In today's hyper-competitive world of CDL trucking, many carriers are putting most of their time and focus on attracting and hiring new drivers. While hiring new drivers is incredibly important for the continued growth of the business, it's not really where the foundation of long-term success is. Instead, recruiters and HR teams should be looking at the assets already on the road: your current drivers.
Building long-term CDL driver loyalty is critical for surviving and thriving in today's trucking industry. Like the sales world where it's more expensive to find a new client than to keep the ones you have, it is similarly more expensive and time-consuming to find new drivers rather than retain the ones you already have on the road. But when it comes to how to retain drivers, trust and loyalty are the two key pillars.
Here are several impactful ways to build trust and develop long-term, loyal relationships with drivers:
- Put your drivers first from the very beginning. Long-term loyalty starts at the beginning, and this is the application and hiring process for CDL drivers. Make sure your drivers feel heard and valued from the very first conversation by building a comprehensive driver-first application and recruiting process. By offering an open and transparent recruiting process, your drivers will know they can trust you from the start.
- Make it easy for your drivers to stay with your team. For CDL drivers and carriers, so much needs to happen behind the scenes to drive safely on the road. Compliance regulations, licenses, qualifications, and more are required to be renewed each year or ongoing. Work with your drivers to make these compliance requirements easy to complete and worry-free.
- Highlight and celebrate the work your drivers are doing. Just because your CDL drivers are on the road doesn't mean they aren't part of your larger team – and its success. Highlight and celebrate the work your drivers are doing through social media posts, company-wide calls, newsletters, and more. Give your drivers a place to share their thoughts and feedback – and then take this feedback into account.
- Make their long-term loyalty worth it. And finally, it's essential to reward your customers' trust and loyalty to your organization. Through benefits plans, professional development trajectories, and other incentives, you can show your appreciation and support for drivers by giving thanks for their hard work and time spent on the road. Be transparent with drivers about the opportunities available for tenured drivers, and support drivers as they reach specific milestones in their journey.
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