In one of the final DriverReach chats of 2020, DriverReach CEO Jeremy Reymer chatted with Max Farrell, CEO and co-founder of Workhound, on how driver feedback looked different in 2020, proactive driver retention, and predictions for 2021.
How Workhound is proactively addressing driver retention
Workhound is a real-time feedback platform for drivers and other frontline workers. In the modern trucking industry, a large portion of turnover can be attributed to drivers not feeling as though they have a voice or a say in what is going on internally with their organizations. Max founded Workhound with the goal to give these drivers a voice and a way to connect with organizational leaders, and in turn to give companies a platform to proactively get ahead of driver issues.
With Workhound, carriers can receive real-time, anonymous feedback from drivers and then make direct changes based on this input. Team leaders can either reach out to the driver directly or make holistic, industry-wide changes influenced by the feedback. While getting feedback is good and making changes is better, letting your drivers know you actually made a change and that they influenced your decision making is what Max calls the ‘cherry on the sundae’.
The impact of 2020 on driver feedback
Trucking is often one of the first industries to be impacted by recessions, and the events of March and April 2020 were definitely hard to bounce back from. Incredibly, trucking has actually thrived during this year and the industry as a whole has become more empathetic towards drivers and started to embrace a more proactive communication approach. Working with companies to change their organizational processes based on driver feedback has been incredibly rewarding for Max and the Workhound team.
Overall, the trends the team saw in 2020 feedback and/or questions was largely centered around COVID-19 and the long-term impact on organizations. Common questions included:
- What happens if I get sick?
- Can I still go home to my family?
- Is there PPE available?
Since many organizations were also taking a direct financial hit, drivers also wanted to know about the financial status of companies and what they were doing to move the needle. These kinds of questions resulted in the most forward-thinking organizations to be more transparent and forthright with their drivers. Increased communication with drivers – and letting them know how the strategic business decisions will impact their workload – is a definite win that came out of 2020.
Understanding and recognizing driver burnout
2020 was a tough, stressful year for all of us, and 2021 will be the year the true impact of this stress will come to light. We’ve all faced some sort of setback both personally or professionally, and burnout can be a big result. Burnout stems from when a person is feeling an overwhelming amount of stress, especially from the workplace, and doesn’t have the resources to navigate this stress right away and it manifests itself in some pretty negative ways.
Max and the Workhound team recently published an eBook, The Truck Driver Burnout Guide, which digs deep into how burnout occurs, how it can impact drivers, and how carriers and recruiters can work directly with drivers to help reverse the impact of driver burnout.
One silver lining of 2020 is that the general public have finally recognized the impact of the trucking industry and drivers, which has made drivers prouder of the work they do and the services they provide. The industry as a whole has also made huge strides in de-stigmatizing mental health issues in conversations with drivers and recognizing the power of support and resources in the space.
Carriers are realizing that putting drivers first and treating drivers with respect is the long-term answer to driving retention. Addressing driver burnout as part of your retention initiatives comes down to recognizing this stress and then having a plan in place to help employees navigate these feelings.
Industry predictions for 2021
As Max quite accurately states in the conversation with Jeremy, one thing 2020 really taught us that it’s a fool’s errand to even make predictions about the upcoming year. As a whole, however, the trucking industry should be able to take many of the things it learned this year and put them into practice. While 2020 was the year the industry finally caught up with the technological curve, 2021 will be the year when digital transformation starts to make a recognizable, proactive impact. This will include:
- Increasing digital engagement and interaction with drivers, even once companies are no longer working remotely.
- Getting ahead of driver issues in a more proactive way.
- Leveraging driver feedback when making critical business decisions and using the most advanced technology to make these strategic changes.
- Gaining a competitive advantage in the incredibly crowded market by becoming a digital-first carrier.
In addition to the above predictions, new entries into the driver feedback platform space continues to elevate the importance of the work Max and the Workhound team is doing.
“Drivers are critical employees for any carrier,” Max said. “And the growing importance of driver feedback validates the impact of driver feedback in the trucking industry as a whole.”
For more information visit www.workhound.com, where you can watch testimonials from other companies who have already started seeing measurable ROI from collecting driver feedback. You can also contact Max directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to download the team’s newest eBook on Driver Burnout, available here.
Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.
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