An ongoing North American truck driver shortage is causing motor carriers to fine-tune their retention strategies by thinking outside the cab.
Besides offering better pay packages, benefits and incentives, fleets are looking to influence the human factors that cause and contribute to turnover, according to a new survey by CCJ magazine:
Factors like perceptions and motivational behaviors can be far more complex to manage than drivers’ home time, miles or model year of equipment. Despite the odds, a new wave of products and services aims to do just that.
Driver retention products have a range of options from rewards programs to satisfaction assessment tools and predictive modeling.
Driver rewards and loyalty programs are used by 45 percent of fleets according to a Sept. 3-4 survey by CCJ. The programs typically work by rewarding points for attaining periodic goals and milestones in categories like safety, compliance, fuel savings and tenure. Drivers redeem their points towards non-cash items.
A growing trend is to have a third parties administer these programs. Approximately 10 percent of fleet that have a rewards program now use a third party, the study found.
“We have found that a well-structured rewards program with obtainable rewards for a driver can truly effect turnover,” says John Elliott, chief executive officer of Load One, one of the five largest ground expedite carriers in North America.
Fleets that run their own rewards program rated the effectiveness a 7.25 average on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most effective. Fleets that have a third party manage their program give their program a score of 7.8.
The study, which had 109 respondents, also found that rewards programs are the most widely used by fleets with between 50 and 500 trucks:
Tim Hindes, chief executive officer of Stay Metrics, says the company’s own research shows that drivers who are engaged in a rewards program — specifically those who login to the rewards site it administers for carriers at least three times per month — have a 24 percent lower turnover rate.
As the driver shortage continues, the market for technologies and services designed to help fleets diagnose and treat the causes of turnover are likely to continue gaining traction, the survey found.