Treating drivers right is its own reward; especially when they learn the grass isn’t greener on the other side.
It’s no secret, or surprise, that truck drivers are a fickle lot. After all, when you consider how much time truckers spend alone with their own thoughts (instead of proximally connected to co-workers in the same office space), it doesn’t take much to loosen whatever bonds they’ve established with their employers.
Better Retention Means Better Return Rates.
All of which is why companies with the highest rates of driver retention are also the ones where driver routinely return, hat in hand, after finding out, the hard way, just how good they’d had it in the first place. One such company is Birmingham’s Baggett Transportation—where, notes Recruiting Administrator Gaby McDonald, “we often tell drivers who’ve accepted positions with other companies, ‘We’ll leave the light on for you!’”.
It Starts With Personal Connections.
McDonald cites lack of personal connections elsewhere as the primary reason why so many drivers return to Baggett. “There are so many companies where drivers are treated like numbers instead of people. And when you’re used to working at a place where everybody knows your name, that’s a tough adjustment.”
Not To Mention Superior Driver Support.
Granted, Baggett may not have the national brand recognition commanded by the industry’s leading carriers, but brand recognition counts for very little when a driver or team who’s used to full support from headquarters is suddenly responsible for brokering their own freight, and finding their own loads.
One Driver’s Experience.
One Baggett driver, who learned the hard way, explains his own decision to return to the company: “Why did I come back? It’s a great place to work. Sometimes you have to leave the company to find that out. I joined another company, and found out almost immediately that it was a mistake.”
“Of course,” McDonald cautions, “not every driver who asks to come back to us is lucky enough to get a second chance.”
So What’s The Solution?
As always, it’s communication. And repetition. If your company has a high satisfaction rate among drivers, make sure they know it—and remind them regularly. Consider creating some kind of forum where your drivers can read co-worker testimonials—particularly from drivers who’ve returned after straying. After all, they’re often your strongest advocates.
You’ll never prevent turnover completely. But with a little extra effort, you can minimize outgoing losses—while maximizing returns.