How can fleet managers balance holding drivers accountable with the need to retain employees? With driver shortages affecting the industry, companies often find themselves competing with each other for hiring and retaining employees. It also makes it easier for a driver to leave their company when facing any discipline for driving violations. While Commercial Truck Trader has previously focused on developing driver loyalty, it’s also important to consider how to hold drivers accountable while maintaining a productive workforce and positive workplace.
Confronting common driver violations when they occur, using effective communication, and creating a rewarding environment are all elements to consider when balancing discipline and retention. With these factors in mind, you can decrease violations and hold drivers accountable within the company while retaining top talent to achieve company goals.
Confronting Common Driver Violations
Managers across the industry have identified some of the most prevalent issues within commercial driving, including speeding tickets and similar driving infractions, using too much fuel, mismanagement of time, and—in worst case scenarios—vehicle accidents. Each of these issues can affect insurance costs, vehicle damage, injuries, and failure to reach delivery goals, as well as your company’s reputation and employee morale. Often these problems require the manager to address them via disciplinary action.
When it comes to holding drivers accountable, it’s important to have your policies and expectations in place, making sure they are clear and accessible for your employees. When there’s a violation, there should be a formal process with established consequences for actions, such as a warning, suspension, and termination. With the business’s goals in mind, management needs to be competent and consistent when enforcing company policies.
In order to set your driver up for success and to avoid conflicts over performance and disciplinary action, a company can establish an environment that encourages reaching desired goals while maintaining a positive culture. Make sure managers are reinforcing policies with regular reminders and conducting training that demonstrates why these rules are in place and the consequences of the driver’s actions. By making the driver aware of their responsibilities and how their performance affects the company, you give them a greater sense of their role’s significance and motivate them to achieve broader company goals.
- Have your policies and expectations in place
- Establish consequences for actions
- Make sure management enforces company policies
- Create a positive environment by building awareness of company goals and individual responsibilities
Communication is Key
Keep communication open with your workforce and demonstrate to them that you value transparency. Make sure you have time to talk individually with your drivers in order to better understand them and develop a greater working relationship. This will help you create a sense of trust and respect so that you can work together with employees to prevent future issues. Additionally, your company may want to conduct satisfaction surveys to monitor drivers and get a better understanding of their performances and why they may be committing avoidable violations.
There are a number of ways to better connect with your drivers while they’re out on the road. This includes phone calls and video calls, checking in on drivers between their routes, and even engaging with them through online chats and social media.
- Keep communication open and transparent
- Talk with your drivers individually to develop respect
- Communicate and get your drivers’ perspectives through surveys, phone/video calls, online
Create a Rewarding Environment
You can also create a winning environment by recognizing accomplishments and good behavior with your drivers. To keep your drivers motivated, provide valuable insight on their performance and provide coaching when it’s necessary. This can keep drivers engaged and keeps you aware of what they’re doing on the road to prevent violations.
You’ll also want to know your boundaries and ask the right questions with your drivers to ensure their satisfaction. Are you demanding too much out of your drivers? Are your expectations too high? What is the driver dealing with on a daily basis? What stress are they facing? What may be some of the consequences or problems they encounter while regularly doing their job? Your company should provide resources for the drivers to help them prevent violations and accidents, perform more effectively, and let them feel like they are a part of a company that cares about its drivers and responds to their feedback.
When focusing on long-term retention, drivers are looking for positive feedback on their performance and rewarding company benefits. In order to compete for the best talent, companies have to provide drivers with incentives to stay. Consider how much pay the driver is receiving, whether your company is providing adequate health insurance, and paid time off or vacation. With comprehensive benefits, the driver will realize there are more reasons to value their position and company policies.
- Recognize accomplishments
- Provide insightful coaching
- Know your boundaries and ask the right questions
- Be understanding and responsive with your drivers
- Offer long-term incentives with company benefits
Conclusion: When employee retention is a concern, it’s clear that holding drivers accountable should not rely solely on discipline. When managing and preventing driver violations, emphasize values and policies, company culture, recognition, and open communication. By developing trust and respect within your company, you’ll be better able to hold drivers accountable while improving employee retention.
To support your excellent workforce, your company may be looking for new trucks or vans. Make sure to see the entire inventory listed for-sale nationwide on CommercialTruckTrader.com or on our sister site NextTruckOnline.com.