Did you have a chance to attend webinar, “Part 2: Driver Retention 101 With WorkHound: Why Feedback Should Be Your Starting Point”? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time frame, so our presenter from WorkHound, Max Farrell, has answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post. If you weren’t able to join the live webinar, don’t worry – you can watch it on-demand anytime!
Question: How quickly is a company expected to react on feedback they receive?
Answer: From our experience, companies have the most success when they react quickly. The longer you allow drivers to sit on concerning feedback, the more opportunities they’ll have to share their negative feelings with other drivers, social media, or worse, other companies. If you receive personal criticism from a peer, you’re going to react quickly to either set the record straight or make a change and the perception of your company should be treated with the same care.
Question: What is the best way to communicate changes based on feedback? How is that shared?
Answer: It’s important to give credit where credit is due. Communicating changes through the same mechanism that drivers used to leave the feedback will have the greatest impact. You must communicate to drivers that their feedback is making an impact and they are the ones responsible for making the improvements. This is a positive reinforcement to ensure that you are earning driver trust and their voice matters.
At WorkHound, we help companies communicate actions via a weekly message called a broadcast. Customer Success Managers meeting weekly with customers to craft their custom announcement to update drivers on changes, the status of upcoming changes, or to debunk myths or miscommunications.
The broadcast message is also sent in a link in a text message so that drivers can read the update wherever they are at that moment, or when they’re safely stopped and away from the wheel of their vehicle.
Question: My team tried to ask for feedback, but analyzing feedback takes a lot of time. How does feedback work when it's hard to find the time to even analyze?
Answer: That’s a great question. At WorkHound, we have a team that works on your behalf to understand which messages are urgent and how to prioritize what needs to be tended to in order to make the most impact. Sometimes being in the middle of the environment that drivers are leaving feedback about is hard because members of your team are just too close to see.
It’s like this: From faraway, a mountain looks like a mountain, but while you’re hiking, a path on a mountain could be anywhere because it’s just too close to see the mountain you’re standing on. Similarly, our team’s outside perspective is the best vantage point to analyze the feedback of your immediate surroundings because it’s new to us and we see it differently.
That being said, we work with lots of smaller teams by helping them wrap their minds around a strategy that proves valuable with simple baby steps. We adopt the mentality that “perfect is the enemy of done.”
This means that all-or-nothing can be a dangerous mentality because it can get in the way of making good happen, so instead, we encourage intentional small steps in the right direction and that will simplify the path to help you reach your goals.
Question: What is the #1 reason drivers leave?
Answer: It’s been said that workers don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. With that in mind, at a trucking company, this might be true, but it also might not be fair. Drivers don’t always have access to their managers so communication is even more of a challenge.
Many companies try to resolve this with an “open-door policy,” but what if drivers are 1,000 miles away from that open door? Companies can’t simply wait for drivers to come to them. Trust and confidence are already hard enough to build, and then add in the additional barriers that exist in the transportation industry like distance, lack of empathy, busy office staff, and an abundance of driving job opportunities, and that means the scales are tipped off-balance.
Drivers are leaving for a number of reasons, but we believe the number one reason is because their companies simply aren’t asking how to keep them.
Question: What happens when a driver doesn’t want to reveal themselves?
Answer: On the WorkHound software, driver feedback is anonymous. This is so drivers can be completely honest without the fear of retaliation. Even so, sometimes drivers leave feedback that is urgent and we want to make sure their company can intervene quickly and take care of their concerns to course-correct.
We created a solution that allows WorkHound users to click a button that then asks drivers to reveal their identity in association with their feedback. Our hope is that by this point, the driver will feel trust in the company that their request is an honest attempt to make things right, and if so, they’ll choose to reveal.
But sometimes, they choose not to and that’s okay. This doesn’t mean their comment isn’t valuable. In fact, probably even more valuable because they’ve shared a concern and don’t feel confident enough in their work situation to have an honest conversation. Here’s where integrity steps in -- doing the right thing when no one is looking. We recommend evaluating the driver’s comment, investigating what can be changed and then making the change so that the driver still knows you have their back. And that’s a pretty great way to earn some points with your workforce.
Question: What is one of the newest retention strategies that works the best?
Answer: It sounds silly, but we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to simply listen. By asking your drivers what they want and listening to understand, you can make a huge impact. Just as every company is different, so is every driver. And every driver has different needs.
With turnover climbing higher than 95% across the industry, you can’t afford not to listen. There are all kinds of retention solutions out there and all are operating on the assumption that they know why your drivers are leaving, but you’ll never truly know until you ask.
Question: When a driver is on probation, how many opportunities do they deserve?
Answer: This question seems like a pretty specific situation, but I think what should be considered is why the driver was on probation in the first place? Did they receive adequate training? Did they know that their transgression would result in a penalty? Or are they just a bad apple willing to push it to the limit?
Regardless, there continues to be a power struggle of finger-pointing across the industry rather than self-reflection on either side to own responsibility. Just as we know that turnover is the highest in the first 90 days, this is also the most critical point to get workers into good habits and workflow to make sure expectations are clear for both the driver and the company.
Though I can’t answer how many opportunities a driver deserves while on probation, I do believe it’s important to reflect during that process to understand what you can learn and what can be controlled on your end to improve in the future.
Question: You said it's important to get owners bought in, but what about drivers? How do you encourage drivers to give feedback when you start the program?
Answer: We’ve all been on a phone call with a driver and have a challenge getting a word in edgewise. Drivers talk. They also have a lot of time to think. When we kickoff a program with a new company, it’s critical for our customer success team to get influential drivers on the phone in the first couple of weeks.
At every company there’s at least a hand full of drivers who have the ear of all drivers and it’s important for our work together that we earn their voice to advocate for WorkHound to the other drivers. In these discussions, we thank them for speaking up, but also let them know we’re here for the silent majority that aren’t as bold in sharing their voice and concerns with the company.
Question: How many opportunities does a driver deserve?
Answer: Drivers asking the same question: How many opportunities does a company deserve? Bottomline: Trust is broken on both sides and it has to rebuild from somewhere. Why not take the first step in communicating and understanding what went wrong in previous experiences with your company and how you can make it better this time around? Your company’s bottom line depends on it.
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