By David Cullen
Studies by PIT Group show that providing refresher training and coaching via in-vehicle technology is needed to maintain and improve driver performance over time. Photo: Pit Group
While few people love trucking so much so they’ll drive your truck for free, there’s more to any job than a paycheck. And that’s where how you train your drivers, and how you communicate with them overall, comes into play.
Utter the words training and communicating in the same breath, and what you may hear calling back to you is the word perception. To some degree, we all perceive our intrinsic worth to family, friends, colleagues, and yes, to employers, by what we hear back from them. In the workplace, that generally translates to whether or not we feel valued or appreciated as employees — and as career professionals.
The best employers in any field go beyond merely providing training. They help employees improve their skills. And regardless of the job being performed, technology is increasingly playing a positive role to help employees develop their full potential on the job. Put that all together (along with a competitive pay package, of course), and you may be looking at a successful strategy for attracting and retaining long-haul truck drivers.
First, ask yourself if communication is the problem to the answer. That is, who at your fleet should be doing their level best to interact positively with drivers? Being a good communicator is certainly not the sole province of a fleet’s driver trainers. Everyone who regularly interacts with drivers should communicate with them as positively and pleasantly as possible.
“While most trucking companies have directors of recruiting, very few have directors of retention,” Lana Batts, co-president of Driver iQ, which provides employment screening, sagely points out in a recent report on recruiting and retaining truckload drivers. When it comes to