Crete Carrier Corporation’s Sleep Apnea and Wellness program is paying solid dividends in word of mouth among drivers.
Tim Aschoff, Vice President of Risk Management for The Lincoln, Nebraska-based carrier, estimates his company will invest roughly $1.5 million in the program during its first two years. “We’ve always said that our drivers are Crete’s most valuable asset,” says Aschoff, “and we’ve always stood behind those words, by investing in them. Not just with better pay, but with better benefits as well. We see this program as an excellent extension of those benefits.”
Improving ROI While Reducing Turnover.
“From a business perspective, we believe the program will ultimately deliver a return on our investment. We’ve received consistenty solid feedback from drivers who’ve gone through the program. And keeping drivers happy reduces turnover. At the same time, by positively impacting driver health, we’re reducing our healthcare costs. And theirs.”
Generating Positive Publicity. And Early Success.
Driver Health Magazine labeled Crete’s initiative “one of the most effective health and wellness programs in the trucking industry.” One reason for its success: An effective communications campaign. “Before the program’s rollout,” Aschoff says, “we worked long and hard developing informative messages for our drivers—explaining exactly what the program was, and how it could help them.”
Now, any driver interested in the program can visit (free of charge) any number of locations for sleep disorder testing. In addition to its permanent Sleep Labs in Dallas or Salt Lake City, Crete’s strategic partner, Sleep Pointe, operates a number of mobile trailers at company terminals. If a sleep disorder is indeed diagnosed, Sleep Pointe will work with the driver to develop a specifically tailored program of treatment.
Growing Word Of Mouth.
While the program was initially met with some skepticism, it’s caught on. In its first eight months alone, the program (launched in 2010) treated 465 drivers. An impressive number, to be sure, but even more rewarding are the individual success stories Aschoff is hearing.
“I had one driver call me personally to tell me he’d lost 40 pounds, that he felt better than he had in years, and that he never would have done it in the first place if it hadn’t been for our program.” No wonder Aschoff himself is sleeping better these days.