Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “Jeremy and Max in Conversation: 2021 Mid-Year Driver Feedback Report”? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time, so Jeremy Reymer, Founder & CEO of DriverReach, and Max Farrell, CEO of WorkHound, answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post.
If you weren’t able to join the webinar live, don’t worry – you can watch it on-demand anytime!
Question: What is the best way to give performance incentives?
Answer: Performance incentives must be specific and clear – think SMART goals.
Incentives can’t be lip-service. They have to be an honest avenue to encourage effective work. WorkHound often sees feedback that constantly changing bonus structures make success impossible for drivers and when the ground is shifting under their feet, it’s incredibly difficult for them to gain and maintain trust. If you currently look at your company’s bonus incentives and it’s unclear how it works to you, then it’s definitely unclear to drivers. Get tight on the specifics. Outline exactly what you’ll measure. Ensure that the end goal is attainable. Make sure it’s relevant. And then let drivers know exactly when it’s expected that the goal can be achieved.
Question: Given the fact that drivers are on their own and away from the company most of the time, what is the best way to communicate with them? By phone, via computer, face to face...?
Answer: The best way to communicate with drivers is through a medium that is easy-to-access for drivers. Face-to-face and the need for a computer aren’t accessible for all drivers, but all drivers have a phone that allows them to send and receive text messages, and as old-fashioned as it might seem, drivers often enjoy speaking over the phone. The Customer Success Managers at WorkHound are all very familiar with how sometimes drivers just need to have someone to talk to, but what we know is that drivers especially want to talk when it’s been a while since someone has reached out to them. Frequent and consistent communication through any medium builds the confidence drivers need that their company has their back.
Question: Does DriverReach offer any “driver satisfaction” surveys?
Answer: While a driver satisfaction survey isn’t a core product that DriverReach offers, it is something that our great partner WorkHound can provide, along with their anonymous driver feedback platform designed to reduce turnover. Reach out and inquire how it works - https://workhound.com/ - tell them DriverReach sent you!
Question: How can you increase trust between dispatchers and drivers?
Answer: Encourage dispatchers and drivers to get to know each other beyond only communicating when they need something from one another. Oftentimes driver feedback shows that they feel a lack of trust for their dispatchers simply because they don’t know their dispatcher well, or they feel their dispatcher doesn’t have an interest in knowing them. The most important things drivers and dispatchers can do for one another is to:
- Know each other by name - Drivers are constantly concerned about just being a face in the crowd. It’s important for their identity to be embraced and encouraged.
- Asking how each other are doing - Oftentimes communications with one other start abruptly and cut right to the chase, which might be the most efficient way to get the job done, but it misses a critical element in relationship building. Before getting into the nuts and bolts, make sure dispatchers ask drivers how they’re doing and really listen.
Question: One recruiting and retention tip for the remainder of 2021 was about personalized communication. Is communication personalized on WorkHound?
Answer: To the extent that personalization is possible while also protecting driver identity, WorkHound is personal. But only on the driver-facing side. Our research shows that drivers want to be called by name. It comes up often in driver feedback and regularly in trends reports. So while identity and anonymity are taken very seriously on the customer-facing software, we know that calling drivers by their names builds trust. Trust is the heart of WorkHound and it must be achieved and maintained in order to gain the most honest insight from drivers.
Question: Why is the driver feedback in this report anonymous?
Answer: Because this is how WorkHound collects feedback. We also know from our own research that this is how drivers prefer to leave feedback. There’s a real fear of retaliation in the trucking industry, whether or not it’s actually part of a company’s culture. It’s critical to empathize with the experiences drivers are coming from at previous companies. Even if leaders at your company have built a great culture, it’s important to recognize that prior experiences can cause baggage. Anonymous communication helps rebuild industry-wide trust for drivers.
Question: Can you describe logistics issues and how fleets might address those, given it ranked No. 2 on comment frequency for the 2021 mid-year report?
Answer: In this mid-year edition of the WorkHound Report, the logistics theme told us that while drivers obviously value home-time and appreciate efforts by their fleet to recognize work-life balance, the logistics category is broader than just home-time. Logistics feedback relates to specifics about load details, route planning and scheduling, or communication breakdowns between load planners and drivers.
At the core of it, logistics issues stem from poor communication. Fleets can address these concerns by ensuring proper communication when things go wrong or plans change. Equipping dispatchers and managers and load planners to be a step ahead of changes and errors (and then the autonomy to effectively communicate) can create more satisfied, invested drivers.
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.
Listen to Taking the Hire Road podcast, hosted by Jeremy Reymer and in collaboration with FreightWaves, for timely conversations with industry experts. For more information, or to join a live group demo, visit www.driverreach.com/livedemo