Me, you’ll be able to go into the tracking logs and see if your drivers were driving recklessly or not. If you see that they were driving responsibly, you can show them that with the software. This will clear the air and making the driver much more likely to stay.

#8 Encourage Engagement

Always share your mission, vision, and growth goals with your drivers. Keeping your drivers aware of what you’re doing as a manager will make them more engaged with your business, and research shows that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their employers than their disengaged counterparts.

Are there any driver retention techniques you use that didn’t get mentioned here? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.