Want to lower driver turnover? How a good training program impacts driver retention

A driver stands in the sun beside his truck cab | Lower driver turnover

Truck driver turnover hovers around 90% on a good day. This costs trucking businesses a small fortune, from onboarding to maintaining safety standards, to delays that a short staff will inevitably cause. With such a high demand for talent, keeping your drivers means keeping your business on the road without interruptions. The question all trucking companies are asking is, “how can I lower truck-driver turnover?”

Why is driver turnover so high?

According to our data, most driver turnover happens within the first 180 days of employment, showing that newer drivers have a hard time acclimating to the lifestyle. Secondly, long-haul routes see higher turnover. The longer the route, the shorter the tenure.

The High Cost of High Turnover

The average cost to replace a truck driver is $8,200, and the average tenure with one employer is one year. On top of that, the cost of replacing a driver is roughly three times the average cost of turnover in the U.S. 

Replacing your entire workforce every year adds up, and with profit margins already slim, trucking companies can’t afford to pay for that revolving door year after year and stay in business. 

How do you lower driver turnover? Well, first, we need to address the solvable root causes.

Addressing the Causes of High Turnover

Being on the road is hard; we all know that. Many newer drivers don’t fully grasp the impact of life on the road until they are in the thick of it. Long hours alone and separation from loved ones can be difficult to deal with if a driver is unprepared. And many drivers struggle to engage with their coworkers and peers because of distance. Add to that the level of responsibility and constant situational awareness that a driver needs to have top of mind at all times.

A truck driver is responsible for not only a 1,000-pound vehicle but tens of thousands of dollars of cargo. Add to that the responsibility for maintenance and safety. A truck driver must always be up to date on safety training and always cognizant of other drivers on the road. 

This level of responsibility, coupled with limited human engagement, is taxing on an individual, and many give up.

Solving for Human Connection, Engagement, and Responsibility

Trucking companies mostly understand the need for driver training and engagement. The rules and regulations of the road are many, and truckers are held accountable for every misstep and even every perceived misstep. Not only does this reflect on the driver’s record, impacting their ability to work and make a decent salary, but it also reflects on the trucking company. If a driver gets a negative CSA score because of maintenance or other issues, so does the company. 

The pressure is high on both drivers and companies, and many trucking companies have renewed interest in safety training programs. An investment in safety training is an investment in the company. And it could also help lower driver turnover.

“You are not in the trucking business. You are in the people business.”

Noted industry icon, Dan Baker, is famous for this line. No matter the age or generation of a truck driver, one thing always stays the same: people need to feel like they belong. This is why the trucking business must be about people first. 

Drivers stay with a trucking company, not because of pay or benefits, but because they feel like they belong and that they are appreciated. Many drivers feel like they are a business’ lowest priority because they are on the road, and it’s important to go the extra mile to prove that they matter to you. To learn how to build a great culture of belonging, check out our webinar.

But how do you solve the lack of human connection when drivers are on the road? And how can this lower driver turnover?

Appreciated employees are retained employees. You need a training program that recognizes drivers for their good work, not just their CSA scores. It also helps to give drivers morale-boosting experiences, like wishing them a happy birthday or happy service anniversary. 

When a new driver starts with your company, roll out the red carpet. Make a big deal about them and go out of your way to show them that you’re happy they’ve joined the company.  A little bit of recognition can go a long way in increasing morale and lowering driver turnover.

A Win-Win Solution 

The best way to reduce driver turnover is to keep the drivers you already have by creating a company culture that inspires drivers. Infinit-I Workforce Solutions has a cultural relations training program to help you build company-wide relationships that help all employees understand their role in company culture. To learn more about building that culture, click here.

Training and Engagement to Reduce Driver Turnover

Infinit-I Workforce Solutions has a customizable, mobile training tool that solves all the root causes of driver turnover, helping you retain your workforce and keep your business rolling.

With brief, easily-digestible training modules, drivers can complete training without eating into drive-time or off-time. In fact, most of our drivers complete their training during load times! Brief quizzes at the end of each module automatically store results, ensuring your company stays up to date with mandatory safety training requirements.

Best of all, the tool has a built-in employee appreciation function. Even while your drivers are on the road, they will know that you value them not only as drivers but as human beings. That will go a long way to lower your driver turnover. Because when the competition for talent is fierce, differentiating your company even in small ways can make a big difference.

Infinit-I Workforce Solutions takes care of all of the administration for you. We know that even if your intentions for employee recognition are great, the administration of a recognition program for tens of thousands of drivers is beyond your capacity. That’s why we built it in. 

5 Things to Remember About Lowering Driver Turnover:

  • • Life on the road is hard, and a little appreciation can go a long way.
  • • Training is necessary but needs to be retained for it to be effective.
  • • Brief training modules with videos work well when time is of the essence.
  • • An appreciated employee is a retained employee.
  • • A training program that combines state-of-the-art training with employee appreciation will lower your driver turnover.

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