Engage Drivers to Decrease Turnover


It is no secret that the trucking industry as a whole struggles with driver turnover. On average, drivers stay with their employers for only one year, and that turnover can cost a motor carrier approximately $8,200 each time a driver leaves, according to a recent study by McQuaig. Obviously, making a fair wage is important to drivers, but it may come as a surprise that not all drivers hop jobs for financial reasons. Even if the grass looks greener working for a competitor, company culture could be the root cause of driver dissatisfaction and turnover.

Managing a remote workforce is a big challenge. While not every trucking company conducts long haul, over-the-road operations, even regional and local motor carriers contend with the challenges of staying connected to drivers they see only sporadically. Certainly, there are drivers who welcome this separation. In fact, many drivers would say that not having their bosses looking over their shoulders is the reason they chose this profession in the first place. Still, even lone wolves will admit they want—and sometimes need—employer engagement.

According to a Gallup study, “Highly engaged workplaces see up to 67% lower turnover.” Combine the lower turnover percentage with the average cost of truck driver turnover ($8,200), and it is plain to see that building employee engagement into the company culture can reap a significant return on investment.

Here are some low-cost ideas to engage drivers and build company loyalty.


Investing in employee development is a great way to engage employees and show you want to help them succeed. One free option is to distribute safety materials to your staff. Consider articles on money management and time management, which are important, especially to a small business owner like an owner-operator.


Each employee is different when it comes to rewards and recognition. Some employees may not want public recognition, while others relish it. Likewise, monetary rewards can be easily forgotten. Make rewards and recognition more memorable by asking employees what they prefer.


Seek employee input on work-related issues, especially when it comes to safety. Engaging workers and soliciting their ideas demonstrates that you value their opinion, and those actions may bring to light issues that you were not aware of. Provide a safe environment for employees to voice their ideas without repercussions. Afterwards, follow up with an update, even if an idea was not utilized.


  • Solicit input from employees on engagement ideas, and choose three to implement.

  • Implement the three employee engagement ideas with a specified completion date.

  • Survey employees six months post-implementation to measure.


Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.

successful driver management book call to actionThe information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent. 

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© Great West Casualty Company 2020. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2020. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.