Tips for retaining drivers in your fleet

Last week we posted a blog with ideas for recruiting drivers in your fleet and we’re going to follow up that post by sharing ideas on how to retain drivers in your fleet. You’ve invested time and resources into finding these fantastic drivers, so let’s make sure you keep them!

In this post, read up on six driver retention strategies to keep your fleet at peak performance and productivity.

1. Employee performance reviews

Acknowledge your drivers’ strengths and weaknesses on a regular basis to make them aware of how their performance is impacting the business and their career potential.

For new drivers, have a three-, six-, and 12-month check-ins and recognize their achievements and provide an opportunity for them to ask questions and get feedback on their performance. If you can’t find time for more frequent check-ins, try a spot awards program where drivers get recognized for good behaviors or going above and beyond.

During annual reviews spend time going over the career path or paths available and how they can move their way up the ladder. If there is a lot of opportunity for them to grow, offer one-on-one coaching or training to help them improve and feel like you’re invested in them getting better.

2. Invest in a good driver incentive program

Reward drivers for improving their risky driving behaviors or “bad” behaviors, like having fewer harsh accelerating incidents, fewer accidents, staying in the speed limit, idling less, and using their seatbelt every single time they’re behind the wheel.

This can be an individual driver scorecard that directly impacts raises or individual rewards or you could pool your drivers together and run a driver of the month program to celebrate the top performer as a group.

3. Create councils or committees 

Invest resources and time for your personnel to create or join safety councils or leadership committees. Not only will this keep drivers engaged in the business’ goals but also can act as a soundboard for when it’s time to make changes to policies or procedures. They can provide quality feedback on the changes and help secure driver buy-in before it rolls out.

4. Live your culture 

No one likes the old bait and switch, so do not promise a different work culture and environment in the interview process and then deliver something different. Your company’s culture is what happens when no one is looking, so make sure you’re an active participant in championing your company’s values.

Drivers will be more likely to follow the company’s culture if they see it coming from the top-down. Be an advocate of the culture, ask for ideas to improve it, and make sure everyone has the chance to participate and contribute positively to the culture.

5. Have an employee referral program

Fleet Owner magazine found that the average referred employee stays with a fleet for 2.7 years versus 1.5 years for non-referred employees. It’s a lot easier and more affordable to keep good employees than hire new ones, so why not trust your current employees to bring in their trusted colleagues to your organization?

For your driver referral program to be successful, you’ll have to outline who is eligible, what positions are eligible, and payout timeframes. No one wants to tell a friend or former coworker to come work with them and then feel duped when they don’t get the reward of bringing a good employee on the team. Not only will you have two disgruntled employees, your company’s culture will take a hit.

6. Make communication an open forum 

A Gallup poll found that there’s 25% less turnover among engaged employees. Allow employees to voice their opinions and share feedback, let them contribute to and own processes or improvements, and make them feel heard when rolling out new technology or policies.

To keep your employees engaged, they need to feel they’re respected and that there’s mutual trust between all employees in the organization. Establish communication channels employees can use make their voice heard and tell them that you value their input.

What tactics have worked well in your fleet when it comes to attracting or retaining fleet drivers? Share your ideas with us on LinkedIn!