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Entries related to: driver-retention

Talent Metrics Every Motor Carrier Should Track

Motor carriers use the word talent to refer to employees, but this reference can include all employees or a select group (i.e., high performers), depending on who you’re talking to. One thing carriers can agree on is that mismanaging talent can have the same negative impact on the company’s bottom line as a crash or injury can have. For this reason, trucking companies should be managing their talent the way they manage their risks: using metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). To gauge how well the company is managing its workers, an employer can use these talent metrics to measure its performance.
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Back to Basics

In the frenzied pace of motor carrier operations, it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of fundamentals. For any business, three key elements are crucial to success: communication, teamwork, and planning. Revisiting each of these elements periodically is healthy for the entire organization and can help the company achieve its objectives. However, one area that motor carriers tend to ignore in varying degrees is safety. In the Spring 2019 issue of Safety Talk, we discussed how practical drift, an employee’s gradual deviation from established policies and procedures, can erode the effectiveness of a company’s safety efforts, and if allowed to continue unchecked, can negatively define the company’s culture. Senior management at a trucking company can contribute to this erosion as well. Here is an example: A motor carrier may become complacent or resistant to change because it hasn’t recently experienced a crash or injury. Management then adopts a mentality of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This type of mentality introduces risk into what may otherwise be a healthy organization. If management cannot attribute the company’s success to effective loss-prevention practices, it is essentially saying pure luck is responsible for the company’s performance. Regardless of past loss performance, no company can afford to rest on its laurels if it expects to remain competitive. A periodic review of basic safety practices is essential because new risks may be present that have not been accounted for. Whether a change in customers, equipment, commodities, or personnel, motor carriers should have a process in place to continually assess their risks and determine if current safety practices are sufficient. Below are some assessment methods.
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Ask the Safety Rep: How Can I Improve Driver Retention?

Great question! Unfortunately, there’s not a magic pill to resolve this issue, but motor carriers would be wise to consider retention solutions from the driver’s perspective if they hope to remain competitive and limit the business interruptions caused by driver turnover. Below are the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) critical issues in the trucking industry for 2018; on this list, you can see that drivers and motor carriers do not share the same concerns. This difference in views is important to point out because if a motor carrier wants to attract and retain quality drivers, it needs to create a culture and work environment that addresses driver concerns.
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Is Your Driver Retention Problem Right in Front of You?

The trucking industry focuses a great deal of attention on preventing large truck crashes and workplace injuries, but what about preventable turnover? The shortage of drivers entering the occupation and the fact that an aging workforce is leaving are problems motor carriers must contend with. However, these staffing issues are not to be confused with the causes of driver turnover. Turnover occurs when an employee driver or contractor leaves the company voluntarily or is forced to leave. According to HR Drive, “75% of the causes of employee turnover are preventable.”¹  Whatever the reason for the turnover, there’s a good chance it could have been prevented.
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Practical Drift: How Human Nature Causes Policy Failure

Policies and procedures are necessary for high-hazard industries like trucking. They add structure and consistency to operations to ensure the highest quality product or service is being delivered. Unfortunately, a lack of oversight by senior management can cause the company’s policies and procedures to deteriorate over time and lead to a phenomenon known as practical drift.
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